storm watch by c.j. box

Reviewer rating

Format reviewed: Audio
Ready by David Chandler
9 hours

Storm Watch by C.J. Box

Storm Watch by C. J. Box is the 23rd Joe Pickett book in the series. It is early Spring, but there is still time for some end of season storms. Joe is on the trail of a wounded elk. He is up in the mountains and there is a doozy of storm brewing. Wouldn’t it be nice to get home before it hits! However, things go sideways when Joe stumbles upon an isolated building filled with computers, but that is not all he stumbled on. He finds the dead body of a University of Wyoming professor, and Joe gets shot at. Meanwhile Nate Romanowski is planning to team up with his new friend and fellow falconer Geronimo Jones. Geronimo has a plan for raising money to expand Nate’s bird abatement business. Nate, who is no friend to government authority, is approached by a fringe militia group who is tired of Government bureaucrats ruining their way of life. They want Nate to join them to help kick-start the revolution. But wait, there’s more. The governor, Colter Allen, who is not a fan of Joe’s, is planning to run for a second terms and he absolutely wants Joe gone and out of the way when he makes his announcement. Joe is given orders to not investigate the professor’s death.

Somehow all of these unusual and seemingly unconnected threads are tied together in the story’s finale. Joe, with the help of Mary Beth and Nate, manage to outwit the bad guys and keep their community safe. It was nice in this story that Sheridan, who is now a young adult working for Nate, also gets a role. Did I mention Chinese spies, rogue FBI agents, crypto-mining, the purchase of rural lands by the rich elite, and the deep state? I’m a big fan of C.J. Box and the Joe Pickett stories, but it seems like they are taking on a life of their own, and in Storm Watch Joe’s corner of America has become a storm vortex pulling in all of the craziness the country has to offer. Does it work? Yep, especially for long time fans, but it does feel a bit campy. Also, given its reliance on the regular cast of characters, Storm Watch is not a place for a new reader to jump into the series.

I listened to the audio version of the story and David Chandler’s voice and pacing is such a familiar part of the Joe Pickett stories that I consider him now as a member of the cast. I’m hopeful that the next installment in the series will go a bit deeper on a traditional story line and a little less hyper-modern.

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