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Saturday 27 March 2021

‘Dark Sky’ by C.J. Box

Published by Head of Zeus,
4th March 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-788549318. (HB)


Much against his wishes, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett is hired to take billionaire Steven Price, along with his bodyguard Zsolt and top man Joannides, elk hunting.


Price, known as Steve2, runs a social media site called ConFab and is looking for a site to construct a huge server farm.


Wyoming state department is facing big budget cuts and its governor is in danger of losing his job. He also threatens Joe that if things don't go as he plans Joe could also be out of a job. He wants Price to be so impressed with the area that he will build his farm there and bring in huge investments.


With the horses packed up and ready to go Joe instructs the men on how to use bear sprays and makes them realise just how dangerous the mountains and surrounding wilderness can be.  Unknown to them they are being watched by experienced hunter Earl Thomas and his two sons.


Back home, Joe's wife Marybeth learns that ConFab is full of people protesting about Steve2 going hunting, some of them are very threatening. When Joe rings her, she warns him of the really bad feelings towards Price and Joe for taking him.


Meanwhile the hunting party have made good progress on the first day and they are up early the following morning. Joe leaves their camp to find an elk herd, flush them out and drive them towards Price and Zsolt ready with their guns.


However, when he arrives back to where he left them, there is no one there, just a note telling him to go back to the camp. On arrival he is taken by surprise, Earl and his sons have everyone at gunpoint. Things soon get out of hand, but Price and Joe manage to escape.


The problem now is that they have no weapons, food, water, radios or horses. So begins an ordeal Price could never have envisaged. Joe's ingenuity and knowledge of the area is called upon like never before. Can they manage to outwit Earl and his sons who soon start tracking them? To add to their problems it starts to snow, Price has never felt cold like it. Then an attack comes from a very different direction. How on earth can they survive?


C.J. Box's book is so beautifully descriptive of the mountainous wilderness of Wyoming that I am sure I could smell the fresh, clean, invigorating mountain air.


This is a really gripping tale of cat and mouse taking place in an area of outstanding natural beauty, but where there lurks hidden dangers waiting to trap the unwary.


I highly recommend this latest great book from C.J. Box for those who love an adventurous tale full of heart stopping moments.

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. In 2009 he won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. 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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