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Below Zero (2009)

– tekijä: C. J. Box

Sarjat: Joe Pickett (9)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
6792125,864 (3.7)27
Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett's teenage daughter, Sheridan, receives a text message with a staggering implication: that April, the foster daughter thought to have died 6 years ago in a massacre, is still alive. If it really is April who's texting, she's in danger, and for Pickett, the only thing worse than losing her the first time would be losing her again. Pickett must negotiate FBI politics, recruit his fugitive friend Nate Romanowski, and take a crash course in cell-phone-tracking technology to find her.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 21) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Before you read on—if you haven't read the third book in the Joe Pickett series, Winterkill, you probably shouldn't read anything else in this post. Really, it's impossible for me to not ruin Winterkill and talk about this book.
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---
Don't say I didn't warn you if you haven't read Winterkill...

WHAT'S BELOW ZERO ABOUT?
Joe Pickett's daughter starts getting text messages from a very unlikely source: April, her foster sister. The sister that Joe watched die in a fire during a horrific FBI raid on a group of survivalists. Joe and Marybeth are skeptical at first—Sheridan is a little skeptical, but she wants to believe. Eventually, they provisionally accept that it is April texting them and Joe heads off to rendezvous with her.

The difficulty comes with April's traveling companions—she's fuzzy on the details, but the men she's with are hurting people. Joe's able to construct a path of where they've been (where they're headed is pretty murky, though) and pieces together some sort of motive. The victims have been significant polluters in their own way—and he's pretty sure that one of the killers is an environmental activist and the child of a notorious mobster, who might have been learning a lesson from his father.

Joe now has two goals—track down the person claiming to be April and see if she really is who she claims to be—and learn how she survived, and stop the killings.

THE BALANCING ACT
Behind the murders stands a discussion about environmental concerns vs. real-world solutions vs. way of life in West. This is a theme of the last few books in the series (probably all of the books, it just feels more pronounced). Generally, when I've encountered this kind of thing it's not dealt with very well—the novel preaches at readers about the environment, an unrealistic solution is approved/implemented, or the whole concern is shrugged off (either because it's too late to do any good* or because the characters don't accept the legitimacy of the concerns. I love the way Box does this and I wish more authors would learn from him.

* Yes, I realize that it might be too late, but we're not going to focus on that right now.

POOR OLD LU
I don't want to say that I've disliked Lucy, Joe's younger daughter. But I've never been taken with her as I have been with the rest of the family. She's too much like her grandmother I guess. She's about clothes and nice things, not about wildlife or her family or whatever it is that makes Sheridan an interesting character.

But her reaction to the possibility of April being alive? What's more, her reaction to Sheridan being the sole point of contact between Joe and April? It just broke my heart. I actually wanted her to get to tag along with her dad and sister for a change. I hope this is a sign of things to come and that I finally get the chance to get invested in the character.

DAVID CHANDLER
I've got nothing to say here that I haven't said before. Chandler is Pickett in my mind. When the TV series starts, I'm going to be comparing Michael Dorman to him (and I think Dorman's not going to fare too well).

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT BELOW ZERO?
I hated, hated, hated the way that Box brought April back. This isn't General Hospital or Days of Our Lives, after all. Also, it ruined some of the gut-punch of an ending of Winterkill. But by the end, Box had won me over and convinced me that it wasn't the worst idea he'd ever had.

I do wonder how the traveling murderer story would have worked without the April aspect—part of me would have liked a closer focus on that. But I don't know how much I'd have cared about them without April as a point-of-entry into that story.

I'm curious about where Joe and the family go from here. It's possible I'll totally get over my antagonism toward the April story within a book or two, it all depends on what Box does from here. ( )
  hcnewton | May 10, 2021 |
SO GOOD!! Joe Pickett continues to keep me entertained and on my toes, with my heart racing all the while.

Seventeen-year-old Sheridan has been getting text messages from April Keeley, who supposedly died way back in the third book, Winterkill. Winterkill has been my favorite Pickett book to date, not only because of the crimes and the action in it (survivalist bad guys!) but because it leaned heavily on April Keeley's story. Joe and Marybeth had previously taken April in as their foster daughter. Sadly, April Keeley was killed in one of the major events in Winterkill.

Or so we thought.

