Sunday, February 26, 2023

Storm Watch

Storm Watch by C. J. Box
2/28/23; 368 pages
Penguin, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Joe Pickett Series #23

Storm Watch by C. J. Box is a very highly recommended crime thriller that is unputdownable. Wow! I have only read a couple C. J. Box novels, but have immediately became a life-long fan. Storm Watch is an excellent novel in every way!

As a snowstorm is rolling in, Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett is hunting down a wounded elk when he comes across a vehicle park on a remote mountainside. Upon further investigation he finds a professor's body sticking halfway out of a metal building. After putting the elk down, Joe manages to take pictures of the scene and finds the man's wallet before someone fires two shots at him. Joe hikes back to his truck and heads home, trying to beat the worst part of the snow.

He calls the crime in, which only results in little action. The county Sheriff Scott Tibbs later reports that there was no body, thus no crime scene. The governor Colter Allen orders Joe off the case. He later finds out the building is a remote high-tech facility. After this, Joe's friend Nate Romanowski is approached with an invitation to join a movement called Sovereign Nation. It seems there is more going on than Joe can easily avoid, especially when every crime he investigates seems to be tied to a bigger problem.

The characters were portrayed as realistic individuals with depth and unique characteristics. They are written as unique characters with individual personalities and reactions to events. Joe and Marybeth's daughter Sheridan plays a role in this novel and is very intelligent and likable. There are numerous characters in the narrative, but they are distinctive and easy to keep track of.

The narrative is detailed, complicated, intelligent, and interesting as Box keeps the tension high while adding more and more complications and new developments to the plot lines. The numerous complications include: murders, liars, poachers, falconry, politicians, bitcoin mining, extremists, bad weather, family, and more. The detailed setting places the action firmly in a specific place and time. There may be some suspension of disbelief required, but it was something I very willingly did when it occurred.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of G.P. Putnam's Sons via NetGalley.

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