When Joe Pickett and his daughters stumble upon the mutilated carcass of a moose during a fishing trip, the game warden doesn’t realise this is merely the start of a systematic, coordinated attack on the residents of Saddlestring, Wyoming — the question is, by who? Because these cuts are too meticulous — too precise — to have been done by an animal, not even the grizzly on the loose and stalking the surrounding area. Which leaves only some sick, twisted individual, or individuals. Or something otherworldly…?
C.J. Box throws a touch of the X-Files into his fourth Joe Pickett novel, and while he never goes full-throttle — fear not, readers, little green men are not responsible for the desecration — the layer of possibility, of Joe actually contemplating the veracity of the supernatural rumour spreading like wildfire throughout his territory, is deftly handled and well played. The devastating consequences of the climactic events in Winterkill resonate here, and a trace of melancholy emanates within the Pickett family – and rightfully so. Thankfully Box doesn’t labor on continuity, and allows new readers the chance to catch up quickly – the true sign of a master at work.
Trophy Hunt is a smartly structured, solidly executed thriller, executing intertwined plot threads with authority that long-time readers expect. It’s packed with the expected twists and turns, and while I wouldn’t call it vintage Box – its opening chapters meander slightly, and lack that grasp-you-by-the-collar intrigue of the preceding novels – it’s another engaging page-turner that’ll inevitably find you hunting for the next one.
Format: Paperback / softback (173mm x 108mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Penguin USA
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
Country of Publication: United States