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C.J. Box returns with new Joe Pickett novel

C.J. Box’s latest book, “Three-Inch Teeth,” is out now. (Courtesy)

This newest novel by C.J. Box is No. 24 in his wildly successful series about this special Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett. Set in one of the least populated states in the union, it has a plethora of wild game and beautiful surroundings. It also is not lacking in colorful characters, both good and evil and more.

It is fall in and around Saddlestring, Wyoming, and the weather is still beautiful when Clay Hutmacher is fly fishing and contemplating his future with Sheridan, Joe’s daughter. Suddenly, a doe flees down the hill above him into the river, and then Clay sees a vision of terror – a huge grizzly bear running straight at him. This starts the novel with a bang, especially because grizzlies are not common in this part of the state.

After Clay’s father finds his body, he calls Joe, who correctly decides that the killing was a rare bear attack, so he then brings in the Wyoming Predator Attack Team. Box is a master of weaving in issues that play old-time Western values and practicalities against modern and differing thoughts and actions. So on one hand there is a group dedicated to the safety of its citizens, and on the other, the Mama Bears, two entitled, well-intentioned women from Jackson Hole bent on saving bears.

Buy the book!

“Three-Inch Teeth,” by C.J. Box, os available at Maria’s Bookshop, 960 Main Ave.

For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/ymj7kctu.

As Joe and the rest try to find the bear, his oldest daughter, Sheridan, is sent to Colorado on a job for Nate and Liv’s business Yarak. Sheridan is a master falconer and was trained by Nate, Joe’s best friend. The business has a stable of trained falcons that are used to abate problem birds. They go around and release the falcons in large buildings, fields or wherever there is an infestation of undesirable birds. What Sheridan finds in northern Colorado brings another mystery to Joe’s family history.

Unknown to Joe and his wife, Marybeth, a former Saddlestring resident, Dallas, has been released from the prison in Rawlins. He is a nasty piece of work, the last survivor of his twisted family. He is bent on revenge against all those who killed them and sent him to prison. Notably on the list are Joe and Nate.

As Joe and the Attack Team are trying to track down the rogue grizzly, other attacks around the state seem to be happening every other day. Incredibly, Joe and Marybeth know three of the victims. As many readers know, most of law enforcement officers don’t believe in coincidences. Joe, Nate and Marybeth start thinking outside the box in trying to figure out just what is going on. They soon realize they are all in the crosshairs of an apex predator.

Box is a master of creating riveting, well-formed characters and putting them in a place that is remote, beautiful and sometimes deadly. Many people come from out of state to visit this beautiful land and find it is nothing like “back home.” He illustrates the many times nonresidents have a disconnect with nature with small, critical events suffered by outsiders that are woven into many of his novels. This is another way that Box uses the fictionalized and romantic myth of the “Wild West” and dispels it with the sometimes harsh realities of the real West.

“Three-Inch Teeth” is an amazing, thrilling novel teeming with fast-paced action and gut-wrenching tension where things are not always what they seem. Twists and turns in this complicated plot will keep readers on the edge of their seats, unable to put it down.

Then the wait begins for the next novel to meet new characters and see who returns.

Leslie Doran is a retired teacher and freelance writer.