I put C.J.Box on probation after I had a bit of a bad reaction to a couple of his books, but this book returns him to good standing with me. I would recommend reading <i>The Highway</i> before this book, but if you didn’t or don’t plan to it won’t matter a whole lot. This book will still stand alone pretty well.
One of the main villians in <i>The Highway</i> is a peripheral character in this book, and seems likely to reappear in the next book. Also, the main good-guy character in this book, Investigator Cassie Dewel, first appeared in <i>The Highway,</i> and will likely be seen again soon. Also, the story line of the former book was continued as a side story in this book and promises to be continued in a future one, perhaps where it be brought to fruition.
I don’t think Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett has been fully retired, but clearly C.J. Box is branching out. I won’t be surprised if Joe and Cassie cross paths at some point, but I also won’t be surprised if they don’t.
Sheriffs haven’t fared well in previous Box novels. They have, almost to a man (one was a woman, I think) been incompetent and shady. The author must have had a bad experience with a sheriff somewhere along the line. But Sheriff Jon Kirkbride in this novel is one of the good guys.