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97 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Box's unexpected hero returns for a stellar installment
I've read many of the Joe Pickett novels. The first two words of this novel made me very happy - Nate Romanowski. Nate is my favorite character in the Pickett series besides Joe himself. For those who haven't read any of the books, Joe Pickett is a game warden out of Saddlestring, Wyoming. He is married to Marybeth and has two lovely children, Lucy and Sheridan, and...
Published 12 months ago by Nitty's Mom

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I had high hopes early on
Having read all the Joe Pickett novels, I was really excited to read "Stone Cold" and from the very first it grabs you like all of these novels. There are two things going on that area a threat, but sadly, only one gets developed fully. It was almost like once he put it in the book he kind of ran out of ways to make it play out, so he just finished it in six...
Published 12 months ago by Wandering boy


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97 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Box's unexpected hero returns for a stellar installment, January 22, 2014
This review is from: Stone Cold (Joe Pickett) (Hardcover)
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I've read many of the Joe Pickett novels. The first two words of this novel made me very happy - Nate Romanowski. Nate is my favorite character in the Pickett series besides Joe himself. For those who haven't read any of the books, Joe Pickett is a game warden out of Saddlestring, Wyoming. He is married to Marybeth and has two lovely children, Lucy and Sheridan, and ward, April, all living in a small cabin in the Bighorn Mountains. Nate is the anthesis of Joe, a loner, living in the woods with his falcons. He is a large, rugged, pony-tailed man capable of violence on either side of the law. Joe and Nate are unlikely best friends, but both have literally saved each others lives in past editions of the series.

Joe is summoned to Cheyenne by Wyoming Governor Rulon, who has taken a liking to Joe and considers him his unofficial "range rider". The Governor sends Joe on a mission to investigate an extremely wealthy landowner in the Black Hills named Wolfgang Templeton.. Joe quickly finds out that Templeton literally owns the county., land, people and the law. The adventure continues with Joe's unique, somewhat bumbling manner. Sort of a mixture of Inspector Clouseau and John Wayne. Joe's daughters, Lucy and Sheridan, offer intriguing side stories to the novel.

This is not my usual reading genre, but I find CJ Box such a good storyteller with a fluid writing style, making it just a joy to read. His characters are so vividly realistic and the Wyoming setting gives you that western, cowboy feeling.

Although this is a standalone novel and can be read as such, there is a lot of history with Joe Pickett and his cast of characters, which makes you feel very comfortable with this latest installment. Highly recommended.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome storyline, but now I have to wait for the next book to come out , , , ,, January 27, 2014
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This review is from: Stone Cold (Joe Pickett) (Hardcover)
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Stone Cold is a little different from the rest of C.J. Box's Joe Pickett books. It had a dark side to it in a side storyline involving his eldest daughter. It seemed a little strange at first because I didn't have any idea where the side story was going and it threw me for a loop when I read the conclusion of it. Talk about a twist!!

The main storyline of Joe going to another game warden's district for Governor Rulon gives a couple of surprises. Nice writing by Mr. Box, again, and the conclusion will keep you dangling. As I stated above, now I have to wait for the next book to come out and I hope it is soon. Mr. Box has a way of drawing you into his storylines and Stone Cold is no different.

If you are new to reading C. J. Box and his Joe Pickett series, I highly suggest you read the whole series. A great reading experience is waiting for you.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars #14 in the Joe Pickett series is another winner, January 25, 2014
This review is from: Stone Cold (Joe Pickett) (Hardcover)
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I am a C.J. Box fan and have been since his first Joe Pickett story Open Season. I have read all of this series and all of his stand-alone books too. This book is definitely a series book, NOT a stand-alone. You could enjoy it if you've not read the other Joe Pickett offerings but why cheat yourself out of the pleasure of reading the others?

"Stone Cold" has all the best qualities that have made me love his other books - non-stop action, a protagonist that is easy to identify with, a gorgeous setting in my beloved Wyoming.

