Nate Romanowski has been found despite his best efforts in staying off the grid. It is October in the Upper North Platte River Valley when the quiet is broken by armed new arrivals at the ranch owned by Dr. Bucholz. The ranch is large and has provided sanctuary to Nate as he recovers from recent events
and hiding from law enforcement. Brian Tyrell and Keith Volk lead a team of special operators that have arrived to make an offer Nate can’t refuse. In exchange for clearing his criminal record they want him to assist them in an operation.
They call themselves “The Wolverines” and are part of a shadowy government within the government. They claim to be in all areas of the government and at all levels. Supposedly they all are united to defend America from the ruling political elite that is only interested in gaining power. All Nate knows for sure is that they are Feds of some type and have him in a box. They want him to go to Wyoming’s legendary “Red Desert” and meet a man known as Muhammad Ibraaheem who may have been radicalized before coming back to Wyoming. Known as “Ibby” he may be part of recent thefts in the area as well as increasing chatter out of the Middle East about a planned terror attack in the mountain west. Like Nate, Ibby is a falconer, so Tyrell and Volk figure Nate can use that as a cover to meet the man and check him out.
While they know a lot about Nate, Tyrell and Volk know nothing about falconry or being a falconer. They don’t care either. That is Nate’s problem. They insist Nate is going to meet Ibby and check him out. He will cooperate, investigate, and give them detailed information on the target and his activities. Otherwise, they will make sure he winds up in a federal correctional facility to end his days and will take action against anyone Nate cares about. Nate has no choices.
He isn’t the only one. Game Warden Joe Pickett has plenty going on before having a mandatory meeting with soon to be ex-governor Spencer Rulon. The governor, well known not to be a fan of the federal government or any of their representatives, recently got a call from Dr. Bucholz reporting the actions of federal agents on his land and how he and his family were treated. In addition to telling Warden Joe Pickett about what happened to his friend, Nate Romanowski, Rulon wants to know what in the heck is going on with the four federal agents who had the nerve to act like they owned to place and treated his constituents with contempt. Rulon wants Pickett to use a recent bear attack as his cover story and go to the Red Desert and find out what is going on.
Shifting in viewpoint between Nate, Joe Pickett, and several other characters, Off The Grid: A Joe Pickett Novel by C. J. Box eventually brings two primary storylines and a couple of secondary ones together in a very enjoyable read. No new character developments are at work here as the characters were fleshed out long ago. Instead, as expected in this series, characters continue to evolve and change as they gradually get older and are impacted by various events. Some of those events in recent books are mentioned here though the primary focus is on the current events.
As always in a tale by C. J. Box, the author’s love of the Wyoming landscape comes through loud and clear. Off The Grid: A Joe Pickett Novel is another very good read in a long series of very good reads.
Off The Grid: A Joe Pickett Novel
C. J. Box
Center Point Large Print
Large Print Hardback (also available in eBook, audio, and regular print hardback formats)
Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2016