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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
C. J. Box's first novel, Open Season, introduced heroic game warden Joe Pickett and earned Box an Edgar nomination right out of the gate, setting a high bar for this suspense novelist, who uses harsh landscapes as a symbolic backdrop for his hero's struggle between the rule of law and the primal code of nature.
In Savage Run, Pickett is called into Wyoming's Bighorn National Forest when ecoterrorist Stewie Woods and his new bride are apparently murdered by an exploding cow while spiking trees. As the leader of the extreme environmentalist group One Globe, Stewie made plenty of enemies, but which one would go to such lengths to get him out of the way? Even more confounding is that Joe's wife, Marybeth, once dated Stewie and is now receiving phone calls that seem to be from him. Meanwhile, other members of One Globe are also being killed off in bizarre ways, and Pickett must sort out who's responsible, who's actually dead, and who the true criminals are.
Box puts the treacherous Wyoming wilderness to wonderful use, giving us a tale filled with lush beauty and fierce hardship. The vivid landscape goes hand in hand with the perilous atmosphere the author creates. His narrative voice is sure, fiery, and often humorous, especially where the novel's villains are concerned. Their dialogue is funny, haunting, and hard-hitting, adding yet another dark facet to this already gripping, original, and powerful story. Though Box unavoidably will be compared to Nevada Barr for his scenic choice of setting, he's got a honed style and unique voice all his own -- one you won't soon forget. (Tom Piccirilli)