Game Warden Joe Pickett has a new boss. Above her is a new boss as well as Wyoming has a newly elected Governor. Governor Colter Allen and Pickett recently got off on the wrong foot. Pickett isn’t thrilled that he has been summoned to meet the Governor’s plane on landing in Saddlestring.  Governor Allen is all too typical of many politicians these days in that he is all style and flash and of  little substance and character. There are questions regarding his actual net worth, business dealings, and other issues that Pickett does not care about as those questions at this point are more gossip than anything else. Governor Allen does share one aspect with the previous Governor a man that Pickett did not like that much, but did respect. He also expects Pickett to do the outside investigative work that Governor Rulon had him do. Unfortunately from his perspective as the new Governor recently learned, Pickett stays away from politics and political assignments and simply won’t do them. A concept totally unclear to the new Governor who is minutes away from landing in his state plane.

A January morning meant that Joe was able to meet with the Governor as things are slow this time of year in the Game Warden business. Once onboard with the Governor Pickett learns that he wants him to get to Saratoga and conduct an investigation. The assigned game warden, Steve Pollock, recently quit his job and has yet to be replaced. Pickett is to go there and make it appear to all that he is a temporary Game Warden substituting for Pollack while privately and quietly conducting an investigation regarding a high profile missing person.


The missing person is a media celebrity which is why Game Warden Joe Pickett knows next to nothing about the case. A resident of the UK and a very powerful CEO, Kate Shelford-Longden, went missing months ago. Back during the summer she had come to Wyoming to spend a week at the most expensive ranch in Wyoming, the Silver Creek Ranch near Saratoga. Between the time she left the ranch on her last day and the time she was supposed to board her flight in Denver, she vanished as did her car. Despite all the efforts by state and local law enforcement and other parties there has not been any sign of her at all. A British Ambassador recently reached out through the Governor’s wife to ask about the case and the Governor is increasingly frustrated by state law enforcement and the lack of action.


In addition to destroying state equipment in the course of his duties, and upsetting supervisors, Game Warden Joe Pickett has a reputation of getting things done and closing cases. The Governor wants answers and wants Picket to get them. He isn’t going to take no for an answer as it is clear that this time he simply can’t refuse the assignment.  Things are too precarious and stressful at home as it is and losing his job right now would be a full scale disaster.


Pickett is going to have to do what the Governor asks and the pressure is clearly on. Good thing that Pickett has an ace up his sleeve as his 23 year old daughter Sheridan just happens to work at the Silver Creek Ranch. With her help as well as Nate’s through a secondary storyline, Pickett might just find out what happened. He also may learn far more than he wants to about a host of subjects.


The Disappeared: A Joe Pickett Novel is a solidly good read. While not the best in this long running series, the book does provide a solidly good story. One that is a bit predictable at times for readers that are well familiar with this series and these characters. Family has always been a mainstay of the series and that is present here as expected and in very familiar ways to long term readers.  Author C. J. Box is not going to break new ground with these characters and thus hits the frequent themes of being a parent of girls moving into adulthood and all that entails as well as the familiar interfering mother in law among others.


A series that is best if read in order, this latest continues the theme of family -good or bad- that has been a long running hallmark of the series.


For another take on the book with a few more details, read Kristin’s review at the Bookblog of the Bristol Library.


The Disappeared: A Joe Pickett Novel

C. J. Box

Random House Large Print

March 2018

ISBN# 978-0-5255-8937-2

Soft Cover Large Sized Paperback (Hardback, audio, and eBook formats also available)

560 Pages (542 of story)




Material supplied by the good folks of the Dallas Library System.



Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

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