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Wolf Pack
Cover of Wolf Pack
Wolf Pack
Joe Pickett Series, Book 19
by C. J. Box
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Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett encounters bad behavior on his own turf—only to have the FBI and the DOJ ask him to stand down—in the thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times-bestselling author C.J. Box.
The good news is that Joe Pickett has his job back, after his last adventure in The Disappeared. The bad news is that he's come to learn that a drone is killing wildlife—and the drone belongs to a mysterious and wealthy man whose grandson is dating Joe's own daughter, Lucy.
When Joe tries to lay down the rules for the drone operator, he's asked by the FBI and the DOJ to stand down, which only makes him more suspicious. Meanwhile, bodies are piling up in and around Joe's district in shocking numbers. He begins to fear that a pack of four vicious killers working on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel known as the Wolf Pack have arrived. Their target seems to be the mystery man and everyone—including Joe, Nate, and others—who are associated with him.
Teaming up with a female game warden (based on a real person, one of the few female game wardens at work in Wyoming today) to confront these assassins, Joe finds himself in the most violent and dangerous predicament he's ever faced.
Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett encounters bad behavior on his own turf—only to have the FBI and the DOJ ask him to stand down—in the thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times-bestselling author C.J. Box.
The good news is that Joe Pickett has his job back, after his last adventure in The Disappeared. The bad news is that he's come to learn that a drone is killing wildlife—and the drone belongs to a mysterious and wealthy man whose grandson is dating Joe's own daughter, Lucy.
When Joe tries to lay down the rules for the drone operator, he's asked by the FBI and the DOJ to stand down, which only makes him more suspicious. Meanwhile, bodies are piling up in and around Joe's district in shocking numbers. He begins to fear that a pack of four vicious killers working on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel known as the Wolf Pack have arrived. Their target seems to be the mystery man and everyone—including Joe, Nate, and others—who are associated with him.
Teaming up with a female game warden (based on a real person, one of the few female game wardens at work in Wyoming today) to confront these assassins, Joe finds himself in the most violent and dangerous predicament he's ever faced.
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  • From the book

    Chapter One

    For Wyoming game warden Katelyn Hamm, April really was the cruelest month. And this year was turning out to be the worst one of all.

    And that was even before she got her pickup stuck eight miles from the highway.

    It was the last week of the month and she was in the middle of what was known as shed war season. Bull elk and big mule deer shed their antlers throughout the winter, and now the war was heating up due to the low snowpack and the antlers' high price.

    Shed war season was why she'd been grinding her green four-wheel-drive Ford F-150 through sagebrush, snowdrifts, and rock formations in the high foothills of the western slope of the Bighorn Mountains. Gnarled ancient cedars stood as sentinels among the granite formations towering on both sides, and she'd tried to keep her front tires in a set of untracked but snowpacked ruts meandering up and through the rough country toward the mountains.

    Her destination had been a set of high, vast meadows just below the tree line of the mountains. Those meadows were designated as critical elk and deer winter range, and her aerial surveys two months earlier had revealed thousands of both. The elk liked to descend by the hundreds from the shadowed low timber to feed in the open on the meadows at night where the wind swept the benches clean of snow. Hundreds of mule deer moved up from draws and arroyos to do the same thing.

    Now the meadows were littered with forty-pound elk antlers and heavy-beam deer antlers, the sharp tines and tips emerging from the snow as it melted, so new they glinted in the sun.

    There were two ways to get to the winter range from the highway. One was a moderately developed gravel two-track five miles to the south. That route was officially closed during the winter months and marked by signs warning against entry. But antler poachers were resourceful. They drove around the gate closure and shot up the signs.

    The other way to the high meadows was the rough, obscure two-track path that Katelyn had chosen to take. It wound up through the rock formations and cedars and ended on a high promontory that would give her a sweeping view of the meadows and anyone who might be in them.

    For antler hunters, the western slope was a treasure trove.

    For Katelyn Hamm, it was where she got her pickup stuck.

