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Savage Run (Joe Pickett #2)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  4,955 ratings  ·  303 reviews
In Savage Run—C.J. Box's acclaimed follow-up to his career-making debut Open Season—game warden Joe Pickett looks into the bizarre death of an environmental activist...and what he finds is bigger and far more sinister than anything he imagined.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Berkley (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Susan
Joe Pickett is a family man and one of the few Game Wardens in Wyoming, he has a steady moral compass and is an intellegent, lawful man. In this second addition to the series Joe gets wrapped up in an environmental feud. After radicals set off an explosion in the deep woods, an investigation reveals that a cow and possibly two people were accidentally killed. Joe knows that there is more to it than that and goes back later to look into it further. When he is shot at with a long range rifle he kn ...more
Book Concierge
Book # 2 in the Joe Pickett series starts with the death of an infamous environmentalist. A fire-spotter has noted the explosion, and the Sheriff, expecting some sort of poaching of elk, calls on the Wyoming Game Warden to join him in investigating. The bloody scene of destruction is not what they were expecting and the Sheriff seems particularly angry that Pickett is involved. “But,” Pickett reminds him, “YOU called me to join you.” The case is closed fairly quickly, but Joe isn’t satisfied, an ...more
Melissa
I want to love these books because they came with such high recommendation. However, they are good but not wonderful! The main character is a fish and game warden, is very moral, and a bit too naive. I really hate to say it (because I should appreciate a moral, trusting character) but he was almost too good to be true. Oh, that is so sad to say. He is the kind of man who trusts in a handshake and expects that everyone will abide by the rules. I truly hope there are people like that still in the ...more
Anthony Bellaleigh
Joe Pickett #2 (the Murder Mystery sequel to Open Season) opens with a jaw dropping paragraph and then nicely propels you back into Joe's world at the edge of the Rocky Mountains.

If I'm honest, then it seemed to drift for a couple of chapters and I was wondering whether a serious case would ever emerge - and, how Joe would end up in the middle of it...? More fool me. I should be more familiar with cleverly crafted scene setting...

I recommend making sure you give yourself some serious reading tim
...more
Sherri
The second of the charming game warden Joe Pickett series finds Joe again in Wyoming's Bighorn mountain range. A famous ecoterrorist, out peacefully spiking trees with his bride of three days, is killed by an exploding cow. Joe is drawn into this crime and must meet with the cow's owner, who seems complacent about the deaths on his ranch land. Joe wants to know why this bizarre circumstance of facts doesn't phase the jerk.

Marybeth, Joe's wife, begins receiving phone calls from an old high school
...more
Wesley
We'll this was good. I really thing it's a strong 3 star'r. The story was predictable. What was enjoyable with this book the descriptions and visual references of imagining what parts of Wyoming looks like. CJ Box nails this on the head and then some. I tried to fail on predicting most of the parts and I didn't fail, if I had even once in the 2nd half of the book it would have gotten 4. I'm not going to compare these to the Swagger series anymore, they aren't. What Stephen Hunter does for firear ...more
Rex Fuller
A very smooth and easy read, in which the author just about perfectly skewers environmental extremists on both ends of tne spectrum.
Robert
When it comes to writing a successful mystery series, a memorable, likeable main character goes a long way toward completing the marathon. Joe Pickett has likeability in spades, and his game warden profession provides a unique perspective in a sea of detectives, PIs, and ne’er-do-wells. While the plot may have been a bit farfetched at times, it never seemed so far out there that it proved unreasonable.

What really drew me into the story, though, was the beginning. The opening line is perfection,
...more
Alan Williams
This is the second Joe Pickett novel and the series is getting stronger.

The series is set in some amazing scenic backcountry, and Joe Pickett is a pleasantly flawed lead character. Unlike many flawed heroes in crime novels, Joe is just human. He's mucked up a few times, but he believes in what he does.

