Readers might imagine Charles James “C.J.” Box as strictly a rough ’n’ tumble kind of guy, but images can deceive.
True, he’s a veteran hunter and fisherman. It’s also true that the former ranch hand and guide has a love for the Wyoming outdoors that led improbably to a career as a best-selling novelist, writing crime fiction that reflects his own environmental concerns. But beyond that, he’s an urbane, articulate and in-demand novelist who’s quite savvy about the workings of the book industry.
His main character, the enormously likable but hard-nosed Wyoming game warden-troubleshooter Joe Pickett, is off on his 15th adventure in “Endangered,” the Bee Book Club’s choice for April.
To put it mildly, Pickett isn’t pleased that his 18-year-old daughter, April, hit the road with rowdy rodeo champion Dallas Cates a few months ago, and has contacted her parents only sporadically. Then, suddenly, things get far worse when April is found in a ditch, “beaten to a pulp” and barely alive.
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Cates denies any involvement, claiming that April had left him for parts unknown. Joe thinks he knows who put his daughter in a coma but lacks proof. Still, he’s going on the warpath.
“What happens in ‘Endangered’ is any father’s worst nightmare, my own included,” Box said. “This time, it’s personal for Joe Pickett.” The story comes with a caution: Pickett doesn’t know the depth of the danger he’s about to face.
In addition to the Joe Pickett series, Box has written five stand-alone novels and a collection of short stories. His works have been translated into 27 languages and have sold more than 6 million copies in the United States alone. He holds a number of prestigious awards, including an Edgar Alan Poe, an Anthony, a Macavity, a Gumshoe and a French Prix Calibre 38. Visit the author at www.cjbox.net
Box will give his Bee Book Club presentation at 6 p.m. April 30 at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento (doors open at 5:15 p.m.). It’s a free event, but tickets are required. They are available now (limited to two per person) at www.beebuzzpoints.com. Look for more details in the April 28 Living Here section. Information: (916) 321-1128.
“Endangered” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $27, 384 pages) is being offered at a 30 percent discount now through April 30 at these bookstores: Barnes & Noble; Avid Reader at the Tower in Sacramento; Avid Reader in Davis; Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills; Time Tested Books; Underground Books; Hornet Bookstore at California State University, Sacramento; the UC Davis Bookstore; and the Bookseller in Grass Valley.
Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.