Wolf Pack – Another Winner from C.J. Box

Being a game warden in Wyoming is no day at the beach, as C.J. Box proves time and time again. The job involves keeping in line hunters armed with guns, poachers intent on thwarting the law, unpredictable and oftentimes brutal weather, and, of course, wild animals. But this time around, Joe Pickett also has to contend with drones that are causing animals to panic, stampede, and die, a couple of obnoxious agents from the FBI, and a trio of assassins who are on a killing spree. Makes one want to wish for a boring desk job.

That’s not Joe, however, and he is very good at his job. He’s rebounded from his last adventure which found him ousted from his post and his house burned to the ground. He has now been reinstated and not only has a spacious new home, but a brand new green pickup. Joe is out on his rounds when three things happen. First, he finds the mutilated body of a bobcat, its rear leg caught in a steel trap. Whoever set the trap had violated rules which require hunters to check their tracks within a certain time frame to prevent an animal from suffering a long, agonizing death. Second, he receives a call from another game warden, Katlyn Hamm, about a drone that is terrorizing animal herds. Third, a rancher, Herman Klein, calls to say that wolves are killing his cows. Joe knows he will need to follow up on the trap, the drone, and the wolves.

Although the hunter had affixed a sticker to the trap with his name and address, locating the man proves to be more difficult than Joe expected. And neutralizing the drone presents a challenge. They can’t just shoot it out of the air, since it soars higher than any projectile would be capable of reaching. Enter Joe’s friend, Nate Romamowski, a falconer who is fairly confident that his birds can intercept and down the drone. Which they indeed do. But that success backfires. Two FBI agents visit Katelyn and then Joe telling them to back off. Whoever is flying the drones is under FBI protection and saving “millions of people” trumps a few hers of animals being harmed by the drone.

The FBI agents, and many other officials, make the mistake of thinking they know the Wyoming area better than Joe. When the proverbial crap hits the fan, Joe and Nate will be the ones to save the day, although not everyone.

Box must be doing fabulous things for Wyoming tourism, because every time I finish one of his mysteries, I want to pack my bags and go.

Wolf Pack
C.J. Box

Top photo: Bigstock

About Charlene Giannetti (338 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her last book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "Life After You," focusing on the opioid crisis that will be filmed in January, 2020. Charlene divides her time between homes in Manhattan and Alexandria, Virginia.