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Several find their "Breaking Point"

  • Apr 26, 2013
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Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett knew local resident Butch Roberson. At least he thought he did. Joe Pickett knew something was off with him when he encountered Butch Roberson on the Big Stream Ranch in the Bighorn Mountains. The owner of Meadowlark Construction in nearby Saddlestring had a large backpack--far larger than it should have been-- and a rifle. He claimed he was out scouting elk, but Joe figures Butch was responsible for cutting the nearby barbed wire fence. After Butch commits to taking care of the fence problem, Joe watched as the man heads deeper into the woods out of sight. He had no reason to stop him and will soon wish he had.

It is only when he gets back to his department issued truck and hears the chatter over the radio that Joe Pickett knows he is about to be in trouble again. Two armed agents of the EPA are missing and presumed dead. Butch is the number one suspect based on the fact the agents were coming to serve papers on him regarding violations of EPA regulations on the track of land that was to hold the family dream home. As federal resources are mobilized to catch the fugitive in ways he never thought possible by his own government, Joe is forced to assist with the manhunt.

Politics has been an increasing theme in this series and is especially prevalent here. Using the real life case of Mike and Chantelle Sackett of Nordman, Idaho as a back drop to events in this book as well as inspiration for the fictional story, author C. J. Box brings to light how far federal overreach can go in this day of armed EPA agents and elite EPA swat teams. Those who believe this sort of thing can't happen would do well to do some research on the matter.

The ramifications, in reality as in fiction, are many and worth considering. Breaking Point: A Joe Pickett Novel is a compelling mystery that blends fact with fiction and illustrates how things can easily spiral out of control thanks to all too powerful government bureaucrats. One needs to remember this is a work of fiction though one wonders just how much longer it will be fiction only.

Material Supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2013

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Kevin R. Tipple ()
Ranked #90
My stories have appeared in such magazines such as “Lynx Eye,” “Starblade,” “Show and Tell,” and "The Writer's Post Journal" among others and online at … more
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“Like the forest fire described in the book, fans of this series will burn through the pages to discover who-dun-it and why.  With each book, Joe Pickett has evolved as a complex, deep character, richly described by Box.  Another must-read.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Thrilling wilderness chases, chilling stories of the abuse of power, and Pickett’s indomitable frontier spirit power this explosive novel.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
"Box doles out the complications and misfortunes with masterly control . . . One of [Box's] most exciting [novels]."—Kirkus
“Thrilling . . . [You’ll] have a hard time putting this one down and turning off the light.”—Booklist
The tension starts early and never stops . . . [Breaking Point is] the best installment yet in an already rich series.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Box's high standards have never been more evident than in the 13th novel in his series about Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett. "Breaking Point" skillfully shows how government can enhance lives and preserve the environment while also portraying the legal system run amok. But "Breaking Point" is no treatise pitting an individual vs. the big bad Goliath of government. The tense plot of "Breaking Point" provides edge-of-the-seat suspense filled with unpredictable twists and realistic characters...
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