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Blood Trail (Joe Pickett #8)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  3,391 ratings  ·  240 reviews
It is elk season in the Rockies, but this year a different kind of hunter is stalking a different kind of prey. When the call comes in on the radio, Joe Pickett can hardly believe his ears: game wardens have found a hunter dead at a camp in the mountains; strung up, gutted, and flayed, as if he were the elk he'd been pursuing. A spent cartridge and a poker chip lie next to ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Putnam Adult
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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieOne For The Money by Janet EvanovichA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonMonkeewrench by P.J. TracyA Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Favorite Mystery Series
53rd out of 261 books — 85 voters
Below Zero by C.J. BoxOpen Season by C.J. BoxBlood Trail by C.J. BoxWinterkill by C.J. BoxSavage Run by C.J. Box
Fiction Novels for the Outdoorsman
3rd out of 72 books — 12 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rex Fuller
Brilliant. The story is clean and firm like newly tightened wire. Great surprise ending. My only regret is we don't see how, or even whether, Joe Pickett gets out of trouble at the end. I understand the reasons for doing it that way (dramatic ambiguity, teasing for the next book, etc.). However, to render perfect justice, which I thought was a hallmark of the series, the good guys have to come out okay. Even so, I would go so far as to say this is one to read again, the best that can be said of ...more
Frank
Another excellent entry in the Joe Pickett series. I have been reading these in order and they just seem to get better and better. In this one, someone is hunting and killing hunters. It appears that the perpetrator is making these kills because he is against the hunting of animals...but is this the real reason? Why is the killer leaving a red poker chip next to each victim as a calling card? And why does it appear that the victims knew each other? And then why is Pickett's boss, Randy Pope, so ...more
Anthony
One of my favorite Joe Pickett books. There is a serial killer on the loose in Wyoming. The killer is going after hunters and treating them like deer: Gutted, skinned, decapitated and hung up. Joe is asked by the Gov. to find out who is doing this. Joe is reunited with his old boss, Nate, and the regular cast of characters that we have come to enjoy over the years.
Box has really tightened up his story telling. I didn't find myself skipping pages only turning them as fast as I could. Unfortunat
...more
Jen
Blood Trail is the eighth book in C. J. Box's Joe Pickett series. In this adventure, someone is hunting elk hunters in Wyoming. The first couple killings appear to be hunting accidents, but when a man is hung and gutted like prey, the police, the state game warden, even the governor take an active role in finding this human hunter. And their first step in solving the heinous crimes is to call in Joe Pickett.

The stakes are raised in the investigation when an anti-hunting advocate, Klamath Moore,
...more
LJ
BLOOD TRAIL (Licensed Invest-Joe Pickett-Wyoming-Cont) – G+
Box, C.J. – 9th in series
Putnam, 2008 – US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780399154881

First Sentence: I am a hunter, a bestower of dignity.

Joe Pickett, now working director for the Governor of Wyoming, is called to go to a murder scene where an elk hunter has been murdered and his body treated like the quarry he sought. This isn’t the first such killing.

The Governor puts Joe on the multi-agency investigation, in spite of the antipathy between him a
...more
Wesley
This was good. I think CJ Box is improving as his books go on as a writer. The diversity in the last few have just been outstanding. This had a twist at the end like none I've seen yet. I also think that Nate has to be one of my favorite characters in a novel yet. Especially this one, I did this on audiobook given the busy week and I'm totally glad. The narrator is absolutely outstanding, I wish I had did the first book via audio so I had the voices in my head as a I read. It may have helped som ...more
Quinn
C.J. Box is the modern day Louis L'Amour. A "hunter" is hunting hunters in the Wyoming mountains and they are turning up dead. Joe Pickett, a Fish and Game officer must stop the "hunter" from killing again. What Joe discovers is that things are not always as they seem because there is a score to settle.

Although the writing is straight forward and the ending predictable, I found this book extremely interesting. I enjoy hunting and I thought the author did an excellent job of describing what the h
...more
Jon Borah

Award-winning writer C. J. Box returns with a vengeance in this thrilling new novel featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett.It’s elk season in the Rockies, but this year a different kind of hunter is stalking a different kind of prey. When the call comes in on the radio, Joe Pickett can hardly believe his ears: game wardens have found a hunter dead at a camp in the mountains—strung up, gutted, and flayed, as if he were the elk he’d been pursuing. A spent cartridge and a poker chip lie next to

