Endangered by C.J. Box is the latest in the crime novel series that features Wyoming state game warden Joe Pickett. The novel is set against the rugged, sprawling western landscape that Pickett patrols, mostly alone.
The novel opens with Joe investigating the site of an illegal massacre of a flock of sage grouse, an endangered species. Before Joe can pursue the case further, he gets an unexpected call telling him that his step-daughter, April, has been found in a roadside ditch, brutally beaten and unconscious. It's uncertain whether she will survive.
Another crisis soon occurs when Joe's friend, Nate Romanowski, an undercover Federal informant, is set up and gunned down in a cold blooded ambush. After emergency surgery, Nate's life hangs in the balance.
As Pickett investigates both cases, he begins to wonder if the attacks on April and Nate are connected somehow. His digging points him toward the Cates family, a roughneck, violent clan that Joe Pickett may end up having to go against.
Endangered is a fast paced read, with several plot lines moving at the same time. Tough-skinned characters and the unforgiving western country add a strong regional flavor to the story.
Beach Rating: 4 Palm Trees