"Entertaining police procedural"
While still a Wyoming state game warden trainee, Joe
Pickett ticketed a man fishing without a license. The man
turned out to be the state governor. One week after being
assigned to Twelve Sleep County, Joe fines outfitter Ote
Keeley for shooting a buck out of season. However, Ote
takes Joe's gun away and points it at the game warden's
head before calmly accepting his ticket. Though he
continues working hard, Joe has never fully recovered from
the Keeley incident.
A few months later, Keeley reenters Joe's life when his
daughter finds the outfitter dead at the woodpile near the
Pickett home. Next to the corpse is a cooler containing
pellets of excrement. Joe and fellow warden Wacey Hedeman
assist sheriff Bud Barnum with the investigation. However,
soon Joe is in trouble with his superiors, his pregnant
wife for jeopardizing his job, and with a killer trying to
add a nosy game warden to the list.
OPEN SEASON is an entertaining police procedural tale that
works because the author steps out of the box by insuring
his star is not superman. Instead he is just an average Joe
struggling with learning his new job, obtaining a decent
standard of living for his family, and still trying to do
the right thing. The story line is filled with twists and
turns so that the audience is tricked into thinking the
wrong person is the villain. The endangered species issue
is well designed within the plot with C.J. Box cleverly
laying it out so that the reader can decide on this complex
question. Fans will want more Wyoming mysteries starring a
guy named Joe.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 7, 2001