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Off the Grid:

by C.J. Box

Book list In the sixteenth Joe Pickett novel, the game warden's renegade friend Nate Romanowski is coerced by a shadow government into tracking down a fellow falconer, the son of a Saudi ambassador, who's suspected of terrorist activity. Muhammad Ibraaheem has gone off the grid, not in the shifting sands of the Middle East but rather in south-central Wyoming's Red Desert. When outgoing governor Rulon gets wind of the operation in his territory, he sends Joe in for one last case as his Range Rider. What is the Americanized Ibby really up to? Nate is impressed until events force him and the late-arriving Joe to protect Joe's daughter, Sheridan, and a bunch of other college students who've become involved, before making their own desperate last stand. Add a killer grizzly bear, and you have a terrorist thriller with a uniquely western flair. Aside from a few overlong stretches of exposition, and the fact that Sheridan's presence feels like a stretch, this is a breakneck story that Pickett fans will want to read in one sitting. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The print run for this one wasn't available, but there's a good reason the author's name is the biggest thing on the cover. Expect a strong promotional campaign and equally strong reader demand.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal In his 16th outing (after Endangered), Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett heads for the Red Desert, where longtime friend, falconer, and off-the-grid recluse Nate Romanowski has been blackmailed into assisting a deeply hidden faction of the U.S. government. It needs Nate to stop a plot by a domestic terrorist group to wipe out the huge metadata stores the National Security Agency (NSA) has compiled on unsuspecting Americans. In particular, Nate is tasked with making contact with one of the terrorists, who is also a fellow falconer and a member of Middle Eastern royalty. Joe goes along on the hunt, which turns urgent when he discovers that his daughter is about to become collateral damage. The tense action that results mirrors Nate's experiences in Afghanistan and brings to life his nightmares. Verdict While some of the villains here are mere stereotypes, Joe's character continues to develop. Readers of Ted Koppel's Lights Out will enjoy the fictionalization of the cyberattack threat on the electric grid, and devotees of other outdoor mysteries such as those by Nevada Barr, Craig Johnson, and William Kent Krueger will find much to like in Box's evocative depiction of the Western landscape. [See Prepub Alert, 11/1/15.]-Sharon Mensing, Emerald Mountain Sch., Steamboat Springs, CO Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Bestseller Box's 16th Joe Pickett adventure (after 2015's Endangered) opens with some of the sweetest words any true fan of the series could hope to see: "Nate Romanowski knew trouble was on the way when he saw the falcon's wings suddenly flare in the distance." The best Joe Pickett novels are those that prominently feature Nate, the original off-the-grid freeman, and Nate dominates at least half of this yarn, while Joe's equally fine alternating chapters lead to their inevitable crossing of paths late in the story. The action involves elements as disparate as a killer grizzly bear, noxious government agents with nearly limitless power, a Julian Assange-type activist with a messiah complex, Wyoming's irrepressible Governor Rulon, and one of the most brutal bands of terrorists you would never want to find on American soil. A master at managing multiple plot lines, Box brings them all together for a nerve-wracking climax that rivals The Wild Bunch for utter havoc. With this exceptional entry, Box solidifies his place at the upper level of the crime fiction pantheon. Author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (Mar.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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