...more
Michael Sova
Blood Trail is the eighth C. J. Box novel in the award winning, highly acclaimed and immensely popular series featuring Wyoming game and fish warden Joe Pickett. If you want to know what I think of the author, I suggest you read my reviews of In Plain Sight (Pickett #6), Free Fire (Pickett #7), and Blue Heaven (a standalone). Since I started posting my Turn the Page reviews, there isn't anyone I've written more about or referenced more often. I suppose that applies to the author as well as his ...more
Pat
Another great Box, full of twists and turns and gorgeous descriptions of Wyoming land.
I liked the detailed descriptions of hunting and trapping--while feeling repulsed at the institution proper, especially the dressing of the carcasses.
Joe is a properly conflicted and sometimes fumbling law enforcer to hold our attention. But, his unwavering sense of right and wrong always informs and sustains his actions.
I wish we had spent more time with Sheridan, who is now on the verge of adulthood. Joe feel
...more
Sarah
Good as always. I really enjoy the taste of Wyoming and the West I get every time I read one of CJ's books. Like Nate, it makes me want to bury my face in a sagebrush and inhale the wonderful scent. I miss it!
Chris Demer
A taut, suspense-filled novel centered around a series of bizarre murders of hunters in Wyoming.
The protagonist is Joe Pickett, a former Game Warden and current part time substitute. He has been called in to investigate the murders and catch the perpetrator(s). The complicating factors? There seems to be a connection between the victims, that is not clear at first. His former boss seems excessively concerned and has been acting erratically. There is an anti-hunting extremist visiting the area.
H
...more
Minty McBunny
I keep on reading this series because it keeps being exceptionally good. I am so impressed at Box's ability to keep putting Joe Pickett in these dangerous situations without it becoming preposterous. I am glad he's not continuing to use the other Picketts as pawns and victims, but rather introducing new characters while keeping the characters from previous books acting as expected. I like that Nate is there to do the things we want to happen, but wouldn't want to see Joe do. All told this series ...more
Ed
#8 in the Joe Pickett series. Joe is a WY game warden unable to conform to the standards set by his management, but due to his good results he is prized by the governor.

Joe Pickett is assigned by the governor to investigate the murder of an elk hunter. The body was found field dressed with a poker chip nearby. When further investigation of two hunter deaths disclose poker chips at the scene, a serial killer is suspected. The arrival of a high profile animal rights activist and the release of Na
...more
Kathy
The 8th of the series. Joe has left his mother in law's ranch and moved into town, in a house that he hates, with a really disgusting neighbor. Suddenly, someone is hunting the elk hunters, and treating them in the same manner. Killing them, gutting them, hanging them from a tree and sometimes beheading them. Joe needs help, and springs Nate from Federal prison with Governor Rulon's permission. Not so much about Joe's family in this book. I knew who the killer was early on, but could understand ...more
Terry Hartley
Blood Trail is an exciting whodunit where a mysterious someone is turning the hunting game on elk hunters, including field dressing the hapless victims after the kill. Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett goes through thick and thin to uncover and hunt down the killer, but the killer's expertise makes that a dangerous task indeed. To make the chase even more difficult, political hacks at several levels jockey for glory while covering themselves from blame should things go wrong. For this reader the f ...more
Eric_W
Hunters are being hunted. Stalked, shot, and then mutilated, Joe Pickett is charged by the governor with tracking down the killer.

There are some lyrical descriptions of scenery and the woods. That’s where Box really shines. Some passages were worth reading a couple times just to enjoy the description (of nature, not the people.)

Not much suspense it’s pretty obvious who the killer is early on, although my credibility was strained by how easy it was for this guy to get around and stump the authori
...more
Neil
I've enjoyed the Joe Pickett series in the past, but this particular entry seems a little over the top to me. Perhaps it was that I listened to it on audiobook with a reader who occasionally reminded me of Wallace Shawn more than a Westerner. Perhaps it was because I jumped forward in the series and felt that too many of the intermediate books were being spoiled by the stories of recurring characters. Perhaps it was because there were just a few too many larger-than-life characters, particularly ...more
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

Liked it, but i felt like perhaps the author is getting a little 'pat' with his stories. it seemed the family relationships that i enjoy so much were a little less in depth
(pickett and his wife, him and his dtr., etc.).

i also felt like there were way more deaths than i'm used to in a c.j. box book. also felt that
it was kind of easy to just have nate walk in at the end and apparently murder the vern guy
who got out of prison for helping solve the hunting murders.

saying all th
...more
Shonna Froebel
Joe Pickett is back, still working as a game warden, but not assigned to a particular area. Joe works where he is needed, which means he is away a lot and he and his family now live at a house in town rather than at the warden's house.
He is just looking forward to some time at home with his family, when he is called back in on a special case. Someone is hunting hunters. A hunter has been found dead, treated like the elk he was hunting would have been. Two previous hunting deaths are looked at in
...more
Koeeoaddi
No one writes Wyoming like C.J. Box. Curling up with one of his books is like getting in out of the wind, he gets the people and the places just right and you can almost smell the sage as you turn the pages. So why only two stars?