    The front wheels had dropped into a deep but narrow erosion ditch that crossed the road. She hadnÕt seen the depth of the hazard because it had been covered by a long, narrow snowdrift that started in a copse of sagebrush and extended forty feet beyond in a crusty frozen wave. The impact was hard enough when the tires dropped that a cascade of ticket books and topo maps showered down on her from where theyÕd been secured by a rubber band around the sun visor. Her chin hurt because sheÕd smacked it on the steering wheel.

    It happened, getting stuck in the middle of nowhere, and it occurred more frequently than any game warden would admit. The key was to figure out how they could free their vehicles without having to call for help, or worse, being photographed. Each year, the Wyoming Game Warden Foundation dinner featured a special PowerPoint presentation of game wardens stuck in their vehicles. It elicited lots of guffaws. Katelyn wanted to be one of the laughers, not the laughees.

    She tried to rock the truck forward and back, hoping the tires would grind through the snow and grab a bite of dirt that would launch her out. But the more she rocked, the deeper the tires dug in.

    Katelyn struggled into...

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2019
    Fired after his last colorfully insubordinate outing (The Disappeared, 2018), Wyoming Fish and Game Warden Joe Pickett is back on the job in Twelve Sleep County just in time to follow the trail from a routine misdemeanor to a quartet of hired killers.Katelyn Hamm, Joe's counterpart in Shell County, is saddened and angry to see a herd of terrified mule deer fleeing, some to their deaths, from an unregistered drone aircraft that disappears in the direction of Twelve Sleep County. This isn't the first time locals have spotted the drone, and Katelyn wants Joe to track down its owner. Joe obligingly traces the rogue aircraft to the compound of Bill Hill, who gets him just as furious as Katelyn by freely admitting the offense, crumpling up the citation Joe gives him, refusing to follow him to the sheriff's office, and assuring Joe that he'll never have to answer the charge--and that Joe himself will be in trouble if he presses too hard. Trouble promptly arrives in the form of two FBI agents from the nation's capital who warn first Katelyn, then Joe, off the case, which they consider no big deal compared to the threat against thousands of lives--"maybe tens of thousands....Maybe millions"--they're handling but refuse to identify. Meanwhile, four professional killers, including a particularly fatal female, are headed to Twelve Sleep County from Arizona, where they've just killed their latest target, his wife, and a friend who happened to have stopped by. Squeezed between the feds and the Wolf Pack, a murderous arm of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Joe will himself be targeted, along with Katelyn, the FBI agents, the local sheriff, his wife's best friend, and his own friend the outlaw falconer Nate Romanowski, for elimination before the killers can move on to their real target.It's obvious where all this is going, but Box gets you there, in one of most tightly wound tales, with more thrills than a snowy road on a steep mountain and more authority than the governor of Wyoming.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    February 1, 2019
    Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett, last seen in The Disappeared (2018), has his old badge and district back, a brand-new pickup truck, and is happy to be out in the field tracking an illegal trapper. Across the mountains, a colleague has an uncomfortable encounter with a drone that is spooking wildlife. As they track the violators, they have no idea they're about to collide with aggressive FBI agents and a Sinaloa cartel hit squad that's about to unleash a shocking level of violence in Twelve Sleep County. Joe's old friend Nate Romanowski may be back on the grid, running a business and actually planning for the future, but Joe's going to need Nate's killer instincts this time. As always, Box takes familiar elements of his long-running series?the upstanding Joe, the renegade Nate, a daughter in danger (this time it's Lucy), and a threat from outside?and seamlessly combines them into a read that makes your heart race, even though you won't leave the couch until you've turned the last page. Half mystery, half thriller, totally worthwhile. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: You can just about set your watch by a Joe Pickett novel in March; the number-one-best-selling author's legion of fans will be counting down the minutes.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2018

    Box stalwart Joe Pickett is distraught to learn that a drone killing wildlife belongs to a rich mystery man whose grandson is dating Joe's daughter. He's even more distraught that killers known as the Wolf Pack, working for the Sinaloa cartel, have dropped by. So Joe teams up with a female game warden, based on an actual person whom the multi-award-winning, No. 1 New York Times best-selling author knows.

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Joe Pickett Series, Book 19
C. J. Box
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