Breaking Point: A Joe Pickett Novel (Joe Pickett Novels) by C.J. Box

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Breaking PointJoe Pickett, the Colorado game warden, always gets involved in situations that are not necessarily related to game warden work. And Breaking Point is one of those situations. In this instance a local man from the Saddlestring area where Joe lives has a nasty run-in with some EPA officials who basically come to run him off his property. The man, Butch Roberson, is defiant because (a) he was given no warning and (b) there does not appear to be a real reason for this to happen. One thing leads to another. The two EPA guys are shot and Butch is on the run up into the mountains.

The EPA brings in all sorts of governmental personnel to hunt him down and Joe happens to get called into the situation because of his game warden status. Joe immediately has problems with the two top EPA officials, especially the top one, who appear to be extremely arrogant and have no consideration at all for what Joe considers to be common citizens. Joe will work that part out later.

They basically take charge and begin an intensive manhunt for Butch that involves working all through the mountains. They also set up rewards that inspire three other individuals, locals known to Joe, to get involved in the hunt. These three folks basically have no hand in the game except that the leader of the trio is intent on getting the reward and also since he used to be the sheriff he wants to reinstate himself at the decimation of the present sheriff.

The whole story becomes several manhunts that first off primarily are for Butch but as the story goes on it becomes a manhunt for these three individuals by Butch. And all of that then drags Joe into not only the original manhunt but the secondary one also!

Much of the story involves the trooping through the mountains as these various groups hunt one another down. But it becomes much more involved when due to some very poor planning and strategy by the EPA group a tremendously large forest fire is started that envelops the entire mountain area.

As it turns out Joe and the trio chasing down Butch really get deeply involved in not only the manhunt but deeply involved in trying to escape the terrible forest fire as it grows bigger and bigger.

This is one of the best Joe Pickett novels that Box has written and holds the attention all the way to the end. And that ending is even more of a shocking surprise than many of the other happenings. Great read by any mystery lover, Joe Pickett, C.J. Box fan or not!