1. We get it, Mr. Box. You. Don't. Like. Animal. Rights. Activists. Enough, already! Look, I laughed when the tree spiker wound up in the tree in the beginning of Out of Range, and for a book or two it was fun, but seriously, it's time to skip the needle over a track.
...more
Joyce Lagow
A serial killer is hunting down, murdering and butchering hunters in Wyoming s Big Horn Mountains. Joe Pickett, now special agent/game warden for the governor, is assigned to the hunt for the killer.[return][return]That s it--that s the plot. But in this, his 8th and best in the Joe Pickett series, C.J. Box delivers a very fine police procedural with a nice plot twist. Box always has some Western issue at the heart of his novels; this time, it s the ethics of hunting. As usual, he tries to illum ...more
sandra sprenger
Well written, good vs. Evil

Hunter vs. Animal, the age old question. Do we need to hunt? Then men are hunted and left as animals who are hunted. Why? The answer is not clear. Neither are the good or bad guys. Storyline keeps you involved each step of the way. Well developed characters, you could know these people. Highly recommend this book. Each book in the series is contained so you are not left hanging. Love it. Graphic in descriptions and well developed.
John
C.J. Box's Joe Pickett novels are always a fun read. I accidentally read Blood Trail out of order from the series and, consequently, found it a tad predictable. In the beginning I couldn't help but thinking the Wolverine character was a little *too* masculine sounding, which caused me to think, based on prior thrillers, the hidden character was not in actuality a man. The last part of the book passes the torch to everyone's favorite Nate Romanowski to be the protagonist (or at least have a more ...more
Fred Charles
The Joe Pickett range of books commenced with a simple and predictable storyline. But always enjoyable.
Many books later we see a maturity in the writing of CJ Box. There is now mystery with a 'who done it' element.
A point of concern is the dwindling number of regular characters in the books. At the rate Box is killing them off Joe Pickett will soon be on his own. In a frenzy of one edition the Pickett's lost a 'daughter'.
Chip
Maybe I'm getting tired of Joe Pickett. I was looking for some light escapist reading after finishing a massive literary work (Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch which I loved) but this book just annoyed me. The plot seemed so contrived, so many dead bodies, plus I figured out who the killer was way too early. Box's earlier stories seemed more believable, tracking down poachers, exposing shady real estate deals.Disappointing.
Sara
I read an earlier Box novel, Cutting Edge, and the plot was so ridiculous I said I would not read another. I picked up Blood Trail at the library just remembering the name. This plot was good, the action was realistic, the story line kept me reading wanting to find out 'who did it'. I was reading every word right up to the last chapter still wondering. This book was great, so enjoyable.
Tim Niland
Jun 03, 2008 Tim Niland rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tim by: Diane
Wyoming Fish and Wildlife game warden Joe Pickett is on the trail of a killer. Someone is hunting the hunters, and leaving them for dead in the woods. Meanwhile, and anti-hunting protester has come to town, looking to make a statement. Trapped between scheming, manipulative bureaucrats and the clock ticking on more murders, Pickett must solve a multi-layered and complex crime. C.J. Box is a talented and thoughtful storyteller, and his Pickett series is one of the best in contemporary crime ficti ...more
Pattianne
Blood Trail - Joe Pickett #8 - It is elk season in the Rockies, but this year a different kind of hunter is stalking a different kind of prey. When the call comes in on the radio, Joe Pickett can hardly believe his ears: game wardens have found a hunter dead at a camp in the mountains; strung up, gutted, and flayed, as if he were the elk he'd been pursuing. A spent cartridge and a poker chip lie next to his body.

Ripples of horror spread through the community, and with a possibly psychotic kille
...more
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Edgar Award-winning author C.J. Box is the author of nineteen novels including the Joe Pickett series. He's also won the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, and the Barry Award. His short stories have been featured in America's Best Mystery Stories of 2006 and limited-edition printings. 2008 novel BLOOD TRAIL was nominated for the International IMPAC Dub ...more
More about C.J. Box...

Other Books in the Series

Joe Pickett (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Open Season (Joe Pickett, #1)
  • Savage Run (Joe Pickett, #2)
  • Winterkill (Joe Pickett, #3)
  • Trophy Hunt (Joe Pickett, #4)
  • Out Of Range (Joe Pickett, #5)
  • In Plain Sight (Joe Pickett, #6)
  • Free Fire (Joe Pickett, #7)
  • Below Zero (Joe Pickett, #9)
  • Nowhere To Run (Joe Pickett, #10)
  • Cold Wind (Joe Pickett, #11)
Open Season (Joe Pickett, #1) Blue Heaven Savage Run (Joe Pickett, #2) Force Of Nature (Joe Pickett, #12) Winterkill (Joe Pickett, #3)

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