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Below Zero (2009)

by C.J. Box(Favorite Author)
4.01 of 5 Votes: 4
0399155759 (ISBN13: 9780399155758)
Putnam Adult
Joe Pickett
review 1: Apparently this is the ninth book in a series. I read it at the suggestion of a co-worker [who 'gave' me a bag of books to read in my spare time after he saw me reading a Clive Cussler novel]. It was an interesting book, I guess. It starts off 'in your face' [in my opinion] with the deaths of a sweet retired couple. It was crazy, it was shocking, and I never even saw it coming. It moved at a good clip; it held my interest and made me want to finish reading it.I have to admit, the mother-in-law was such an over-the-top jerk that I was actually hoping she'd encounter the villains and get killed before the end of the book, and she only appeared briefly. So I guess that is great writing, to make a 'minor' character in the book be one you hope dies because he or she is so... more pathetically despicable.The villains in this piece are a dying 'godfather' from Chicago and his estranged eco-wacko son. The father is trying to reconnect before dying and is trying to 'pay' for his lifestyle's 'eco-footprint' and the damage to the environment. Hence, a lot of people [well, not 'a lot', but some people] are going to die because they just do not measure up in the eyes of this deadly duo. Oh, the father has also brought along a young woman he rescued from a life of prostitution. They are taking a family trip to Montana [or was it Wyoming?] to finish up some 'family business' before the old man dies.The hero of the piece is a bit of fresh air. He is a hard-working individual who loves his job, loves his wife, loves his children [daughters], and is trying to make his corner of the world a better place. Do not see too many heroes like that much any more, these days. He is a game warden and currently separated from his family due to some decisions he made in a previous adventure. Through his oldest daughter he discovers his 'foster daughter' might still be alive, and he moves heaven and earth to try and save her. It was quite touching. Not really. But it was a refreshing change of pace, when considering all of the 'other stuff' on the market to read that is so darn negative and filled with anti-heroic anti-heroes who end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was an interesting book. I wanted to finish reading it; I had a hard time putting it down. The father-son team was truly crazy, and their attempts to 'pay it forward' in terms of eco-damage was more than a little extreme.The book does talk about global climate change and whatnot, but it is done in a reasonable fashion. The author does a nice job of presenting various viewpoints in terms of how the environment is changing; both the pros and the cons. I never felt like I was being 'preached at' in the book [other than when the eco-wackos were 'talking' in the story itself]. One of the best lines in the book was when the father confronted his eco-son asked him what he was directly doing to improve the world and how all of these eco-people needed to come up with ideas on improving things instead of just complaining. It was a great conversation about how previous generations never felt they were owed anything by their parents, about how the younger generations went out and worked and made a living without the whining and complaining. I also thought the author did a nice job explaining how people need to be careful in terms of trying to 'repair' the environment. For instance, one particular group in the book would plant trees in areas that had been deforested. However, the trees newly planted tended to be alien to the region in which they were planted. Because they were alien in nature, these trees planted to save the environment would end up changing the environment for the worst because these trees [pine trees and eucalyptus trees] make the soil in which they are growing more acidic. It was a great discussion in what it means to be environmentally conscious, friendly, and competent. Maybe someday I will go back and start at the first book of the series. I do not know. But it was an interesting introduction to this series of books.
review 2: October 21st. 2014. I read to from page 212 to page 251. So far, April is with Stenko, and his son Robert. They go the Talich Brother's ranch, which is very close to where Joe Pickett would begin his search. Stenko goes to talk to the Talich brothers with April, and Stenko is quite surprised to see them playing tennis. He talks to them for a while, April getting more scared by a minute. The Talich brothers are also quite mad to find out that their brother, Leo, has screwed them out of their money. They interrogate him with Stenko helping, and April is told to stay outside. After a while, April becomes curious because of all of the screaming and slapping noises she is hearing within the vicinity of the house. When she opens the glass storm door, she is disgusted by what she sees. All three of the brothers were clearly injured, and they were all bleeding lightly in various places. Stenko is okay, but Leo, the "bad" brother, is tied up, and forced to give up his account numbers for the 28 million dollars he swindled his brothers and Stenko. During the escape, April is shot in the foot accidentally by Robert, who apologizes briefly and in-sincerely. They get into the car, and Robert is driving. he easily gets distracted by the money, and rolls the SUV. Joe Pickett is driving less than 100 miles away, and is in hot pursuit of the distress call, when he encounters an old escaped enemy; the Mad Archer. They make brief eye contact, and the Mad Archer does a U-Turn. Joe rams him in his reverse gear, t-boning his new truck on the passenger side. Joe turns his truck around, and then gets out. While the Mad Archer tries to escape, Nate Romanowski pulls out his 454. Castull loaded Raging Bull magnum and fires two shots into the engine bay, destroying the truck."Most men on a meat hook." I don't like this quote because it is creepy. less
Reviews (see all)
I loved the twists and turns of this book, and the discovery of April for the Pickett family.
very fun quick read. good plot twists. I love who Box picks to be his culprits! :)
Bizarre blending of characters. A page turner!
Not quite as good as others in the series.
Series is interesting.
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