Joe Pickett is still working as a Wyoming game warden but also is troubleshooting for the Governor. He goes into the Black Hill country of Wyoming in this tale, trying to find out the worst about a wealthy landowner/philanthropist. And his troubles start almost immediately.

As always, Joe tries to juggle work with his home life and two of his daughters have side tales of their own in the book.

If you enjoy suspense, mysteries, books about Wyoming, or just an exciting well-written story, you won't go wrong with this or any of author Box's books.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I had high hopes early on, January 30, 2014
This review is from: Stone Cold (Joe Pickett) (Hardcover)
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Having read all the Joe Pickett novels, I was really excited to read "Stone Cold" and from the very first it grabs you like all of these novels. There are two things going on that area a threat, but sadly, only one gets developed fully. It was almost like once he put it in the book he kind of ran out of ways to make it play out, so he just finished it in six pages at the end of the book.
Also unfortunately, the main plot develops well but then there are only 30 pages left in the book and even with the main plot it seems like all at once he ran out of ideas on what to do with it and just kind of wrapped it up, and not altogether satisfactorily.
The book read well, flows well, but has a very quick and disappointing ending.
Also some very serious moral lines are crossed in the book which leaves a rather bad taste. The sub plot that ends quickly without really being developed, ends in a totally unbelievable and unrealistic manner. Not believable at all.
Not Box's best work. Kind of a "beach read" this spring, then leave it in the condo or hotel or on the plane for someone else.
It's ok.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointing to a long time fan, March 31, 2014
This review is from: Stone Cold (Joe Pickett) (Hardcover)
I have read all of C.J. Box's books and really enjoyed them, particularly because most of the action takes place in the great out of doors. I enjoy the Joe Pickett character because he is a regular family man...honest, tough minded and stubborn that gets himself in all kinds of trouble because of his character traits. I did enjoy most of Stone Cold but the last 1/4 is so completely ridiculous and totally unbelievable that it ruined the whole story for me. I'm really disappointed....the plot twists are downright insulting to the intelligence of the reader. The small town characters are extreme stereo types and impossible to take seriously........C.J. Box should be ashamed of himself for publishing such drivel (and I'm a fan!) I will probably read his next one though just to see if this was just a bad outing:)
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A high-society hit man in Wyoming?, January 23, 2014
This review is from: Stone Cold (Joe Pickett) (Hardcover)
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Joe Pickett, modest game warden and dedicated family man, occasionally has to play another role. The governor keeps him on call as a troubleshooter. Joe has a talent for getting in the thick of any trouble that's brewing, and figuring out what's going on. This time the governor is in a rare mood to cooperate with the FBI. He wants Joe to help them gather information about a certain rich man living in Medicine Wheel. Rumors have been heard in elite circles that Wolfgang Templeton is involved in murder for hire.

And so Joe sets off for Medicine Wheel, a depressed town in beautiful country. The hills are full of malcontents, well armed and on the dole.

Joe goes disguised as himself – a warden sent to help the local game warden with a special project. The fun begins at once. Joe meets one menacing character after another. The outcome is sometimes humorous, more often life threatening.

If you've been following the series, as I have, you'll be pleased by the reappearance of Joe's complex friend Nate Romanowski, master falconer and wanted man. Nate is dealing with an interesting moral dilemma in this book.

As always, Joe's personal life is full of dramas, since he has three teenage daughters and a mother-in-law who hates him. His attractive wife is good at doing Internet research through unofficial channels. She acts as Joe's long-distance assistant.

