Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: Breaking Point

Breaking Point
C. J. Box
Joe Pickett/Book 13
Putnam/March 12, 2013

It was always good to see Butch Roberson, Joe thought—a hardworking, upright local business owner whose daughter was friends with his own. Little did he know that when he talked to Butch that day in the forest, the man was about to disappear. He was heading into the mountains to scout elk, he said, but instead he was running. Two EPA employees had just been murdered, and all signs pointed to him as the killer. 

As the manhunt organized itself, Joe heard more of the story—about the tract of land Butch and his wife had bought to build their retirement home on, until the EPA declared it a wetland. About the penalties they charged him when he balked, new ones piling up every day, until the family was torn apart by debt . . . and finally, it seems, the man just cracked. 

It was an awful story. But was it the whole story? The more Joe looks into it, the more he begins to wonder—and the more he finds himself in the middle of a war he never expected and never wanted. Powerful forces want Roberson not just caught but dead—and the same goes for anyone who stands in their way. Every man reaches his breaking point. Joe Pickett may just have reached his.

I recently started this series and have simply devoured it!  The character of Joe Pickett is an ordinary man who finds himself in some extraordinary situations.  I've come to like not only Joe but his wife Marybeth and their daughters.  The secondary characters that populate the small Wyoming town of Saddlestring make for interesting reading.

Joe is back doing what he loves, in the great outdoors, taking care of not only the local wildlife but the hunters who make Joe's work interesting and sometimes dangerous.  Joe is far from perfect, having a tendency to mess up but he sure does try to do what is right even when it would be so much easier to look the other way.

One thing about this series, whether you have strong feelings either way about hunting, it gives different perspectives on the subject.  You may not change your person viewpoint but it does give you something to think about.  Breaking Point focuses on the government and individual rights.  How the government can bend and even break what a person would perceive as obvious rights is scary.  Box explores the repercussions when one man's rights are abused.  Breaking Point drove home the fact that this can happen to anyone.

If you enjoy mystery and suspense set among the beautiful outdoors, give the Joe Pickett series a try.  

Rating:  B+

Joe Pickett Series ~

Open Season
Savage Run
Trophy Hunt
Out of Range
In Plain Sight
Free Fire
Blood Trail
Below Zero
Nowhere to Run
Cold Wind
Force of Nature
Breaking Point


  1. Very interesting, Leslie! I've actually never heard of this series or the author, but I guess it's because it's mystery/thriller. I like that the characters seem to be regular people. I might give it a try soon :) thanks!

  2. Nath ~ You should try it when you're in the mood for mystery with a different setting. It's become a favorite series of mine.