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Force of Nature (A Joe Pickett Novel) Hardcover – March 20, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 457 customer reviews
Book 12 of 16 in the Joe Pickett Series

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Editorial Reviews


“A rush…an excellent wilderness adventure…a violent, bloody, and quite satisfying thriller.”—New York Times Book Review

“Strap yourselves in, C. J. Box fans…”—Madison County (MS) Herald

“Proceeds at warp speed.”—The Denver Post

“Moves like greased lightning.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A master…Box’s readership will only increase with his latest page turner. Another amazing thriller from C. J. Box.”—The Associated Press

“Perhaps the best in the series.”—San Jose Mercury News

“Violent…Those who love Box’s stunning set pieces will be in heaven.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Absolutely riveting…This is the best Box I’ve ever read, and I’ve read them all.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Reliably brilliant…never to be forgotten.”—Bookreporter

“A breakthrough book.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Brilliant in every respect…Box is a force to reckoned with.”—Providence Sunday Journal

“Edgar®-winner Box’s breakneck 12th Joe Pickett novel…especially impressive…[a] superior entry.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Atmospheric…last-minute tension.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

C. J. Box is the author of twelve Joe Pickett novels and three stand-alones, and has won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Gumshoe, and Barry awards, as well as the French Prix Calibre .38 and a French Elle magazine literary award. His books have been translated into twenty-five languages. He lives outside Cheyenne, Wyoming, with his family.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Joe Pickett Novel (Book 12)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1 edition (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780399158261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158261
  • ASIN: 039915826X
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (457 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
CJ Box's latest Joe Pickett thriller features Joe's friend Nate Romanowski, the ex-Special Forces soldier and falconer who's helped Joe escape several recent scrapes. In "Force Of Nature" Nate is on the hot seat when he learns that his former commander John Nemecek, now a government big wig, intends to hunt down and eliminate the members of their unit in Afghanistan from years ago, before a shameful and deadly secret gets out. When Nate goes on the run and disappears, ditching his home and most of his possessions, including his falcon, he also leaves three bodies behind, whom he's killed in self-defense. With his prey in the wind, Nemecek targets Nate's friend Joe and his family in order to force Nate out into the open. Meanwhile Joe and his new game warden partner and trainee have been drafted into the murder investigation by Sheriff Kyle McLanahan, with whom Joe has tangled in the past. The action in this book is non-stop, and the conflict between helping Nate and protecting his own family adds an extra level of tension to Joe's problems. Joe Pickett's many fans will naturally want to pick this one up.
Also recommended: A Stranger Lies There - winner of the Malice Domestic Award for best first mystery, it features a vivid desert backdrop that should please fans of CJ Box's colorful Wyoming settings.
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Force of Nature is the latest C.J. Box thriller. His stories usually feature Joe Pickett, and while Pickett is present this story is about his enigmatic friend - Nate Romanowski.

Nate has been a presence in the Pickett household for years. But the questions abound - why does he live off the grid? where is he from? what happened to produce the quiet, but lethal man he is?

Force of Nature fills in the back story as Nate is forced to confront the man who made him what he is and face the past. Nate's long love of falconry is front and center to the story and Box laces the history through the story.

Nate's adversary is smart, brutal, violent and without a conscience. Nate's friends, including Joe Pickett and his family, along with friends from the reservation are pulled into the inevitable confrontation.

The storytelling is pure Box - the backdrop of Wyoming and the Northwest provide the perfect backdrop. There is graphic violence, but necessary to the story. The tension builds perfectly.

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I've really been enjoying the series but there are things in this book that are getting to me a bit. The blatant anti government scree is getting annoying. There is a sentence about a gmc dealer who suffered because "the government took over General Motors ". The fact of the matter is the government didn't take over anything, just bailed out the auto companies which enabled hundreds of thousands of employees and residual companies to keep their jobs. In addition, every penny of the bail out was paid back with interest.
I'm also getting weary of most characters being either good or bad. The earlier books maintained a suspension of disbelief by having characters fleshed out better and more multi dimensional. Possible Spoiler Alert:
The sheriff is an idiot and all bad, as are most deputies. (Government bad after all)
Foster daughter teenager only agsty and belligerent.
All tourists are rich idiots who dress stupidly.
Wife is stunningly beautiful, extremely brilliant, and pure as the driven snow.
The Native Americans (Indians as they call themselves!?) are all caricatures.
I used the whisper sync as I read, and must say the narrator is extremely talented, and keeps the characters succinct. He's one of the best I've heard.
I haven't given up on the series, I still enjoy it a lot. I may be a bit critical because of my binge reading the series.
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C.J. Box's latest western thriller focuses on the enigmatic Nate Romanowski--former Special Forces operative, self-imposed wilderness exile, falconer and long-time friend of Joe Pickett and family. In this tautly written story, Nate's past with the Special Forces, personified by his old mentor-turned nemesis, John Nemecek, is out obliterate him and everyone he has been professionally or personally close to. The menace begins with an assassination attempt by three float fisherman as Nate is hunting with his falcon, igniting a chase/pursuit that stretches over several states and most of the book. Joe Pickett and his family are on the periphery of the tale through much of the telling, but the estimable game warden is there for the book's showdown ending.

While the story follows a variation of author Box's familiar formula for many of the Pickett books, it's a formula that works well in this mostly action novel. Some very good secondary characters are threaded throughout the book, but Nate Romanowski is the main player and his resourcefulness and formidable skills with weapons and for survival in the Western wilderness are prominently displayed and vastly entertaining.

At the same time, it has to be said that there are a few threads dangling at the end. Most readers will overlook them in enjoying the rush of the story's ending. This is an engrossing novel that rips along and delivers a satisfying finish.
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