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THE FOUR COURTS MURDER Andrew Nugent
Thomas Dunne Books ISBN 0 312 32758 7
Reviewed by Karen Treanor, New
Out of Range by C. J. Box
Publisher: Putnam Adult ISBN: 0399152911
Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader
Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett is getting ready for hunting season in his district when he's asked to Jackson, Wyoming to fill in for Will Jensen, a once popular and revered warden who inexplicably has committed suicide. Upon arriving in Jackson, Joe discovers that Will had been acting very oddly before his death, stricken by a strange paranoia, drinking too much, and seemingly incoherent much of the time. Joe, having always respected the man, feels there is much more to the story then what appears and decides to investigate, soon running afoul of developers, animal rights activists, politicians, and hunters, all who have something to hide, and all of whom might just hold the key to the warden's demise.
Meanwhile, there's trouble back at home with the family he left behind, and with his sudden attraction to a beautiful woman, it seems that his marriage might be showing some alarming cracks as well. And when Joe begins to feel oddly himself, displaying much of the same symptoms as Will did before him, it becomes all too clear that whatever stalked Will before his death now has set its sights on Joe.
An interesting mystery surrounded by the beautiful scenery that is Northern Wyoming provides the reader with much to enjoy. The affluent enclave of Jackson is a hotbed of double dealing with its wealthy and powerful citizens, most of which seem out to win at any cost, creating a tense and vibrant atmosphere to this already suspenseful read. Also appreciated is the look at the hit a family lifestyle can take in the nomadic existence of a game warden, adding a touch of realism and sensitivity to a rather macho type read. Recommended, this is one fast paced tale that goes by much too quickly.