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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

BLOOD TRAIL (Joe Pickett #8) by C. J. Box

Published in 2008

Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett is still on special assignment from the Governor. What this means is he has no home territory and is always on the edge of being fired But, he is kept around because he has a knack for solving big problems involving dangerous people.

Joe's strength does not come from his tracking ability (he's good but not great), or his ability as a crack shot (he's horrible with a pistol) or his abilities as an outdoorsman (he is very good but he is not a survivalist). No - his strength comes from his own family and from a sense that the rules are important. Joe is a straight arrow who and if he breaks those rules he does not rest easily.

Joe is called away from a long-needed session of household chores to a crime scene in a hunting camp, only being told that it is gruesome. The sheriff and the Warden that now covers his old territory race to the scene. When they arrive they find a hunter field dressed, having been dropped by a single shot from a rifle. Clearly, someone is trying to send an anti-hunting message.

At the same time, an anti-hunting activist shows up in town and calls attention to the murder. Soon, Joe's research uncovers earlier murders of hunters that were not so blatant but are clearly related and now the whole country knows that in Wyoming the hunters are now the hunted...

This is a gruesome but engrossing entry in this series. I figured out the mystery before the end (I am pretty sure everyone was supposed to figure it out) but I was very surprised at the methods used to flush out the murderer. Plus, there is a true (and quite gratifying) surprise at the end, almost as an epilogue. 

I rate this story 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Blood Trail (A Joe Pickett Novel)

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