cover image Off the Grid: A Joe Pickett Novel

Off the Grid: A Joe Pickett Novel

C.J. Box. Putnam, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-17660-9

Bestseller Box’s 16th Joe Pickett adventure (after 2015’s Endangered) opens with some of the sweetest words any true fan of the series could hope to see: “Nate Romanowski knew trouble was on the way when he saw the falcon’s wings suddenly flare in the distance.” The best Joe Pickett novels are those that prominently feature Nate, the original off-the-grid freeman, and Nate dominates at least half of this yarn, while Joe’s equally fine alternating chapters lead to their inevitable crossing of paths late in the story. The action involves elements as disparate as a killer grizzly bear, noxious government agents with nearly limitless power, a Julian Assange–type activist with a messiah complex, Wyoming’s irrepressible Governor Rulon, and one of the most brutal bands of terrorists you would never want to find on American soil. A master at managing multiple plot lines, Box brings them all together for a nerve-wracking climax that rivals The Wild Bunch for utter havoc. With this exceptional entry, Box solidifies his place at the upper level of the crime fiction pantheon. Author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (Mar.)