Bad news: your father-in-law has been murdered. Worse news: Your mother-in-law is suspect #1
Published in 2011 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
A person who left a comment on one of my Amazon reviews told me about C.J. Box and gave me the title to his first book featuring Joe Pickett. I found it at the library and I was hooked. If you like Michael Connelly or Robert Crais you will love C.J. Box. If you like Tony Hillerman, you will enjoy Box's descriptions of the local landscape and the people of Wyoming.
Cold Wind features Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden. Joe loves the great outdoors, loves being a game warden, loves his wife, loves his family, hates bureaucracy and hates his mother-in-law. His mother-in-law is a real piece of work and is almost universally despised. She has clawed and married her way to a fortune and has no problem using people and tricks of divorce law to take more money.
Joe Pickett's current father-in-law. Earl Alden, is one of Wyoming's biggest ranchers. He is not really a rancher, but he owns one of the biggest ranches in the state and he is installing a gigantic giant windmill wind farm on it in order to receive federal grants that came with the famed 2009 "stimulus package". Earl is found dead on his own property, hanging from one of the giant windmills and Joe's mother-in-law is immediately arrested. Joe suspects that she is being framed but he has no idea who is doing it or why.
|A Wyoming windmill|
One of the things that I like about this series is that C.J. Box is more than willing to demonstrate how misguided federal policies mess with the real world. In this case, the windmills ruin a neighbor's domestic life with their constant whining (at least that it while they are turning), cost much more than the energy they produce, have to be backed up by conventional power plants (for times when they are not turning) and may not have even produced new jobs at all since these particular windmills were used, rehabilitated windmills relocated from Texas.
Nate Romanowksi makes an appearance in this book, but it is not integral to the main story. Unfortunately, I am reading the books all out of order so the character of Nate is more of a distraction for me than a real character of interest. His character could have been edited completely out of the story and made it about 70 pages shorter and a much tighter novel overall.
I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on September 7, 2013.