Although I enjoyed the story, there was an element of predictability about it, but not so much that the overall story suffered, I think I would just rather have known a little less about what was
...more
Michael Arches
Joe continues to struggle with opposition on virtually every front as he tries to understand the most bizarre murder I don't think I've ever read about death by exploding cow before. With that kind of beginning, you know this is going to be a tongue-in-cheek look at murder in rural Wyoming. The environmentalists are extreme, and Joe is caught between them and the greedy and shadowy political monsters trying to plunder the West. Throughout the story, Joe seems a half-step behind, but he isn't as ...more
LJ
SAVAGE RUN – VG
C.J. Box – 2nd in series
When a massive explosion occurs, apparently killing an environmental activist, Game Warden Joe Pickett is called in to investigate.

This is a very good series and refreshing in that Joe is happily, but realistically, married with children; he’s honest and ethical and lives his life the best he can. The stories are well plotted, well written, with the right level of action and suspense to keep us involved. I have, and look forward to reading, the 3rd book in
...more
Martha Bullen
This western mystery novel has one of the best opening sentences I've read in a long time: "On the third day of their honeymoon, infamous environmental activist Stewie Woods and his new bride, Annabel Bellotti, were spiking trees in the forest when a cow exploded and blew them up." "Until then, their marriage had been happy," author C. J. Box tells us in the next sentence.

Needless to say, the reader is compelled to keep reading to find out what the heck is going on. It's certainly an unusual mur
...more
Lkelly6
This is second book in the Joe Pickett series. The author did better character development in this book and better descriptions of the mountain area.

What I loathed was the repulsive detailed descriptions of the murders. I whipped through those pages. I wish this focus on the cruel depravity of a small percentage of human beings was not so popular today. I don't see how this is entertainment. I love mysteries, but I'm the Perry Mason-type of mystery fan. "Oh, Dear, someone is murdered." Then the
...more
Nate Hendrix
Box is great I will be reading everything he has written. Up to this point I have only been dissapointed by him once. This book was not a dissapointment. Joe ends up trying to solve a murder that may or may not have happened and then ends up running through the wilderness to get away from a killer. I love an author that is brave enough to not have everything end happily ever after.
Bonnie
I really like this series. Like the 2nd book I felt the story had a balanced viewpoint to the controversy between environmentalists and ranchers. Certainly the ranchers didn't look too good in this story, but the real villain in the story isn't even a "real" rancher. The radical environmentalists are likewise not completely sympathetic. I especially like a part where Pickett, along with 2 environmental activists, come upon a mother elk maimed by wolves and her dead calf. One of the activists had ...more
Jon Borah

No way forward? No way back? Your time is up when you reach SAVAGE RUN Game warden Joe Pickett is called to a bizarre crime scene deep within the forests of Twelve Sleep County, Wyoming. Famous eco-activist Stewie Woods has been blown up in an explosion, along with his new bride and ten head of cattle. The case is wrapped up too quickly: an environmental publicity stunt gone wrong. But what is the millionaire rancher who owned the cattle hiding? And why is Joe's wife receiving mysterious phone c

