Off the Grid – C.J. Box

Off the Grid – C; J  Box  – (Joe Pickett #16)

Soon after finishing The Hunting Wind by Steve Hamilton, I received notice that C J Box’s new novel Off the Grid was available for pick-up at the library. So I hurried over to the library and then I came home and quickly devoured the book! Yes, Off the Grid, book 16 in the Joe Pickett series is a good one! I finished Endangered book 15 in the series last April and it took me a little while to remember what happened in that one but Box as always kept revealing little bits of that storyline, which jogged my memory and brought that story back to me. But while it is definitely better if you know the back story and the relationship between Nate Romanowski and Joe and his family it is not essential to the enjoyment of this book.

In this installment two Federal Agents approach Nate, who has been living off the grid since escaping from the hospital at the end of Endangered (Book 15 Joe Pickett), and present a proposal to him. The agents want Nate’s help in destroying a suspected terrorist cell in Wyoming’s Red Desert. If the operation is a success the agents will make Nate’s criminal record disappear!! So Nate soon finds himself alone in the Red Desert facing the biggest challenge of his life a group of “patriots” led by a charismatic falconer who have created a weapon that could wreak havoc, if it falls in the wrong hands, and those wrong hands may be within the group!

Meanwhile, Joe has his hands full with a grizzly bear before Wyoming’s governor sends him on a special assignment to find out what they Feds and Nate are up to in his state! So now Joe and Nate are facing down the terror cell and to make matters worse Joe’s oldest daughter and her roommate end up on old sheep ranch that serves as the base for the group.

The Joe Pickett series has been a favorite of mine for a long time now and the great thing about the series is that the books are just getting better and better and Off the Grid is one of the best!  I think what sets the Joe Pickett books apart from other books in the genre is the Pickett Family, Over the course of the series, the reader has watched the two Pickett girls Sheridan and Lucy grow up. In addition their adopted daughter April has become a central character in the series. Even Joe’s mother-in-law Missy has been key in several books!! Here’s what Booklist says……

“Is there a crime-fiction family as fully fleshed out as Joe Pickett’s? In singing the praises of Box’s series, we often praise the plotting, pacing, and the down-to-earth hero’s friendship with force-of-nature Nate Romanowski But Pickett’s supporting cast – wife Marybeth and daughters Sheridan. Lucy and April – lends a continuity to this series that sets it apart.”

My answer to that first question is maybe.The O’Connor family from William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor series may be tied with them! But Joe’s family still makes this series special!

Bottom Line: Off the Grid for me is one of C.J.Box’s best books. it had a believable, scary plot with lots of page-turning action and I do believe that the final paragraph set the stage for the next book in the series and I for one can’t wait. So join Joe and his family for this adventure, and while you wait for the next installment, go back and catch-up with the past lives of Joe and Nate and the rest of the clan!

Book 15 for 2016