FreeWheelin' Music Safari

Endangered – C. J. Box

Endangered – C.J.Box – Joe Pickett Series # 15


Stealing an idea for a friend of Goodreads, I am going to start this review with the first paragraph of Endangered the latest Joe Pickett novel from C.J. Box….

When Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett received the call every parent dreads, he was standing knee-high in thick sagebrush, counting the carcasses of sage grouse. He was up to twenty-one

That simple paragraph sets the stage for the whole book and tells the new reader a lot about Joe Pickett. For those who don’t know Joe it lets you know that he lives in Wyoming and he is a game warden, but it also tells you that he is a caring parent Throughout the fifteen plus books in the series, Joe’s wife Mary Beth and children Sheridan, Lucy and April have been there, along with Joe’s mother-in-law Templeton and Joe’s right-hand man and the families protector Nate Romanowski..If you do know Joe you know that the presence of those dead sage grouse will not make Joe happy and he won’t quit until h discovers who killed them. Oh and also that their slaughter may be associated with the book’s title Endangered.

The call Joe received told him that a young girl was found badly beaten in a roadside ditch and she looked like his adopted daughter April. April had runaway a while back with a young rodeo star Dallas Cates. Joe never liked Dallas who was a member of a family that Joe has had numerous run ins with as game warden. Dallas of course is the prime suspect and Joe is out to make sure he pays for his crime!!

Meanwhile Joe’s friend Nate Romanowski, an ex-special forces soldier is set to be released from prison and used as bait to flush out the missing Wolfgang Templeton whose murder for hire business Nate had worked for (see Stone Cold) Soon after Nate is released he is ambushed and shot!!

Soon Joe has a lot of problems – will April survive and did Dallas beat her? To solve that puzzle Joe has to go up against the Cates family and that is no easy task. Led by Mama Brenda the family is about as dysfunctional as you can get. Dallas brother Bull lost his livelihood thanks to you know who – yes Joe Pickett.and brother Timber is in prison!!

Joe also has to worry about Nate. Could what happen to Nate and April be related??? And don’t forget those sage grouse. The species were ready to be placed on the endangered species list so a lot of people have a reason to eliminate members of the dwindling species, but who did it??

Joe won’t quit until he finds out and this time finding out just may cost Joe his life!!

Bottom Line: Endangered is a winner!! Several books ago I set aside Cold Wind. I just couldn’t get into it and I thought that I would quit this series. But since then C J Box has come back roaring with four great books and Endangered may be the best of the four! Bookpage says….

“C.J. Box moves from strength to strength with each new installment. I would say that he is at the top of his form, but the top just keeps moving ever upward”

How true. Endangered was a real page-turner for me. The plot kept me in suspense to the last pages, and of course the characters that Pickett has created along the way are a vivid and real as it gets. You know, it’s hard some time to remember that Joe and his family are not real!! Since I have to wait a bit for the next Joe Picket book I think I’ll check out The Highway a stand alone that features Cody Hoyt from previous Joe Pickett books!!.’

Links for Further Explorations of C J Box