The Monday Book: THE DISAPPEARED by CJ Box

Paul Garrett, a regular contributor to THE MONDAY BOOK, reviews The Disappeared. It’s not his fault it’s appearing on a Tuesday.

My introduction to C. J. Box was his 2013 thriller The Highway, a book about a semi-driving serial killer. I picked up the book around ten-thirty one morning and the world stopped until 11:30 that night when my wife admonished me to put the book down and go to sleep. Since then, I have read several of his novels.  While he once produced a book about every couple of years, lately he has been pumping them out at a brisk pace, James Patterson style.

 In Disappeared, he continues the story of Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game Warden. Over the years we have become familiar with Joe, his wife, who is a librarian and sort-of silent partner in his investigations, and his two daughters, one adopted.  Along with the investigations, we have followed their personal difficulties.

Joe once again teams up with Nate Romanowski, a renegade and former special operator (think Jesse Ventura with an even bigger attitude). He once yanked the ears off a recalcitrant perp.

When A British celebrity and a fellow game warden both go missing at about the same time, the new governor sends Joe out to investigate.  Joe sets off on a search that jeopardizes his career as well as his life and that of his adopted daughter. On the trail of the missing, he crosses paths with the [PG1] standard variety of ne’er-do-wells and unique characters who populate his stories.

Like most of the Pickett stories, this is a procedural, wherein we follow Joe as he chases clues and goes down various blind alleys and switchbacks on the way to solving the crime. Picket stories take place in Northwestern Wyoming, and as usual the breathtaking and often desolate setting, brutal weather and environmentalism play important roles. Joe’s workmanlike prose gets the job done without flourish or extravagance.

The story develops like an avalanche crashing down Gannett Peak; slowly at first but gaining speed and momentum until reaching a final deadly crescendo. Though I consider myself adept at prematurely guessing the outcome of these types of stories, I was totally unprepared for the final plot twist that put everything in perspective.

The Disappeared will not disappoint C. J. Box fans. For those new to Joe Pickett, it will be a satisfying intro.


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Filed under book reviews, out of things to read, publishing, reading, Wendy Welch

A Boy’s Toys – – –

Jack just scrapes over the line with his Wednesday guest post – –

Like most people I have recurring dreams and in one of mine I still have all the cars I owned in my youth but can’t remember where I parked them around my home town of Dunfermline. As long as I can find one I can get to work but where are the others?

So that’s a good excuse to describe these cars in the order that I owned them –

The first was a 1938 Austin ‘Big 12’ which I bought from a workmate in a share with a couple of friends in the late 1950s. It lasted until the tubes started poking through the tires and the muffler fell apart. I was playing banjo in a New Orleans style jazz band so it had a musical send off on its last trip!

The second was an Austin Mini that had seen better days – full of rust and didn’t last long.

The third was when I hitch hiked to Bedford in England and then shared with friends – a 1935 Austin 7. It had cable brakes that never worked but it brought us back to Scotland eventually with smoke coming out around the gearstick every time we climbed a hill!

Fourth was another mini and this time the van version and in better condition so it lasted longer.

Then I got a Morris Minor – the British equivalent of the Volkswagen, that predated the Mini. My main memory is having the cylinder head out and on the kitchen table while I re-ground the valves!

After that a Triumph Spitfire that had the infamous transverse rear spring which produced my first ‘near death experience’. Wet leaves on the road which resulted in cartwheeling down the road from front to side to rear etc. I still have a scar on my forehead from the rear view mirror!

Following that came the most famous one – my 1962 MGB Roadster which was sold to a friend and eventually back to me again to grace the roads of America.

These were the early ones and were followed by a Maxi, a Wolseley 1800 and numerous Saabs.

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Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, crafting, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch