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Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts, and the game warden--especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way--is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfit Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts, and the game warden--especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way--is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he's had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in. Even after the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of the two more bodies, are solved, Joe continues to investigate, uneasy with the easy explanation offered by the local police. As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.


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Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts, and the game warden--especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way--is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfit Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts, and the game warden--especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way--is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he's had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in. Even after the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of the two more bodies, are solved, Joe continues to investigate, uneasy with the easy explanation offered by the local police. As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.

30 review for Open Season

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Are you looking for a new mystery series? Do you like a beautiful western setting with modern day cowboys and outlaws? Do you like your justice served with rawhide, gun oil, and cheap saloon pilsner? Look no further - welcome to the world of Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett whose heart is way bigger than his luck. While going about his daily tasks of checking hunting licenses and counting antelope, he is always getting himself caught up in mysteries and conspiracies that end up with him almost los Are you looking for a new mystery series? Do you like a beautiful western setting with modern day cowboys and outlaws? Do you like your justice served with rawhide, gun oil, and cheap saloon pilsner? Look no further - welcome to the world of Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett whose heart is way bigger than his luck. While going about his daily tasks of checking hunting licenses and counting antelope, he is always getting himself caught up in mysteries and conspiracies that end up with him almost losing both his job and his life. The setting is the fictional town of Saddlestring at the base of the Bighorn Mountains in north-central Wyoming - and you can almost smell and feel the crisp mountain air while you are reading. The great thing about this series is, if you like this first offering, I can guarantee you that it only gets better from here! I cannot recommend this enough! Side note: I got into this series because I was the Assistant Manager of the Old Faithful Inn Gift Shop in Yellowstone National Park back when this book was first released. At the time, we had C. J. Box come in each year to do signings of his most recent release. In fact, he used to email me directly to coordinate the signings (kinda made me feel important!). I stress though, meeting him in person back when he was just starting out did not bias me towards his writing - it really is great stuff whether I met him or not!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    NEW BEST FRIEND!!! Hello CJ Box and his game warden protagonist Joe Pickett! I’ll be coming to visit your little part of Wyoming again and again. Box introduced game warden Pickett in this debut novel in 2001. Since then Box has been a steady and prolific writer, giving us fans a novel a year so this is a new series I can get to know and spend some time with. Mystery and thriller fans are accustomed to protagonists being either a police officer and some sort or a private investigator and that’s alw NEW BEST FRIEND!!! Hello CJ Box and his game warden protagonist Joe Pickett! I’ll be coming to visit your little part of Wyoming again and again. Box introduced game warden Pickett in this debut novel in 2001. Since then Box has been a steady and prolific writer, giving us fans a novel a year so this is a new series I can get to know and spend some time with. Mystery and thriller fans are accustomed to protagonists being either a police officer and some sort or a private investigator and that’s always fun, something grounded to help connect some dots and provide a certain and more or less predictable backstory. Usually adding some character flaws to the hero: alcoholism, broken relationships, etc. will add flavor to the story. Lee Child’s mixed this up some with Jack Reacher but the basic premise was still sound. Pickett is a game warden. Yeah! Guy out in the field checking for hunting and fishing licenses and who you call when the moose wanders into your campsite. But it can get dicey when the guy you are citing for a violation is heavily armed and / or drunk and there is no one else around for miles. I had a neighbor years ago who was a Tennessee Wildlife Resource agent (game warden) and he told a story about one of his colleagues who was ticketing an outfitter way out in the Smokey Mountains of eastern Tennessee and the man’s client was Steven Seagal. Seagal was actually very nice and all was handled appropriately … but there was still that tension. So, back to Joe Pickett. We find our hero as a very green newbie, more or less new to his position and making rookie mistakes a plenty. He also has a young family with one on the way and all living in a small, state funded house in his jurisdiction. Money is tight and Joe is working hard to provide for his family while also establishing himself and to begin his career. From here Box tells a very entertaining re-imagining of Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 An Enemy of the People, where the idealistic goals of society are matched against the more immediate needs of putting food on the table. There's also nefarious greed and the ambivalence towards natural resources involved. More than just an exciting whodunit, Box explores themes of conservationism and the complexities of government service and the balancing needs of ecological and economic stability. Good fun in Wyoming and I’ll be back.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kemper