I found Stone Cold to be thoroughly enjoyable, with plenty of action and plenty of opportunities for our good-hearted game warden to cleverly outsmart the bad guys. This is an excellent addition to an excellent series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, March 26, 2014
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This review is from: Stone Cold (Joe Pickett) (Hardcover)
I am an avid "series" reader, and it seems to me that most authors of series that I've read run into one "down" book that doesn't quite maintain the quality of the series that first roped me in. Stone Cold is the "down" book in the Joe Pickett stories. I have read this entire series, some of the books twice, and they have all been excellent reads with great characters. This book ran out of steam on the characters. The premise of Wolfgang Templeton's "business" operating out of Wyoming was an intriguing concept, but Joe Pickett as "James Bond" just didn't fly. The notion of a hitman organization was out of Joe's purview. He needs to stick to being a Fish & Game warden who continues to find trouble in the wilderness. Let his weaknesses show and the conflicts that occur in all families and marriages become more evident. Joe was at his best when he had some wicked and conflicting moments. Goody good becomes boring. I would encourage readers to stick with C.J. Box because he's delivered great stuff historically and is entitled to a bit of a miss. I don't doubt he'll be back in great form. The main objections I have to the storylines of this book are 1) Joe pushing his authority beyond self-preservation limits. Joe's smart, not the stupid that some of his actions indicate. 2) Nate Romanowski isn't a murderer? Umm...it's hard to justify that notion. But Nate has been an excellent character in past books and I hope we see more of him. 3) I really hoped it would be Nate sent to face-off with Joe instead of Whip. It still could have ended well, but would have been much more interesting. 4) Throwing in Joe's despicable mother-in-law toward the end of the book? Should have saved her for the next book, although I would have loved to see Nate finally "dispatch" her for good. 5) The storyline at Sheridan's college was just out in left field. Final comment - the end of the book suspended believability. It seemed like C.J. had reached the required number of words for the book and threw in a quick wrap-up. I still love Joe Pickett and will be right there for the next book. Many readers rated this book more highly than I did, so read it and make your own decision.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interting and worth it but, March 20, 2014
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CJ.Box is getting lazy. His novels of late come to quick easy conclusions as if he got bored with the story and it was time to quickly bring a close. This story is one of those disappointing quick wrap-ups. If he keeps this up, he will lose the following he has. For instance, Nate being allowed to walk is just not real and stupid. Take a little more time C.J., do it right and don't be in such a hurry for the next book advance that you leave the people paying for your life style rethinking their loyalty to you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Less than the sum of its mediocre parts, April 13, 2014
By 
Len Schneider (Nutley, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
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Just finished Stone Cold and have to say I'm disappointed. When I started reading, I quickly realized that Box doesn't have Craig Johnson's poetic gifts for narration. He's far more straightforward, less nuanced. Although I was glad to "get back in touch with Joe's family," I found the characters less well developed than I remembered from previous books. Don't know if it's just me or maybe Box wasn't on top of his game while writing this one but I found it far less convincing. The picture of Nate is almost that of a different person than the one from earlier books and Whip is almost a caricature. The reappearance of Missy is more deus ex machina than something that advances the plot. Maybe Box had a contract with the character that mandated "one last time"? Frankly, I hope so as I'm tired of her. The ending of the University of Wyoming affair was also very sketchy and almost read like Box needed to wind up loose ends but was too tired to do so gracefully. April's disappearance with her rodeo lover at the very end was, more than anything else, a come-on for another book. Or so it appeared to me. (OK, so I'm a bit of a cynic. Shoot me!) Damn. Wish I felt differently about this as I was really looking forward to it. Oh well!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More of same, March 20, 2014
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S. J. Haye "adit" (Ridgecrest, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
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I have read most of the Joe Pickett novels and usually like them. True, in some of them six impossible things happen before breakfast, but I can usually swallow them and, as I said, overall enjoy the book. Somehow this one seemed different and I almost didn't finish it. The coincidences, such as Joe going straight to Nate's cabin without ever having been there before, and on the one night Nate wasn't there, with no reason given as to how Joe could do this, was getting too much. And Nate flying a light plane with no formal instruction, and arriving at Sheridan's dorm at the exact time the presumed sniper was on the roof? Please. It seems like Box needed a pilot for the story and didn't have one so Nate was elected.
When things like this happen maybe the author is getting tired or lazy, or pushed by a deadline. I think Box should slow down and write the novels he is capable of. The only reason I even gave this two stars is that I enjoy the descriptions of Wyoming and Joe's family life.
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Stone Cold (Joe Pickett)
Stone Cold (Joe Pickett) by C. J. Box (Hardcover - March 11, 2014)
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