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OUT OF RANGE: A Joe Pickett Novel

By CJ Box

Putnam, May 5th, 2005 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Reviewed by Susan Johnson

Once more CJ Box presents us with a taut, well told story featuring his reoccurring character, Joe Pickett, a game warden, serving in the mountains of Montana.

In this, the fifth in the series, Joe is confronted with some unusual challenges. His friend, Will Jensen, is found dead, an apparent suicide. Joe is asked to transfer to the much larger area of Jackson, take one of Will's current cases and do a little quiet snooping about the circumstances of his death.

Upon arrival in Jackson, Joe immediately realizes that Jackson, a large, touristy town, presents many more different challenges than he is accustomed to.

The area he covers is huge with many remote areas. He is pressured to sign a bill allowing a housing development, that the dead warden Will was firmly against. There is also an old hunting guide who is undoubtedly breaking the law and a rich, young, married woman who seems to have set her sights on Joe.

On the home front Joe's wife, Mary Beth is not faring much better. Mysterious calls began before Joe left and are now escalating, and Mary Beth's daughter Sheridan seems to have hit that teenage period where she hates everything and everyone.

Mary Beth calls family friend, Nate Romanowski, to help with the calls and discovers that being away from Joe and dealing with Sheridan is making her a bit tempted herself.

One of the things I love about CJ Box's, Pickett series is the realness of the characters. Joe and Mary Beth are not perfect, they face the day to day trials of a real marriage with real children.

CJ's description of the areas he works in Wyoming sound so beautiful and real I almost want to book my next vacation there.

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