    “Looking for a new exciting career? Love the outdoors and working with animals? The state of Wyoming is accepting applications for positions as game wardens. If you’ve spent years obtaining a college degree in fields related to conservation or ecology, you could qualify to be one of our low-paid government agents with a huge territory to cover along with more work than you can possibly do. As a bonus, you’ll get to issue tickets to heavily armed drunken rednecks with no back-up in the middle of “Looking for a new exciting career? Love the outdoors and working with animals? The state of Wyoming is accepting applications for positions as game wardens. If you’ve spent years obtaining a college degree in fields related to conservation or ecology, you could qualify to be one of our low-paid government agents with a huge territory to cover along with more work than you can possibly do. As a bonus, you’ll get to issue tickets to heavily armed drunken rednecks with no back-up in the middle of nowhere when you catch them committing hunting violations. Act now!” Joe Pickett loves his job as a game warden, but it’s a tough gig trying to support his family on a small salary and constantly suffering by comparison to the legendary warden he replaced when the older man retired. After a terrifying incident when trying to ticket a poacher, Joe is humiliated and suffers from a loss of respect in the community. When that same poacher shows up dead on the woodpile in Joe’s backyard, the game warden has to help track down a killer and find out what’s been going on in the wide empty spaces of Wyoming. I liked the setting and the idea of a game warden as the main character of a mystery. I also liked how Joe’s work was shown as important but thankless, and how he was starting to worry that his love of the job was going to hurt his family. There’s a pretty good story behind the killing of the poacher, and some interesting supporting characters. I also liked that Joe was portrayed as a basically decent guy, but not the smartest tool in the shed and prone to screwing up. However, I pretty much had the entire plot figured out about a quarter of the way into this. It’s obvious who the villains are and what their goal is early on. Joe spends a lot of time figuring out what’s going to be obvious to most readers, and it’s frustrating watching your hero get manipulated when you’ve already figured it all out. Liked it, didn’t love it. I’d give the series another try if the story sounded interesting or it had great reviews, but I won't be rushing to pick another one up.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    When a man dies in his front yard carrying a cooler, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett finds himself thrust into a mystery, a mystery that might cost him everything he holds dear... Over the past ten years, I've read hundreds of mysteries and thrillers. There's a stripped down charm to some of them and many of them boil down to the oldest of tales: people being shitheads to each other. When this one popped up on the cheap, I decided to give it a shot. "Wyoming game warden" isn't something that come When a man dies in his front yard carrying a cooler, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett finds himself thrust into a mystery, a mystery that might cost him everything he holds dear... Over the past ten years, I've read hundreds of mysteries and thrillers. There's a stripped down charm to some of them and many of them boil down to the oldest of tales: people being shitheads to each other. When this one popped up on the cheap, I decided to give it a shot. "Wyoming game warden" isn't something that comes to mind when I think of a sleuth. Open Season starts out by establishing that Joe Pickett is a good man but not precisely on the ball. A guy gets his gun from him and he never lives it down. Joe's a family man, with two daughters and a bun in the oven. His wife is clearly the brains of the operation. When the very man that snatched his gun away from him winds up dead on their wood pile, Joe finds himself neck deep in something sinister. The rural Wyoming setting was the star of the show for me. Being a hundred miles from nowhere is scary on its own, not to mention throwing in the wildlife and the fact that everyone is packing heat. Box did a great job capturing what life in a dying small town is like. I liked that Joe was a by the book game warden rather than some kind of smart mouth maverick like so many other sleuths. The setup for the mystery was good but I felt like everything after that was telegraphed. When there are only three prominent characters besides the sleuth and his family, it's pretty obvious that one or more of them is involved in the shady business. I felt like I spent a lot of time waiting for Joe Pickett to catch up. As much as I've complained, I did enjoy the book and the ending was cathartic enough to be worth it. Box resisted the temptation to make Pickett rush in with guns blazing like an action hero and kept things true to character. While it wasn't the best mystery I read this year, Open Season was an engaging enough read and I'm open to reading the further adventures of Joe Pickett. Three out of five stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    It’s actually been two weeks or so since I’ve finished this – so this review may be a bit sparse on details. Not that a lot of exposition is required to review Open Season. Simply put: I enjoyed it. While the structure of the story isn’t particularly novel as far as mystery stories or police procedurals are concerned, the environmental aspect certainly is. See, Joe Pickett isn’t a cop or a P.I., he’s a game ranger. However, he apparently isn’t exempt from dealing with murderers and/or crooks on t It’s actually been two weeks or so since I’ve finished this – so this review may be a bit sparse on details. Not that a lot of exposition is required to review Open Season. Simply put: I enjoyed it. While the structure of the story isn’t particularly novel as far as mystery stories or police procedurals are concerned, the environmental aspect certainly is. See, Joe Pickett isn’t a cop or a P.I., he’s a game ranger. However, he apparently isn’t exempt from dealing with murderers and/or crooks on the odd occasion. This is the first novel in a series, so the character isn’t completely established yet and there are one or two (very) minor pacing issues. However, once things get going they really get going. There are the requisite few twists and surprises, but what really clinched it for me was the white knuckle sequence toward the close of the story and the totally bad-ass ending. Damn, but things get a bit tense there. Recommended to suspense-heads.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This is the first C.J. Box book I have read and I am not disappointed at all! I found it so interesting and actually read it in one sitting. I have been wanting to read the Joe Picket series for awhile now and am so glad I finally did. This game warden is one intriguing character. I will continue the series after finishing the Alex Cross series. My quick and simple overall: an awesome start to a series. 👍👍

