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Long Range
by CJ Box
Book Jacket
Kirkus Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Once again, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett gets mixed up in a killing whose principal suspect is his old friend Nate Romanowski, whose attempts to live off the grid keep breaking down in a series of felony charges.If Judge Hewitt hadn't bent over to pick up a spoon that had fallen from his dinner table, the sniper set up nearly a mile from his house in the gated community of the Eagle Mountain Club would have ended his life. As it was, the victim was Sue Hewitt, leaving the judge alive and free to rail and threaten anyone he suspected of the shooting. Incoming Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Brendan Kapelow's interest in using the case to promote his political ambitions and the judge's inability to see further than his nose make them the perfect targets for a frame-up of Nate, who just wants to be left alone in the middle of nowhere to train his falcons and help his bride, Liv Brannon, raise their baby, Kestrel. Nor are the sniper, the sheriff, and the judge Nate's only enemies. Orlando Panfile has been sent to Wyoming by the Sinaloan drug cartel to avenge the deaths of the four assassins whose careers Nate and Joe ended last time out (Wolf Pack, 2019). So it's up to Joe, with some timely data from his librarian wife, Marybeth, to hire a lawyer for Nate, make sure he doesn't bust out of jail before his trial, identify the real sniper, who continues to take an active role in the proceedings, and somehow protect him from a killer who regards Nate's arrest as an unwelcome complication. That's quite a tall order for someone who can't shoot straight, who keeps wrecking his state-issued vehicles, and whose appalling mother-in-law, Missy Vankeuren Hand, has returned from her latest European jaunt to suck up all the oxygen in Twelve Sleep County to hustle some illegal drugs for her cancer-stricken sixth husband. But fans of this outstanding series will know better than to place their money against Joe.One protest from an outraged innocent says it all: "This is America. This is Wyoming." Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525538233 In Edgar winner Box’s terrific 20th novel featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett (after 2019’s Wolf Pack), a retired FBI agent warns Joe’s longtime falconer friend, Nate Romanowski, that the Mexican drug cartel whose four assassins Nate helped take down in Wolf Pack have marked Nate as a target for revenge. The cartel has dispatched Orlando Panfile, an expert marksman, to do the job. Meanwhile, someone takes a long-range shot at ill-tempered Judge Hewitt in his home that hits Hewitt’s wife, leaving her in critical condition. Could it be Panfile? Joe is asked to join the investigation by the new county sheriff, Brendan Kapelow, who eventually becomes convinced that Nate is responsible for the shooting. Kapelow arrests Nate for attempted murder when a long-range rifle is discovered hidden in one of his falcon pens. Of course, Joe isn’t buying it, and conducts his own unauthorized investigation to help clear Nate. But why does Panfile mount an effort to have Nate freed? Clever plotting keeps this conspiracy yarn moving briskly, and the scenes depicting Nate’s abuse while in prison are harrowing. This is another top-flight crime yarn illustrating why Box’s readers are never happier than when Joe and Nate have reason to “get western.” Author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary. (Mar.)