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Sunday, July 8, 2018

THE DISAPPEARED (Joe Pickett #18) by C.J. Box



Published in 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Game Warden Joe Pickett and the new governor of Wyoming have a turbulent relationship at best. The previous governor used Joe as his own personal law enforcement officer from time-to-time. This wasn't because Joe was some sort of rogue cop - quite the opposite. He knew that Joe was a dogged investigator who had a talent for following clues where they led him - or at the very least stumbling around blind and stepping in the middle of the problem on accident. Sure, it had a real cost in damage to trucks (a tradition continued in this book), but Joe could be trusted to do the right thing.

The new governor found about Joe and has tried to use him to deal with political problems masked as law enforcement problems. Joe has refused and the new governor does not deal with rejection well.

However, this time there is a real-life law enforcement issue to deal with. A female British executive and media darling has disappeared after vacationing at a very high end dude ranch - the same ranch that employs Joe's oldest daughter as a wrangler (cowgirl guide for the rich and famous that want to experience a bit of cowboy life). The British executive checked out, drove away in her rental car and never arrived at the airport. She just vanished and the British press is having a field day. The fancy dude ranch is concerned that it will hurt their business and this has gotten the attention of the governor and his surly chief of staff.

So, Joe is off to investigate in the middle of winter and enters the very touristy world of dude ranches for the world's elite. But, there are other issues to deal with - the Governor's office is very impatient, Joe's daughter has a serious boyfriend at the ranch and Nate Romanowski is pestering him about eagles...

All Joe Pickett books are a worthy read for me - I've been reading them for eight years now, thanks to the recommendation in a comment left on one of my online reviews. Joe is like an old friend and this one is a tough read because Joe is off balance for the duration of the book. It is also not as satisfying a read because it is clearly part of a two-part series (or more). One set of problems are resolved only to stumble upon even more problems and I am not satisfied only because I want to know what is going to happen next (If you are a Marvel movie fan, you know the feeling - it's the one you had at the end of Infinity War).

So, I rate this one 4 stars out of 5 and it can be found on Amazon.com here: THE DISAPPEARED (Joe Pickett #18) by C.J. Box.

P.S. Watch out for Nate Romanowski and his fish!

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