  7. 4 out of 5

    Li'l Owl

    This debut novel by cj box is absolutely sensational!! The beginning pulled me in immediately, making it nearly irresistible to stop once I started. The set of characters are so different than ones that make up detective procedural novels or even private investigator crime solving thrillers. It's unusual in so many ways but it's still completely absorbing. The individual personalities are well defined and are full of depth. I immediately fell for Joe and his family. Joe is such an endearing and This debut novel by cj box is absolutely sensational!! The beginning pulled me in immediately, making it nearly irresistible to stop once I started. The set of characters are so different than ones that make up detective procedural novels or even private investigator crime solving thrillers. It's unusual in so many ways but it's still completely absorbing. The individual personalities are well defined and are full of depth. I immediately fell for Joe and his family. Joe is such an endearing and original character who makes mistakes and is complete with a few flaws. He's generally upbeat and is quite comical at times. His family is heart warming and genuine. I fell in love with his loving wife, who pregnant and expecting their third child, and his little girls, ages seven and three. Sheridan is a bright and imaginative, Lucy is inquisitive and impressionable, both are adorable and precious. It took no imagination to put myself smack dab in the middle of Joe's little cabin. I could smell the sage brush, see the brilliant colors of golden aspen trees, imagine the crunch of the leaves under my feet, and feel the bitter cold high in the mountains. There's a strong sense of being in the wide open spaces of the prairies, the wildlife prolific and breathtaking. Cj box is a master of descriptive words that paint the images just as bold as on any canvas. Then, there is the story. The description of what the book is about is dead on. It's packed full of energy and suspense. The pace is nearly frantic and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. There are lot's of twists that made it impossible to even grasp a hint of the who and the why, coming to a heart stopping ending. It left me longing to read the next in the series. And I will be doing just that in the near future. I don't usually write a novel when reviewing one but I just want to give you a taste of how much I loved this book! I highly recommend it! Here's a bit of *Chapter One* Seven-year-old Sheridan Pickett related her dream aloud to the stuffed bear that served as her confidant. Lucy, three and horrified, listened in. "The monster, Sheridan said, had come down from the mountains through the dark, steep canyon behind the house very late last night.... the monster had rattled the back gate before figuring out the latch and had then lurched clumsily (sort of like mummies in the old movies) across the yard to the back door. Its eyes and teeth glinted yellow, and for a second, Sheridan felt an electric bolt jolt through her as the monsters head swiviled around and seemed to look directly at her before it fled. The monster was hairy and shiny as if covered with liquid. Twigs and leaves were stuck to it. There was something white, a large sack or box, swinging from the monsters hand. "Sheridan, stop talking about monsters", Joe called out. The dream disturbed him because the details were so precise. "You're going to scare your little sister". " I'm already scared", Lucy declared pulling her blanket to her mouth. "Then the man walked slowly away across the yard through the gate toward the woodpile where he fell down into a big shadow. And he's still out there, Sheridan finished, widening her eyes toward her sister to deliver the complete effect. "Hold it, Sheridan, Joe said abruptly, entering the room with a spatula in his hand. " You said 'man'. You didn't say 'monster'. You said 'man. '" Sheridan looked up quizzically, her big eyes wide. "Maybe it was a man. Maybe it wasn't a dream after all."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Published in 2001, Open Seasonis the solid debut of the long running C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett Series The Hook Over and over again I have heard praise for C.J. Box and his Joe Pickett series. I couldn’t ignore all the rave reviews for #16 Off the Grid. I decided it was now or forever hold the page. Besides, Box thinks Michael Connelly is great and as you all know I’m a Connelly fan. The Line ”Joe rarely found a reason to draw his weapon, and even if he did, he doubted he could hit anything with it.” Published in 2001, Open Seasonis the solid debut of the long running C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett Series The Hook Over and over again I have heard praise for C.J. Box and his Joe Pickett series. I couldn’t ignore all the rave reviews for #16 Off the Grid. I decided it was now or forever hold the page. Besides, Box thinks Michael Connelly is great and as you all know I’m a Connelly fan. The Line ”Joe rarely found a reason to draw his weapon, and even if he did, he doubted he could hit anything with it.” The Sinker – As you might expect this kickoff introduces the man, giving us a glimpse of Joe, his family, wife Marybeth, daughters Sheridan and Lucy and the beautiful locale of Twelve Sleep, high country, Wyoming. Joe Pickett exhibits a vulnerability in his inaugural appearance. Consider that he arrests the governor for fishing without a license and later allows a bad guy to take his gun and turn it on him. Hard to live things like this down but Joe perseveres and you got to love him for it. Pickett is a Wyoming Game Warden, not a superhero, just a man with a family doing his job. Even his name is plain and easy. There are seven parts to Open Season each beginning with either a quote from The Endangered Species Act or consideration of said. These are important not only to Pickett’s job but to the plot. What I found extremely interesting in the story-line was the political ramifications of sighting what was thought an endangered species, what a come-back would mean to the economy and livelihood of this rural region. Never thought of this as explained. C.J. Box says that Open Season was written as a one-off but it’s clear he set it up to continue, perhaps with fingers crossed. He states that each of the sixteen titles in the series can be read as stand-alones. He also feels that "Winterkill, Free Fire, Breaking Point and Off the Grid" could be good entry points into the series”. This may be and many may come to his books this way. Myself, I prefer to read the first book in any series. It is not always the best but begins my journey with the character. First impressions may not always be correct but I’m willing to hangout with Joe again.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cathrine ☯️

