by C. J. Box
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2013. 367 pgs. Mystery
Joe Pickett, Box's Wyoming Fish and Game officer, heads for the hills in this story of a man apparently driven to homicide by the inexplicable and punitive excesses of the Environmental Protection Agency. Some of this narrative may seem far-fetched, but Butch Roberson's story is based on the true story of the Sackett family in Idaho who battled the EPA to a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in their favor. In any case, Roberson is on the run and Joe is picked to head up a posse of EPA agents who don't know a stirrup from a saddle horn. Trying to track Butch, keep the greenhorns safe, and outrun a forest fire, Joe has plenty on his mind, especially when he finds his man and a different story than everyone supposes to be true. Box does his usual fine job of evoking and describing the Mountain West, as well as telling a ripsnorting but also thought-provoking tale.