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C.J. Box

Ours is such a judgmental world! I have acquaintances who argue - quite stridently, at times - over the best contemporary crime novels set in Wyoming. Sounds odd until you remember C.J. Box writes a series about game warden Joe Pickett and Craig Johnson's Sheriff Walt Longmire is the protagonist in another procession of thrillers. Me? I say, why don't we just enjoy the hell out of Pickett AND Longmire? "Endangered" is the brand-new 15th Pickett adventure, and it starts brutally enough when the warden's adoptive daughter, April, who'd run off with rodeo Cowboy Dallas Cates, is found severely beaten and near death. Pickett's professional instincts match his Dad Radar - and he goes after Cates. But a new and unlikely suspect emerges about the same time Pickett's off-the-grid/outlaw best pal, Nate Romanowski, is lured into a violent ambush. Pulled in several directions and emotionally devastated, Pickett can't afford a false move. Wonderful stuff.

- RICK KOSTER

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