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Stone Cold by C.J. Box

Stone ColdGood ol’ Joe Pickett, the roving Game Warden of Wyoming! He never works much as a true game warden as he is always on call from the state’s governor. Governor Rulon has been using Joe for years to help him solve problems in the state that are usually too “undercover” or out of hand for his state’s police to work. And it is probably a good thing that Joe does have such an in with the governor because his own boss (especially this new one) would probably fire him in a heartbeat!

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Problem with Joe is that he is a magnet for trouble. Even if he isn’t on a case looking for trouble, trouble will still find him. And not only does he get into the mix of many of the state’s problems with illegal happenings but one way or another he also manages to “mangle” state-owned property such as automobiles or trucks or something. But he always does solve the problems that he has been sent to check out so he is still around and I imagine C. J. Box will continue to keep him out there working.

This story starts in a slightly different manner as Nate Romanowski, a longtime friend of Joe’s is staking out an individual in the wilds of Montana. At first it appears he is going to kill the person but instead he just takes him back to Wyoming as a hostage. Joe knows nothing of this entire episode as Nate, though a very close friend of Joe’s family has not been around for some time. They all realize that he like Joe manages to get involved sometime in some slightly strange if not slightly illegal events.

Around the same time Joe gets notified by Governor Rulon that he needs Joe to head up into Medicine Wheel County to do some looking into the happenings now that a man named Wolfgang Templeton has moved into the area.
No one knows much about the man who is buying up much of the county. The Feds do believe that he is somehow connected in a big way to organized crime, quite possibly running some type of a murder for hire business. Nothing is provable at this point but Rulon does not want the entire mess in his state.

His answer is to send Joe up (knowing Joe’s instincts and abilities) on a special assignment to work with the county’s game warden in setting up some new trials for folks to use. All the while there Joe is only to watch and listen …nothing more! But Rulon, Joe, and C.J. Box know that “ain’t gonna happen”.

The story moves quickly as do Box’s mysteries and many things occur to keep the reader’s interest. Great dialogue, description, story line, and very limited profanity and no sex.

Almost forgot as usual Joe and his wife are having some of their typical problems with their daughters. In every book! Great side storytelling!

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