    3.5★ The wilds of Wyoming, controversy between ranchers and conservationists, plus our main guy, game warden Joe Pickett made for an entertaining mystery/thriller and introduced me to book 1 in a series that I will continue reading. Rumor has it that Robert Redford would like to produce a TV series based on the books. Since I can’t get enough of Longmire, bring it on. I loved the unlikely heroine of Sheridan, one of Joe’s two daughters. I would classify this as man-lit which women can appreciate. 3.5★ The wilds of Wyoming, controversy between ranchers and conservationists, plus our main guy, game warden Joe Pickett made for an entertaining mystery/thriller and introduced me to book 1 in a series that I will continue reading. Rumor has it that Robert Redford would like to produce a TV series based on the books. Since I can’t get enough of Longmire, bring it on. I loved the unlikely heroine of Sheridan, one of Joe’s two daughters. I would classify this as man-lit which women can appreciate. A great advantage being a woman is we can read chick-lit and man-lit and enjoy them equally. :D Perfect for relaxed reading in between heavier, longer adventures in literature.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This is a mystery / thriller but it also (IMHO) a story with a message about the Endangered Species Act. Joe Pickett is the game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming and relatively new on the job. He is a family man and dedicated to his job. He has two daughters, Sheridan and Lucy, and his wife Marybeth is expecting their third child. He is honest and doesn't take bribes or look the other way and because of that he is not always popular. He isn't a sharpshooter and he makes mistakes. Sometimes embarr This is a mystery / thriller but it also (IMHO) a story with a message about the Endangered Species Act. Joe Pickett is the game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming and relatively new on the job. He is a family man and dedicated to his job. He has two daughters, Sheridan and Lucy, and his wife Marybeth is expecting their third child. He is honest and doesn't take bribes or look the other way and because of that he is not always popular. He isn't a sharpshooter and he makes mistakes. Sometimes embarrassing ones. He is cautious and careful ... so much so that sometimes others think he is a little "slow". When a local outfitter with whom he had a previous run-in is found on the woodpile behind his house and shortly after that two other outfitters are also found dead he continues to investigate even though the local police declare the crimes "solved". For Joe it is personal. There had to be a reason the first outfitter made his way to Joe's house and died in his backyard splayed on his woodpile. InterWest is a multi-national natural gas company with big plans to build an oil pipeline across Wyoming that could bring jobs and money to Twelve Sleep. But these plans could be derailed by a cute endangered species brought to the woodpile in Joe's backyard. As Joe investigates the "outfitter murders" he finds that he comes closer to losing everything he holds dear. This was an enjoyable quick read. I will probably read other books in the series. A refreshing change from the typical urban settings.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Dear Sheriff Longmire, please don't be mad at me for cheating on you with another Wyoming lawman. He meant nothing to me, I swear! I was set up on a blind date with Joe Pickett, Saddleback Game Warden and family man. We had a good time. I mean, Joe is lawful good, to an extreme. He's a good husband, father, and morally in the right. Plus Wyoming is always a good time for an outdoors-lovin' girl like me. The mystery was solid and I will continue the series, but I think Joe and I will remain "just Dear Sheriff Longmire, please don't be mad at me for cheating on you with another Wyoming lawman. He meant nothing to me, I swear! I was set up on a blind date with Joe Pickett, Saddleback Game Warden and family man. We had a good time. I mean, Joe is lawful good, to an extreme. He's a good husband, father, and morally in the right. Plus Wyoming is always a good time for an outdoors-lovin' girl like me. The mystery was solid and I will continue the series, but I think Joe and I will remain "just friends". My heart belongs to the more impulsive, mature, and headstrong Walt Longmire. He's the Wyoming lawman for me. I just didn't get into Joe like I do Walt. Joe is a bit of a sad sack. I need my book boyfriends to be strong and confident. If you have ever read the Hamish Macbeth series, Joe reminded my of him. Likable, but not someone to fall in love with. Anyway, I will continue hanging out with Joe when I have some downtime, because why not?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I've been meaning to read Open Season for a long time! Joe Pickett, our main character, is the new game warden In Wyoming. Joe is the kind of guy I like to read about. He's down to earth, down on his luck and rather bumbling on the job. "When Joe screwed up, he did it massively and publicly." He's a family man and wears his heart on his sleeve. Bodies start piling up on the wood pile in Joe's backyard. He starts looking closely at the murders and possibly an endangered species living in that wood I've been meaning to read Open Season for a long time! Joe Pickett, our main character, is the new game warden In Wyoming. Joe is the kind of guy I like to read about. He's down to earth, down on his luck and rather bumbling on the job. "When Joe screwed up, he did it massively and publicly." He's a family man and wears his heart on his sleeve. Bodies start piling up on the wood pile in Joe's backyard. He starts looking closely at the murders and possibly an endangered species living in that wood pile. If there is an endangered species in the area, the natural gas company can't put a pipeline through. There are higher stakes at play as his sights on the killer and the real motive emerge. I've found a new series and character to wrap my arms around!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Henry