Now that someone claiming to be April has reached out to Sheridan, Joe has the opportunity to right some wrongs and fix the regrets that came after that awful situation. Joe aims to figure out who keeps contacting Sheridan, and why, and where this person claiming to be April is. Joe goes as far as to boldly take a leave of absence from his work for Governor Rulon and head out on the road.

And this time, he takes Sheridan with him. (LOVED that.)

Okay, so first of all: I can hardly bear the idea that Sheridan has grown up in front of my eyes, right on the pages of these novels!! My own twin daughters are 17, so EVERYTHING with Sheridan rings absolutely true. I have always loved the way C.J. Box has a way with creating young female characters so well, and I've grown to respect Sheridan more and more since her time on the pages in the first novel. She is headstrong, independent, smart, and very cool. She's an apprentice falconer, trained by none other than Nate Romanowski, and I continue to be thrilled every time she and Joe interact on the pages. Their father-daughter relationship feels authentic, truthful, and really sweet.

ALSO: I'm loving that Joe has grown a little more adventurous over the past few books in terms of blurring the lines of legality. He has such a conscience and a true desire to do the right thing all the time, but he seems to be learning that sometimes the right thing isn't always the legal thing. In addition, he has done things that aren't really right or legal over the past few books, and I feel like his guilt and mixed feelings about his own actions makes his character more complex. I LOVE Joe Pickett and I'm so excited that I still have a ton of books in this series because watching him work is one of my favorite ways to spend my reading time.

AND! I was shocked at some of the newer developments in Nate's life!! WHOA!! I love it, I love his character, and I'm so glad he is important on these pages. Every time Nate shows up in these Pickett books, I get excited and I read faster and faster. He's such a wild card. He doesn't really care that much about the law, but he cares a great deal about the people he loves. Which means he is completely loyal to Joe. Their friendship and unusual work partnership is probably my favorite character relationship of any series, ever.

I don't want to talk about the events in this book, because it was hella good watching them all unfold. But I will say that there are hunters that injure animals for sport (not cool at all and Joe is on that case, for sure) and there are several really bad characters that are mobsters and/or environmental true believers. So exciting. So damn good.

Audiobook Notes: I listened to most of this book on audiobook, You guys know by now I'm probably the BIGGEST Joe-Pickett-on-audiobook fan out there. But the more the story amped up, the faster I needed the story. So toward the end, I had to turn the audio off so I could read with my eyes. I read faster than the audiobook is read, and I was just too impatient for the outcome of this one to listen to every minute of the audio. This is not to knock on David Chandler's narration, which is doggone perfection (especially with Nate's character). I just needed the story faster.

I'm off to buy the next audiobook in this series, bye!

Title: Below Zero by C.J. Box
Series: Joe Pickett #9
Narrator: David Chandler
Length: 10 hours, 22 minutes, Unabridged
Publisher: Recorded Books ( )
  Asheley | Jul 6, 2020 |
Joe's foster daughter April, who died several years ago, has reappeared as a text on daughter Sheridan's phone. Is it really her and how can Joe save her. This is a good one in the series, I thought. ( )
  gbelik | Feb 9, 2019 |
This has been my favorite one so far. Joe Pickett got to move around the state, spend time with his family, catch a poacher while looking for some bad guys killing people. ( )
  shelbycassie | Aug 5, 2018 |
Nate Romanowski must have used the plot for target practice with his .454 Casull judging from the size of the hole in it. The connection between not-April and the Pickett family is a phone number that her foster sister, real-April, told her. A phone number she remembered after being sold into prostitution, remembered after being abducted by a mobster and seeing the house pimp shot dead. And that memory was triggered by seeing the 'Unit' RV burst into flames? Sorry, I just don't buy it. On the plus side, Joe Pickett and family are again the calm eye of the storm as fanatical outlaws, inept judges, and ruthless G-men swirl around them. Cougar MIL Missy even makes an appearance. The twist at the end would have been better if the plot had been stronger. ( )
  wandaly | Dec 21, 2017 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 21) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett's teenage daughter, Sheridan, receives a text message with a staggering implication: that April, the foster daughter thought to have died 6 years ago in a massacre, is still alive. If it really is April who's texting, she's in danger, and for Pickett, the only thing worse than losing her the first time would be losing her again. Pickett must negotiate FBI politics, recruit his fugitive friend Nate Romanowski, and take a crash course in cell-phone-tracking technology to find her.

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