REVIEW OF WOLF PACK

Edgar-winner C.J. Box maintains his platinum level of excellence in WOLF PACK, his 19th novel starring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett (after 2018’s THE DISAPPEARED).

When fellow game warden Katelyn Hamm observes a herd of elk being stampeded by a drone, she enlists Joe’s aid in tracking down the owner. The perp turns out to be Bill Hill, a recent arrivee from the East who lives with several bodyguards in a state of the art compound. After Hill scoffs at Joe’s threat of a fine for tormenting the elk, Joe tries to research him online–and finds Bill Hill to be entirely devoid of any background. Joe’s old friend Nate Romanowski helps knock the drone out of the sky using his trained falcons–but that deed causes a pair of arrogant Feds to appear and warn Joe not to hassle the drone owner again, on pain of prosecution.

But when dead bodies begin turning up showing clear signs of torture, Joe realizes that his county has been infested with something far more dangerous than a drone: a team of professional killers sent by a Columbian cartel. It’s here that the story really picks up speed, as the contest between Joe and the Columbian “Wolf Pack” intensifies into peak suspense. The leader of the ruthless killers is a charismatic psychopath named Abriella, and she stands as one of Box’s scariest creations.

The action-packed final quarter of the book ranks among Joe and Nate’s best (and bloodiest) conflagrations. When it’s time to get Western, don’t fool around–get Box.