Open Season by C. J. Box
(A Joe Pickett Novel)

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Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden--especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way--is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he's had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in. Even after the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of the two more bodies, are solved, Joe continues to investigate, uneasy with the easy explanation offered by the local police.

As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.


About C. J. Box

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C. J. BOX is the author of twelve Joe Pickett novels and three stand-alones, and has won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Gumshoe, and Barry awards, as well as the French Prix Calibre .38. He lives outside Cheyenne, Wyoming, with his family.
Published May 7, 2002 by Berkley. 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Crime, Westerns. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Rookie Twelve Sleep County Game Warden Joe Pickett’s not much of a shot, and he’s been looking like a goat ever since poacher Ote Keeley got the drop on him with his own gun during a routine arrest.

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Publishers Weekly

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The hours are long, the work hard but satisfying, and Joe's honesty and integrity would pay off if he could avoid "bonehead moves" like ticketing the governor of the state for fishing without a license, for instance, or allowing a poacher to grab Joe's firearm from him.

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Reviewing the Evidence

The villain is revealed prior to the end of the book, and it's terrifying to see Joe interacting with him, totally unaware of his horrible acts.

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Reviewing the Evidence

On page 193 of the paperback, Joe's wife says this to him: "Joe, you are a good man.

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As game warden in Twelve Sleep, father-of-two Joe Pickett is not only badly paid and poorly housed, but deeply unpopular.

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