No way forward?
No way back?
Your time is up when you reach
Game warden Joe Pickett is called to a bizarre crime scene deep within the forests of Twelve Sleep County, Wyoming. Famous eco-activist Stewie Woods has been blown up in an explosion, along with his new bride and ten head of cattle.
The case is wrapped up too quickly: an environmental publicity stunt gone wrong. But what is the millionaire rancher who owned the cattle hiding? And why is Joe's wife receiving mysterious phone calls from someone claiming to be Stewie Woods?
Joe's search for the truth leads him ever deeper into the wilderness of the Bighorn Mountains. With two unlikely allies at his side, and two hired killers on his heels, Joe can't avoid the legendary Savage Run - a treacherous, isolated canyon with no crossing...
Box's second novel offers more graceful writing than his overhyped debut, Open Season (2001), along with a little humor and a more fluid plot line. Wyoming Game Warden Joe Picket is still fallible, his strong sense of duty, honor and justice again na vely running afoul of the greedy villains bent on misusing the exquisite, vividly described landscape. A pair of well-drawn, unconventional hit men, one a conscienceless killer, are murdering environmentalists. First, a powerful explosion blows up "infamous environmental activist" Stewie Woods and his new wife while they're sabotaging logging in the forest near Saddlestring, Pickett's headquarters. The sheriff thinks it was an accident, but Pickett is unsure. Then a proenvironment congressman, a writer, a lawyer and an animal-rights activist all die under questionable circumstances. When Pickett's wife, Marybeth, who grew up with Woods, receives mysterious phone calls from "Stewie," Pickett starts his own investigation. A spectacular chase through a treacherous, isolated canyon with a secret escape route is well paced and riveting. The suspense ratchets up another notch as Pickett and an unexpected ally confront the man who ordered the crimes. The author shows both sides of environmental issues the activists' insistence on a pristine natural habitat countered by the Westerners' view of the land as their livelihood and pulls no punches when describing how humans can brutalize one another. This fine follow-up reinforces Box's status as a first-class talent.