Blood Trail by C.J. Box

Blood Trail Reviewed by Allen Hott

One of my favorite authors in a somewhat earlier story about Joe Pickett, the Game Warden who works mostly at the beck and call of Spencer Rulon, governor of Wyoming. Pickett is a top game warden but he has some bad habits in that he either gets involved in some very serious crimes while he patrols his territory or he inadvertently destroys the equipment that the state gives him to use. His involvement in crimes is not that he commits them but that he somehow manages to stumble onto some of the strangest types of crimes that can be imagined. And they always in one fashion or another happen while he is doing his normal game warden job. And the equipment gets damaged because invariably he is chasing down some criminal or he is being shot at by some miscreant that Joe has determined to be a bad guy!

This story begins when several hunters are found murdered in the area that Joe is covering. Not only have the hunters been shot but they are left hanging from several tree limbs in a position that mimics how a hunter would possibly hang a dead animal that he has killed. Not only are they hung but they have had their throats slit and they have been disemboweled much like a hunter would do prior to taking his kill home to eat. It definitely appears that someone is sending out word to hunters that they will be treated as they treat their kills.

About the time the Governor calls Joe in to do his thing and solve the problem another one develops. This time it is an animal rights activist named Klamath Moore who stirs up folks wherever he goes with his flamboyant approach and always right attitude. He is coming into the area because of the deaths of the hunters as he realizes that the eyes of the world will be on this situation. At the same time that he arrives at the local airport Joe is there to pick up a noted tracker and mercenary that the governor hires to be of assistance in tracking down the killer.

Joe’s best friend, Nate Romanowski, could do a better job but he is presently in jail on a trumped up charge and the Governor doesn’t want him released because Nate although a great hunter and tends to skirt the law quite often.

One more twist to the story develops when it is discovered that Klamath Moore is married to an Indian woman who is from the reservation right there in Joe’s home town. This puts even more pressure on everyone involved.

The story is another well written piece of work by Box and one in his series of Joe Pickett’s adventures. Box writes well and moves the story line along without profanity or sex. Instead he gives the reader a really good picture of the Wyoming landscape and mountains as he has Pickett doing his job. Good story line, really well written and enjoyable.

Disclosure in Accordance with FTC Guidelines 16 CFR Part 255

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