I’m a huge fan of C.J. Box and his valiant Wyoming game warden, Joe Picket. But it’s been a while since I’ve read one of his books. You know how it is, once you’re caught up with all the books in a series you have to wait until the next one comes out and the before you know it, you’re binge reading Longmire or Charles Lenox mysteries, or maybe rereading Pride and Prejudice or Ender’s Game. So many books, so little time. Anyway, Box doesn’t ‘put out’ at the speed of some authors, but the payoff is worth the wait and that's definitely the case in The Disappeared.
If you’ve been following Joe’s adventures you’ve been through many anxious moments for him, his family, and his best friend, sometime fugitive from the law, (former special forces, master falconer, zen master? What can this guy not do??) Nate Romanowski.
Readers will be thrilled to hear Nate is back in this book. While each installment in this series is great...it never feels quite whole without Nate. He made a promise long ago to protect Joe and his family and, as readers know, for Nate, a promise never grows old.
This time the new Govenor has sent Joe on a mission to find a missing British woman, despite previous attempts by federal agencies that were mysteriously and prematurely terminated. There’s a missing game warden too, and some frustrated falconers. Oh, and a really nasty guy who seems to always be on the fringes of whatever goes wrong. Wait! Don’t forget the local logging company’s burner that’s supposed to be burning up the day’s sawdust...but it smells like more than sawdust to a meddlesome little old lady.
Why send a game warden? And who hates Joe enough to want to destroy him? Think back, fans of the series...you know who, but it will become clear soon enough.
The only upside is the location, a very high-end dude ranch where Joe’s oldest daughter, Sheridan, happens to work, and where she’s become very fond of a fellow wrangler. Sheridan, as we’ve seen before, is cast in a similar mold to Joe. This time around we see her finding her feet—and maybe her future—more and more. My fingers are crossed that the future holds more of Sheridan. And Nate, of course, we always want some more Nate!