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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: Force of Nature by C.J. Box

Force of Nature (2012) by American crime writer C.J. Box is an “exquisitely designed, six-act mystery” according to a Library Journal review, that uses falconry for its central metaphor without ever losing the necessary drive to make this a riveting read. In other words, it works on more than one level, a common attribute of great art.

  This is the author’s 12th Joe Pickett novel and focuses on Joe’s outlaw friend, Nate Romanowski. Nate hides from his enemies in the foothills of Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, where he raises and flies his falcons, except when he helps game warden Joe on cases. But he realizes his former sociopath Special Forces commander is hunting him down and systematically killing all his known associates. Joe and his family are on the list and it forces him to consider how far he can go to help his friend Nate.

 The struggle between loyalty and law is not a new theme for the author. It infuses the entire Joe Pickett series, a work primarily set in the wilds of Wyoming far from the legal support systems found in big cities. This exploration of the theme is notably impressive in this superb entry.

Review by Peter Critchley of the Vernon Branch

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