Wednesday, September 8, 2010

C.J. Box Nowhere to Run

You may flog me now. This is actually the first time I have read C.J. Box and his hero Joe Pickett. I have no excuses why it took me so long to read my first one, only regrets that I have not been involved as a reader sooner. Maybe I am not the only the one out there that hasn’t read the fine works of C.J. Box. If that is the case then let it be known to the uninitiated that he has won numerous awards: The Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Gumshoe, and Barry awards as well as the French Prix Calibre .38 and the French Elle magazine literary award. His novels have been translated into twenty- two different languages. Not too shabby.
Nowhere To Run finds Joe Pickett in his last week as the temporary game warden in an isolated town where some funny business has been going on. Instead of just riding out the time and calling it a day, he can’t let it go and has to investigate the mysterious goings on. Would we expect no less from the man of more? I don’t think so. Being a first timer, I enjoyed the characteristics that make this guy who and what he is. In fiction right now there are very few horse riding, modern time detectives and hero types. I enjoyed the total originality of the character, the manner in which C.J. Box not only constructs Pickett but the surrounding microcosm and the people that inhibit it. This is not an urban affair and for me that was more refreshing than the mountain high air the characters were breathing.
C.J. Box for me stands apart in the genre, which foot you can say he has it in would be a matter for another discussion. Is he a western, mystery, thriller or action/suspense author? Nowhere To Run is all that and one heck of a fun ride. I plan to backtrack and get my hands on the rest of his work as I feel compelled to find out what I missed before this. What makes Joe Pickett who and what he is? Where did he start and how did he arrive at Nowhere To Run? For me, that is why Box has won all the awards. He has created in me the thirst, the desire to embrace Joe Pickett and inhabit his world and learn as much about him as possible and enjoy the ride with him. I have some catching up to do, how about you? If you have read C.J. Box and his amazing character Joe Pickett, what is your favorite novel? Have you read his stand alone efforts as well: Three Weeks To Say Goodbye & Blue Heaven?
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