    This is my first of C.J. Box' Joe Pickett novel. Terrific and extremely well written. I am looking forward to reading the next in this series. This is my first of C.J. Box' Joe Pickett novel. Terrific and extremely well written. I am looking forward to reading the next in this series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cydni

    I really enjoyed this book. I’m ready to read the next one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erth

    After reading Craig Johnson and Tony Hillerman, I’m happy to have discovered another strong western series. Open Season introduces readers to Joe Pickett, Wyoming game warden, husband, and father. When little Sheridan Pickett discovers a monster in her family’s back yard, her father and her family become embroiled in a mystery that is almost more than they can handle. Almost. C. J. Box’s prose is easy and comfortable as a well-worn saddle, and as gripping an experience as any mystery lover could After reading Craig Johnson and Tony Hillerman, I’m happy to have discovered another strong western series. Open Season introduces readers to Joe Pickett, Wyoming game warden, husband, and father. When little Sheridan Pickett discovers a monster in her family’s back yard, her father and her family become embroiled in a mystery that is almost more than they can handle. Almost. C. J. Box’s prose is easy and comfortable as a well-worn saddle, and as gripping an experience as any mystery lover could desire. Halfway through, Open Season becomes unputdownable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    ★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I haven't heard the narrator, David Chandler, read before. At first, neither he nor the book grabbed me. I mean, I was interested, but not captivated. That changed as the book progressed! Looking forward to listening to him narrate the rest of this series, as he certainly became Joe Pickett to me. Excellent start to the series. Nice slow build, that comes to a believable and satisfying conclusion. Sure, at times, I knew where the story was going, but the ★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I haven't heard the narrator, David Chandler, read before. At first, neither he nor the book grabbed me. I mean, I was interested, but not captivated. That changed as the book progressed! Looking forward to listening to him narrate the rest of this series, as he certainly became Joe Pickett to me. Excellent start to the series. Nice slow build, that comes to a believable and satisfying conclusion. Sure, at times, I knew where the story was going, but there were certainly some surprises. And my heart was in my throat more than once. I was on the edge of my seat by the end. I've already downloaded the next in the series. Thanks for the rec, Becky ♡The Bookworm♡!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charles van Buren

