Thursday 21 February 2019

Masterful tale of wild Wyoming

CJ Box Head of Zeus, £18.99, hbk, 336 pages

Stone Cold by CJ Box
Stone Cold by CJ Box

Myles McWeeney

Available with free P&P on or by calling 091 709 350

Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett is clinging on to his job by his fingernails. He is good at his job, but his insistence on doing things by the book has earned him the uncomplimentary nickname Dudley Do-Right among his more laid-back colleagues in the Parks and Wildlife Service, and his new boss is doing her level best to force him to resign.

Only his unofficial job as Wyoming Governor Rulon's personal 'range rider' keeps him in the service, and Rulon sends him undercover to a remote corner of the state to find out what billionaire Wolfgang Templeton, who has bought tens of thousands of acres of the area, is up to.

Once a Wolf of Wall Street, rumour is that Templeton is topping up his immense fortune by running a sophisticated killer-for-hire operation out of the ranch. As usual, Pickett cannot help himself from exceeding his brief, earning the enmity of one of Templeton's most deadly employees and the corrupt residents of the nearby town, who depend on Templeton's benefice for survival.

CJ Box is a multi-award-winning thriller writer, who regularly tops the best-sellers lists in the US but is not yet as well-known here.

His descriptions of Wyoming's stunning wilderness and its wildlife are the equal of anything penned by that other master of nature writing, James Lee Burke.

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