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Monday, 9 September 2013

‘Breaking Point’ by C J Box

Published by Head of Zeus,
11 April 2013.
ISBN: 978-1-78185-073-2

I've heard of C J Box and his protagonist, Game Warden Joe Pickett, but I had not read any of his work until now.  His matchless evocation of the vast wildernesses of Wyoming came as a revelation, and the plotting is superb.  Based on a true story of a couple treated with the most consummate bullying unfairness by the Environmental Protection Agency, I could only suck in my breath at the horrendous treatment faced by the fictional couple in this book from the same agency. 

A good hard-working man disappears into the mountains after two EPA officials are found shot dead and buried in a pile of dirt on his land.  A vindictive high-up sets out to seek and destroy him.  Why?  The slightly unlikely (in my opinion) use of a drone to blast him off the face of the earth results in a catastrophic forest fire which consumes acres of wooded mountainside.  There is a tremendously exciting chase and escape, as Joe Pickett negotiates an impossible canyon and then guides a small group down a dangerous river using a fallen tree as a vessel.  Box pulls absolutely no punches and the scenes of survival in the wilderness are horribly realistic (there's a particularly disgusting description of a man finding a pool with which to slake his thirst!)  As for the twist at the end, I defy anyone to see it coming.
You must read this book.  And after that, go out and get the rest of the series, which is what I'm about to do.
Reviewer: Susan Moody

C J Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. In 2008, Box was awarded the "BIG WYO" Award from the state tourism industry. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. They have three daughters. He lives in Wyoming

Susan Moody was born in Oxford is the principal nom de plume  of Susan Elizabeth Donaldson, née Horwood, a British novelist best known for her suspense novels. She is a former Chairman of the Crime Writer's Association, served as World President of the International Association of Crime Writers, and was elected to the prestigious Detection Club. Susan Moody has given numerous courses on writing crime fiction and continues to teach creative writing in England, France, Australia, the USA and Denmark.  In addition to her many stand alone books, Susan has written two series, on featuring PI Penny Wanawake (seven books) and a series of six books featuring bridge player Cassie Swan.

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