    I will admit that I always wanted to be a game warden which undoubtedly prejudices me in favor of this novel. In Joe Pickett's Wyoming, political patronage to get the job is not mentioned. But keeping the job? That is quite political. With corruption, politics and big business all playing a part. The characters are realistically drawn. In my law enforcement career, I worked with real life counterparts to several of them. The pretty boy officer whose own family couldn't trust him; the old, corrup I will admit that I always wanted to be a game warden which undoubtedly prejudices me in favor of this novel. In Joe Pickett's Wyoming, political patronage to get the job is not mentioned. But keeping the job? That is quite political. With corruption, politics and big business all playing a part. The characters are realistically drawn. In my law enforcement career, I worked with real life counterparts to several of them. The pretty boy officer whose own family couldn't trust him; the old, corrupt departmental legend; ditto the long term sheriff; the incompetent and corrupt bureaucrats; the politicians. What is missing are the ordinary people and the extraordinary people with whom and for whom I worked over the years. Pickett's department is one of the dismal ones with nearly all bad guys surrounding him. Pickett faces it all with integrity and courage. Not an easy thing to do with no financial resources except a paycheck; a work at home wife; young children and a baby on the way. As bleak as things seem for Officer Pickett, it all works out in the end for him, the endangered animals and maybe even for most of the local inhabitants of the town and surrounding area. Not as well written as I expected from the reviews, this novel is still a worthwhile read for outdoor enthusiasts.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    Well, this didn't end up being what I was hoping for. Joe Pickett is a Game Warden in Twelve Sleep River County (Wyoming) where he lives in State housing with his pregnant wife and their two daughters, ages 7 and 3. This was a quick and simple read...and by simple I mean obvious in pretty much every aspect. Joe is such an OBVIOUS boy scout...whose only flaw seems to be a couple of personal habits that cause his wife to fear that other people will think him mentally slow. I don't think he's necess Well, this didn't end up being what I was hoping for. Joe Pickett is a Game Warden in Twelve Sleep River County (Wyoming) where he lives in State housing with his pregnant wife and their two daughters, ages 7 and 3. This was a quick and simple read...and by simple I mean obvious in pretty much every aspect. Joe is such an OBVIOUS boy scout...whose only flaw seems to be a couple of personal habits that cause his wife to fear that other people will think him mentally slow. I don't think he's necessarily incompetent but he does come across as a bit of a doofus. And his boy scout upstandingness is only highlighted by the fact that most of the other male characters are all such OBVIOUS disgusting douchebags it's hard to imagine anyone not feeling the need for a shower after spending five minutes in their presence. The mystery aspect is also OBVIOUS with the who-done-it and the why-they-done-it being pretty clear from the get go...and I say that as someone who never tries to figure out the mystery ahead of the protagonist. There's nothing interesting on the home front either since Joe's family life is pretty bland. All in all this was an innocuous read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Howard

    4 Stars for Open Season (audiobook) by C.J. Box read by David Chandler. This is a great start to an interesting series. I’ve read a later book in this series and I really liked it. So I wanted to see how the story started. I enjoyed this one and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. The narration is great too.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robert French

    The first book of C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series, Open Season is the second I have read. I first read Off The Grid, his latest. I was not that exited about that book, but decided to give the series another try. Frankly, there is something, very difficult to define, that I do not like about these books. Somehow they do not ring true. Maybe it was because I grew up in Idaho, not far from Wyoming. My dad had been a Deputy Sheriff at one time (in Colorad0). I grew up with guns as my dad was also a co The first book of C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series, Open Season is the second I have read. I first read Off The Grid, his latest. I was not that exited about that book, but decided to give the series another try. Frankly, there is something, very difficult to define, that I do not like about these books. Somehow they do not ring true. Maybe it was because I grew up in Idaho, not far from Wyoming. My dad had been a Deputy Sheriff at one time (in Colorad0). I grew up with guns as my dad was also a competitive sharpshooter and owned a rifle range for a short time. Hunting was part of my family culture. I was taught to respect and strictly adhere to all fishing and game laws and also how to safely handle guns (Joe Pickett should know better). In Idaho, my dad also was friends with all the local Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs. I would not have dared to cross any line. Maybe my distress with these books is all the odd ball and strange characters in C.J. Box's books that contravene and violate the law. I am not so naive that I think all hunters and fishermen follow the game regulations, but everyone I know in the fishing and hunting world know the rules and follow them. Incidentally I still have my Dad's hunting and fishing license from 1920 that was preserved in the gun stock of his shot gun. I believe it cost a $1.00 for all game and all fishing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Scott Olson

    I was recently introduced to the writing of C.J. Box after hearing an interview with him on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. Since then I have read Endangered, Blue Heaven, and now Open Season, the first novel in the ongoing Joe Pickett series. These are crime novels, set in states such as Wyoming and Montana. They revolve around ordinary people becoming involved in extraordinary situations. In the Joe Pickett series, Joe is a game warden, married, with three daughters, a unique and creative choice fo I was recently introduced to the writing of C.J. Box after hearing an interview with him on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. Since then I have read Endangered, Blue Heaven, and now Open Season, the first novel in the ongoing Joe Pickett series. These are crime novels, set in states such as Wyoming and Montana. They revolve around ordinary people becoming involved in extraordinary situations. In the Joe Pickett series, Joe is a game warden, married, with three daughters, a unique and creative choice for a protagonist. C. J. Box is a first-rate writer. His characters come alive with superb detail and description, and the background settings of the flora and fauna of the states can be hauntingly beautiful. The plots confront head-on both the inspiring and the dark side of human nature. All of the novels have been an enjoyable and compelling read. I look forward to reading more!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    This was typical of the genre. The body of a murdered man on the wood pile behind the home of a young game warden leads him to an investigation in which he will bring down corrupt politicians and big oil money. Despite being out numbered and facing threats to his livelihood and the safety of his family, he never falters. There is the usual amount of implausible scenarios, including the incredible shoot out. There is enough attention to developing the characters that the story was more interestin This was typical of the genre. The body of a murdered man on the wood pile behind the home of a young game warden leads him to an investigation in which he will bring down corrupt politicians and big oil money. Despite being out numbered and facing threats to his livelihood and the safety of his family, he never falters. There is the usual amount of implausible scenarios, including the incredible shoot out. There is enough attention to developing the characters that the story was more interesting than formulaic.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

