Home » I enjoyed Joe Pickett’s struggle to do what is right

Posted: March 22, 2020

I enjoyed Joe Pickett’s struggle to do what is right

Book Review

By Derryll White

Box, C.J. (2018).  The Disappeared.

“The difference between the new managerial ethic and the old propertied elite defines the difference between a bourgeois culture that now survives only on the margins of industrial society and the new therapeutic culture of narcissism.” – Christopher Lasch

This is C.J. Box’s 18th Joe Pickett novel. Box has been smart to let his characters grow as the time passed. Joe Pickett is now 48 and his oldest daughter Sheridan is now 23. This makes for some interesting dynamics in this story, with the father having to stretch and relate to his daughter as an adult.  C.J. Box does a good job of recognizing how bitter-sweet such changes can be.

The novel has a number of themes. The primary focus is on wind power and the environmental impacts of large wind farms. The corruption of political power also looms large, with a State Governor serving the interests of his primary financial backers rather than the people of Wyoming. Narcissism, the needs of public figures and the business of high-end resorts also get thoroughly examined by C.J. Box’s pen.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the novel, and series, rests with Box’s ability to portray the life and family of a normal man coping with the pressures of the above. I thoroughly enjoyed Joe Pickett and his struggle to simply do what is right.


Excerpts from the novel:

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES – No more than a large closet, his office was at the end of a hallway with a view of fuel pumps outside in the icy yard.  Headquarters had provided him with an old computer and printer, but he’d had to bother highway department staff to borrow a desk, a chair, empty filing cabinets, and a garbage can.  He got stares from exhausted snowplow drivers for his occasional use of the break room. Using “shared” resources such as office supplies was such a complicated interagency procedure that he’d simply bought his own at the Walmart in Saddlestring.

SHEDS – Joe knew that “sheds” were elk antlers that naturally detached and dropped to the ground each winter from bull elk.  The price for them from Asian pharmaceutical representatives, artists, and furniture makers had climbed to over fifteen dollars per pound, meaning that a massive set could go for over eight hundred dollars.  It was tough work, but it could be lucrative.

– Derryll White once wrote books but now chooses to read and write about them.  When not reading he writes history for the web at www.basininstitute.org.

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