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‘Endangered’ Is Deeply Personal Tale In Joe Pickett Mystery Series

C.J. Box's latest novel centers on an attack on his daughter, who is left for dead.
C.J. Box's latest novel centers on an attack on his daughter, who is left for dead.
Credit Gregory Wake / flickr.com/gregwake

 Michelle Ross discusses the Joe Pickett series of author C.J. Box.

Joe Pickett rides again, and this time the tale is deeply personal.  

Fans of the mystery novels of Wyoming-based writer C.J. Box have a 15th book to savor in the series named after his protagonist.

Like its predecessors, “Endangered” is set in the Black Hills, where Pickett is a game warden. The story revolves around the disappearance of his 18-year-old adopted daughter, whose body is found in a ditch and who remains in a coma.

Unraveling the story of what happened to her is Pickett’s emotional and professional duty, and every parent’s worst nightmare.

That Box’s lead character is an everyman, not a murky figure shrouded in detachment, is part of the appeal of the Joe Pickett novels, along with the plot lines.

In this week’s “Mystery Guest” segment on “City Lights,” crime fiction reviewer Michelle Ross examines the Box set, and explains why his prose draws readers in. “Box is a good enough writer,” Ross says, “to make you care enough about things you wouldn’t otherwise care about.”

In “Endangered,” she continues, “Box just gets everything right: The characters, the dialogue, the building of suspense.”

For those who can’t get enough of the Joe Pickett books, Box said a television series is in the works, and producers are looking for an outlet.