It's elk season in the Rockies, but this year a different kind of hunter stalks a different kind of prey. When the call comes in on the radio, Joe Pickett can hardly believe his ears. Game wardens have found a hunter dead at a camp in the mountains--strung up, gutted and flayed as if he were the elk he'd been stalking. A spent cartridge and a poker chip lie next to his body. Ripples of horror spread through the community, and with a possibly psychotic killer on the loose, Governor Rulon is forced to end the hunting season early for the first time in state history. Are the murders the work of a deranged anti-hunting activist or a lone psychopath with a personal vendetta? Joe Pickett, as always, is the governor's go-to man, and he's put on the case--tracking the hunter even as more bodies, and more poker chips turn up.
Bold, fast-paced and with a controversial hook--hunters and anti-hunting activists--Blood Trail is proof that CJ Box keeps getting better and better.
When an elk hunter is shot and gruesomely gutted in Box's solid eighth Joe Pickett novel (after 2007's Free Fire), Wyoming governor Spencer Rulon assigns Joe to the investigative team headed by Joe's nemesis, game and fish director Randy Pope. The authorities suspect a group led by antihunting activist Klamath Moore, but Joe thinks an enigmatic clue near the body points to a serial killer. As usual, Joe stands alone against official protocol, placing his career and life in peril by following his hunches. He persuades Rulon to release his pal, iconoclast Nate Romanowski, who's awaiting trial on spurious charges, to help him on the case. Writing beautifully about the mountain West and its people, Box takes care to present both sides of the controversial issue of hunting. The narrative alternates between the searchers and the killer, whose identity will keep readers guessing up to the surprising climax. Author tour. (May)
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May 19, 2008
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