    WOW!! What an exciting story. Joe Pickett a new game warden in 12 Sleep Wyo., had a mishap. The poacher took his gun away from him as Joe was going to arrest him for poaching three animals out of season. That incident traveled the county like a wild fire. The rest of the story is just as exciting with Pickett trying to save an endangered specie and keeps his family safe. He unravels the mystery and sends the two guilty parties to jail. I'm anxious to read the next book in the series. WOW!! What an exciting story. Joe Pickett a new game warden in 12 Sleep Wyo., had a mishap. The poacher took his gun away from him as Joe was going to arrest him for poaching three animals out of season. That incident traveled the county like a wild fire. The rest of the story is just as exciting with Pickett trying to save an endangered specie and keeps his family safe. He unravels the mystery and sends the two guilty parties to jail. I'm anxious to read the next book in the series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    A quick but predictable mystery set in Wyoming. I may read more, but for now I like Craig Johnson's WY setting and Paul Doiron's ME game warden more. A quick but predictable mystery set in Wyoming. I may read more, but for now I like Craig Johnson's WY setting and Paul Doiron's ME game warden more.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ron Wroblewski

    Got off to a slow start but picked up interest as I read through it. This is my second Box book but the first of the Joe Pickett books. Am willing to read more and have created a shelf for them. It was fairly easy to figure things out before the author revealed them. No surprises like I find in some of my 5 star reads. But you want to find out the endings anyway. The book involved the Endangered Species Act and the conflict between those who want to protect wildlife and those who want to make mon Got off to a slow start but picked up interest as I read through it. This is my second Box book but the first of the Joe Pickett books. Am willing to read more and have created a shelf for them. It was fairly easy to figure things out before the author revealed them. No surprises like I find in some of my 5 star reads. But you want to find out the endings anyway. The book involved the Endangered Species Act and the conflict between those who want to protect wildlife and those who want to make money developing the protected wilderness. Enjoyed reading it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jason Parent

    I was only going to give this three stars, but shit got real toward the end.

  27. 4 out of 5

    MadProfessah

    A solid 4 stars. This is the first entry in the long-running Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box. It’s a police procedural mystery thriller set in Saddlestring, Wyoming where Pickett is a U.S. Game and Fish warden for Twelve Sleep County. This is definitely an unusual setting since the area is so sparsely populated that the number of characters in the story is pretty small. Joe is the main character and he lives in Saddlestring with his pregnant wife Marybeth and his two daughters Sheridan and Lucy. Ve A solid 4 stars. This is the first entry in the long-running Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box. It’s a police procedural mystery thriller set in Saddlestring, Wyoming where Pickett is a U.S. Game and Fish warden for Twelve Sleep County. This is definitely an unusual setting since the area is so sparsely populated that the number of characters in the story is pretty small. Joe is the main character and he lives in Saddlestring with his pregnant wife Marybeth and his two daughters Sheridan and Lucy. Vern Dunnegan is his mentor (and previously held the warden job Joe now has). His best friend seems to be Wacey Hedeman, the warden in the next county. The other prominent character in the book is Sheriff Bud Barnum. Since hunting and fishing is such a huge activity in Twelve Sleep County Joe is a very important person in the county, rivaling the Sheriff. There are very many non-local people who pass through his country taking advantage of the natural bounty to hunt, kill and trap the animals there. But sometimes some of these people get killed as well and that’s the start of our mystery. The body of a local guy (named Ote Keeley)is found with a seeping gunshot wound to the stomach in Joe’s garage. The source of the suspense is that Joe’s family (especially his 7-year old daughter Sheridan) becomes involved in the investigation of what happened to Ote and eventually more dead bodies are found which leads Joe to discover a pretty big conspiracy. Joe is an interesting character who (like most characters that these series are built around) is flawed in many ways but in this case also has a very strong law-abiding core. He goes pretty wild when his family is threatened (for good reason). I believe I will read more books in the series because I’m curious to see what will happen to Joe (and his family, especially Sheridan) in the following books and to find out how Box has been able to come up with over a dozen compelling stories set in the sparsely populated Wyoming countryside featuring Joe Pickett.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christine Zibas

