This is the 13th installment in the Joe Pickett series and for a while there the reader may be worried that 13 is not Joe's lucky number! But it is Box's, because this book, as with all the others, is one hell of a ride.
Once again Joe is dealing with his wife who worries about him, his girls who think he's a relic of another time and federal agencies that don't respect him, let alone the rights of the citizens of Saddlestring, Wyoming. Or any citizens, for that matter.
When Joe is forced to help hunt down the father of his daughter's best friend, things don't go well. They go south. And they go up into the mountains with their rough terrain and vast expanses of beetle kill pines.
Fans of this series are used to watching the moral and physical battles Joe wages with not only criminals but all levels of the law and government. This installment finally finds common sense at the helm of the local sheriff's office, but that can't help Joe when the guys from the EPA decide to makes up the rules as they go.
Joe, of course, will be Joe. And that's what we love about him. Watching Game Warden Pickett 'go rogue' in the name of what's right is what keeps me coming back. And did I worry about all that beetle kill that's as dry and combustible as Joe's almost absent friend, Nate? I live in the Rocky Mountain west and totally appreciate it's ramifications...and of course I appreciate Nate.
Nate and Joe's relationship has taken a beating over the course of the last few books, and they are both changed men. But I'm hopeful future installments will bring them closer. We'll see. On to #14!