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Thursday 2 April 2020

‘Long Range’ by C.J. Box

Published by Head of Zeus,
3 March 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-788-54927-1

In Twelve Sleep County, Wyoming, a long-range shot intended for the Judge misses him and severely injures his wife.

Meanwhile Game Warden Joe Pickett with Mike Martin, another Warden and Eddie Smith a biologist are accompanying Julius Talbot a hunter from Florida. They are in the wilderness following Talbot's directions to where he said he witnessed a bear attack on his guide. He says he left him only just alive and was lucky to get away. However , Joe is not convinced by his story.

A call then comes in for Joe to return to Twelve Sleep and help in the hunt for the Judge's would be assassin. They need his knowledge of guns and the effect bullets have on flesh. A helicopter is sent to take him back leaving the others to carry on the search.

On returning and being given the facts, Joe estimates the bullet travelled a good two miles and was fired from far distant sage brush covered mountains. Kapelow the new local sheriff dismisses this idea out of hand and Joe deciding he is completely incompetent seeks to prove where exactly it was fired from.

A good friend of his Nate is an expert on long range rifles and agrees to help him. He also points out that from such a distance the shooter would need a spotter. They are now looking for two perpetrators and a list is made of anyone who the Judge put away and has since been released. The Sheriff however is saying no, it was just a stray bullet and therefore an accident. His attitude makes Joe all the more determined to solve the case.

Of course, on making the list it also involves investigating some of the people who Joe helped bring to justice, putting his life and that of his family in jeopardy. Nate also has enemies leading him to be wrongly accused of the shooting and subsequently arrested. Joe now has even more incentive to find the real culprits. Can he prove his friend's innocence and arrest the right people before they can shoot anyone else whilst protecting his and Nate's families?

A really well written story of the vast expanses of the Wyoming wilderness. It's full of fast-moving action and blind alleys with surprising revelations, plus a very exciting and nail biting ending. I have read several of the Joe Pickett novels and I think this is certainly the best so far. High recommended.
Reviewer:  Tricia Chappell

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.
Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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