    When Open Season took nearly every "first novel" mystery prize, it wasn't a surprise. This reissue of the Joe Pickett classic has all the tell-tale signs of greatness that would keep its author, CJ Box, crafting many more novels to come. A Wyoming native, Box infuses his books with a love of the land and the modern issues that concern the people who live there. In this first novel, readers are introduced to straight-shooter Game Warden Joe Pickett and his family. Trying to eke out a living, Joe d When Open Season took nearly every "first novel" mystery prize, it wasn't a surprise. This reissue of the Joe Pickett classic has all the tell-tale signs of greatness that would keep its author, CJ Box, crafting many more novels to come. A Wyoming native, Box infuses his books with a love of the land and the modern issues that concern the people who live there. In this first novel, readers are introduced to straight-shooter Game Warden Joe Pickett and his family. Trying to eke out a living, Joe doesn't take short cuts and won't look the other way when it comes to upholding his duty. This puts him squarely at odds with some very powerful locals, who are trying to use the land to enrich themselves at the expense of nature itself. It's energy money versus endangered species in this epic novel, and readers aren't sure until the very end that good will win out over the evil. Well, this is a Western in the classic sense. Despite all the cliches -- gun-toting ranchers, inept government officials, and men who consider themselves men because they make their living off the land, etc. -- this is a thoroughly enjoyable story. Box infuses his story with the beauty and value of nature and makes readers care about his hero, Joe Pickett. There's nothing overthought or precious about this type of writing, but Box manages to show that sometimes, simple, honest truth is the best of all. Thanks to Good Reads and GP Putnam's Sons for allowing me to read this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    I read a couple transcripts of interviews with C. J. Box where he stated this book was about the Endangered Species Act and not meant to become a series. His publisher requested two more Joe Pickett books and thus it began. The book takes off very slowly and I was concerned it was going to be too political. I kept an open mind and got to know the characters. Joe Pickett is an atypical protagonist. He is a family man, dedicated game warden, and tries to do the right thing according to his moral co I read a couple transcripts of interviews with C. J. Box where he stated this book was about the Endangered Species Act and not meant to become a series. His publisher requested two more Joe Pickett books and thus it began. The book takes off very slowly and I was concerned it was going to be too political. I kept an open mind and got to know the characters. Joe Pickett is an atypical protagonist. He is a family man, dedicated game warden, and tries to do the right thing according to his moral compass. He makes mistakes, can't shoot well, and seems a bit "slow" sometimes. I grew to like him very much when the story kicked into another gear about halfway through. His wife Marybeth and daughters Sheridan and Lucy are his foundation, and I really loved Sheridan. His mother-in-law is superficial and shallow. The Wyoming setting is described well and is picturesque; it's another character in the book. As an outdoors person, I appreciate the wildness and the wildlife. I read that Box includes some issue, such as fracking or falconry, in each of his books. I didn't find this book to be preachey and look forward to reading more in the series. I also read the family grows and ages with each book. I'd like to see how his daughters grow up, and how Joe and Marybeth's marriage evolves.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Slappy

    I was undecided whether this was a 1 star or 2 star book. I decided 2 because it wasnt fair to penalize the rating based on the fact that I was expecting something a little different. I can't downgrade a comic book because it has pictures, I can't downgrade a Adam Sandler movie because it's childish. It is what it is. I started this book thinking it might be an intelligent thriller/mystery series. I was expecting something like James Lee Burke, Lawrence Block, Elizabeth George..... I had my pen I was undecided whether this was a 1 star or 2 star book. I decided 2 because it wasnt fair to penalize the rating based on the fact that I was expecting something a little different. I can't downgrade a comic book because it has pictures, I can't downgrade a Adam Sandler movie because it's childish. It is what it is. I started this book thinking it might be an intelligent thriller/mystery series. I was expecting something like James Lee Burke, Lawrence Block, Elizabeth George..... I had my pen and paper ready to write down the characters as they appeared, along with a sentence reminding me who they are etc. As it turns out, this book is written at a very simple level. You can skim the book and listen to music at the same time. A lame plot with characters that I just don't care about. Joe Pickett catches the bad guys and kills bad guys? Ya fine....Joe Pickett gets killed and the bad guys win? Ya sure, . . who cares? I had no interest whatsoever in any single character...they had no personality, no interesting backstory. The plot was so transparent that you could see it coming like a train from about 25% in. I only finished because I didn't know how to record DNF on Goodreads. This series appears to be basically the Harlequin romance of mysteries.

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