Shots Fired by C.J. Box is a collection of Crime short stories set against the rugged landscape of Wyoming. Box is the author of a popular series of novels featuring Joe Pickett, a state game warden and sometimes special investigator for the state's governor.
For those who haven't read any of the novel series, Shots Fired is a nice introduction to the Joe Pickett character and the sprawling Wyoming country that he works in. Four of the stories in this collection star Pickett. Other stories feature a variety of characters caught up in volatile situations they didn't want to be in.
The author's style is lean and austere, in keeping with the scenic, but unforgiving conditions of the western landscape. The descriptive picture of the Wyoming countryside feels true. The crimes in these stories are unexpected, the consequences harsh and chilling. The events often take place in the middle of nowhere, with only the wild rivers and snowy mountains as bleak witnesses. The stories "One-Car Bridge," "Dull Knife," "Shots Fired," and "Every Day's a Good Day on the River" are particularly unsettling.
Shots Fired is an entertaining, highly readable collection for those who like crime stories seasoned with a tough, open-country flavor.
BEACH RATING: 4 Palm Trees