Recurring character and park ranger Joe Pickett returns in CJ Box's latest novel, but this time the plot also takes a detour to track the enigmatic Nate Romanowski, an ex-special forces man and Pickett's long-time friend.
Box makes good use of his native Wyoming surroundings, repeatedly incorporating the rugged landscape into the action that unfolds after Nate is targeted by an old enemy. Forced to go on the run, he leaves Pickett with little more than a set of cryptic messages to help dig his way out of trouble.
Meanwhile, Pickett also has his own problems to contend with: the local sheriff's department is keen to talk question him about aiding a fugitive and, in addition, he has a trainee to look out for. And then there is the small matter of any careless move potentially resulting in fatal consequences.
Box's writing style has been praised for its precision and he doesn't disappoint in that regard. Coupled with clever pacing and steadily mounting pressure as each chapter ticks by, this is another riveting addition to the author's acclaimed series of thrillers.