cover image WINTERKILL: A Joe Pickett Novel

WINTERKILL: A Joe Pickett Novel

C. J. Box, , read by Ray Gautreau. . Brilliance, $32.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59086-946-8

Box's stalwart prison warden, Joe Pickett, is put to the test in his third grueling adventure in the Wyoming mountain wilderness. First, one of his prisoners escapes and winds up murdered by person or persons unknown. Then a group of militant survivalists who call themselves Sovereigns camp out in Pickett's territory. One of them, the birth mother of his foster child, April, has successfully petitioned the court to reclaim the little girl. Adding to Pickett's woes is a trio of lunatic lawpersons: the thick-headed local sheriff, a sociopathic Forest Service investigator and an FBI special agent who, having been on the front lines at Ruby Ridge and Waco, can't wait to try out his state-of-the-art weaponry on the Sovereigns. As if Pickett's backpack weren't already overloaded, he also has to make do with one of the worst snowstorms the area has seen in years. Reader Gautreau's bare-bones narration helps to minimize the melodrama. His odd, halting delivery is initially off-putting. Eventually, though, listeners will realize he has created a voice to match the novel's mood, the rural, rugged, tight-lipped, think-before-you-speak quality that Box has bestowed on his very human, likable and hard-pressed hero. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Forecasts, Apr. 7). (May)