cover image Breaking Point

Breaking Point

C.J. Box. Putnam, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-16075-2

Bureaucracy run amok drives Wyoming construction company owner Butch Roberson to the breaking point in Box’s excellent 13th Joe Pickett novel (after 2012’s Force of Nature). When game warden Pickett investigates a cut fence between private land and public land, he comes across Roberson, who says he entered the public land to scout elk. Before leaving, Pickett delivers a friendly warning to Roberson, who resents the laws restricting his access to public land, to repair the fence. Later, Pickett learns that Roberson is the prime suspect in the killing of two armed EPA agents. Vindictive EPA regional director Juan Julio Batista, who quickly arrives on the scene, calls in a lot of manpower, while Pickett leads a team on horseback into the mountains after Roberson. Former sheriff Kyle McLanahan goes gunning for Roberson, too, prompted by hopes of a reward. Thrilling wilderness chases, chilling stories of the abuse of power, and Pickett’s indomitable frontier spirit power this explosive novel. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (Mar.)