cover image Shots Fired: Stories from Joe Pickett Country

Shots Fired: Stories from Joe Pickett Country

C.J. Box. Putnam, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-15858-2

Bestseller Box, author of Stone Cold and 13 other Joe Pickett novels, proves in his first story collection that he’s also adept at the short form. The 10 selections, which include four Joe Pickett tales, are filled with Box trademarks: drama, darkness, surprise twists, and a palpable sense of a wild, magnificent, and sometimes cruel Wyoming. Add to those attributes a profound poignancy, as in “Blood Knot,” which captures in five pages the unbreakable bond between a grandfather and granddaughter. “Pirates of Yellowstone,” “Shots Fired,” and “The End of Jim and Ezra” introduce less familiar aspects of the Western landscape: Eastern Europeans looking for work in our national parks, solitary Basque sheepherders, and the trapper mountain men of the mid-1800s. One entry, “Le Sauvage Noble,” may be a bit too savage for some. But Box fans will be happy to see that Nate Romanowski has a story all his own, “The Master Falconer,” with just a cameo from Pickett. Author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (July)