...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
The designation mystery is really a default category-this series has mystery elements, but it is about a very upright game Warden, Joe Pickett. If I acknowledged reading action adventure books that might be more on target, but what I find myself enjoying is Joe's life in Wyoming, his relationships. Savage Run is a canyon where Cheyenne crossed, a historical mystery. Joe finds himself there, having his own savage crossing with two environmentalists, indeed a savage run, because they are pursued b ...more
Robert Bell
I am just getting into CJ Box - this one was a quick read - couldn't put it down. His descriptions of the area really intrigued me. Made me want to revisit Wyoming. Other than the northwest corner (Yellowstone and Grand Tetons) I have a totally different impression of Wyoming...
Michael
Second in gripping series of mysteries with Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett as hero. He uses brains and grit to get out of some tough situations and renders pleasure to see the greedy take a fall. The series also nicely showcases the beauty of the Rockies--makes me miss living out West. ...more
Brian
This is the second book by C. J. Box. It was a story of eco terrorists, but more accurately a plot of what happens when the ranchers strike back. The plot then is from the short story the hunter read in high school but of course, the trail is in the Savage Run canyon with a twist. It is nice to read about a character with a good family life and children dealing with normal issues and the challenge of the bureaucracy. The supervisor was presented in a positive manner (which seem unusual and nice) ...more
Gloria
Savage Run refers to the infamous sudden disappearance of a Cheyenne tribe, fleeing from another Indian tribe in the 1800s. In contemporary times, Savage Run becomes a last ditch treacherous resort as game warden Joe Pickett works hard to save environmental terrorists from a hired gun who is clearly a sociopath. In addition to being just a darn good mystery, C.J. Box sheds lights on tension between ranchers and environmentalists from tree huggers to animal lovers. Beautiful mountains, likable go ...more
Quinn
If you like modern day westerns about the rocky mountain states C.J Box is the the guy to read.
Kay
This book seemed quite average as I started, wasn't even sure I would finish but I was hooked by half way through and resentful I had to put the book aside for dinner out with 40 or so pages left. The story really builds with tension that lasts to the very end. Joe Pickett is a nice guy with a beautiful hardworking wife and 3 daughters. He patrols a wide slice of Wyoming including the Bighorn Mountains, a beautiful piece of America. This book deals with environmentalists running wild and rancher ...more
Holly Morey
The story begins with eco-terrorist Stewie Woods getting blown up by a cow, which would grab anyone's attention. Game Warden, Joe Pickett, is called to the scene along with the sheriff. Everyone is trying to make this and accident, but Joe suspects more especially when his wife starts receiving phone calls from Stewie. I gave the story 4 stars only because some of the storyline was predictable. CJ Box has the ability to show both sides of the ecological argument without being preachy. I am looki ...more
Bette
I got into Joe Pickett, with the most current installment, "Stone Cold". I just had to go back to the beginning, because I enjoyed it so much.
This is a game warden who has crimes and mysteries in the Great Wide Open of Wyoming & Montana (and surrounding states). It is so cool to have scenery described in terms of nature, instead of man-made landmarks and city streets and commerce.
I did read a CJ Box book last year, but not from the Pickett series. Many Good Read-ers suggested starting at the
...more
David Beck
I really want to like the Joe Pickett stories, they are set outdoors in a beautiful western locale. Something about Joe's basic ineptness and his inability to learn from his mistakes gets the better of the stories. Joe ends up angering powerful people in this story because he botches basic police work and trusts someone who is a criminal to do something honorable. He also has poor skills with people and firearms. During the story Joe and the people he is trying to save are being stalked by a ver ...more
Chris Phipps
This is the second in the Joe Pickett series, and an engaging read. Box is a good writer who knows his craft and writes about Wyoming as though he knows the country. Savage Run is a little different from his first novel, Open Season, in that this one is sometimes funny, as well as giving much food for thought when he explores the actions of extreme environmentalists and their impact on the residents and workers of rural communities. Intelligent writing by a man who leaves you with much to think ...more
Erin Mihulka
This was a good storyline...Exciting...(Potential spoilers here...so reader beware.)
But it really put a bad taste in my mouth, making conservatives/ranchers, etc...out to be murderers...
However, I get it.
I can't stand the type of people that were getting murdered. And I thought it was classic that they were dying in ways that made their fight for their preposterous 'causes' look even more asinine. I liked the Charlie Tibbs character. He reminded me of Clint Eastwood. But I didn't really apprecia
...more
Kevin
This is the second book in order and the second in the Joe Pickett series. Joe Pickett is a relatively new game warden in Wyoming, with a wife and 3 little girls. With the back drop of the Bighorn mountains, and with all the hunters in Wyoming, Joe has a busy and important job. I am fast becoming a huge fan of CJ Box, as I love the whole concept, its a great change of pace in my reading corner. It probably does help that I am a fan of the outdoors (hunting, fishing, wildlife, and the environment ...more
Dorothy
Aug 30, 2011 Dorothy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nevada Barr fans, lovers of outdoor adventures, lovers of Western mysteries
Joe Pickett may be one of the last honorable men in Wyoming. Everyone else in this book seems to ruthlessly pursue his/her own goals, and usually those goals involve the destruction of anyone who opposes him/her. Who knew the wild, wild West was still quite so wild?

The book begins with a cow being blown up and, along with the cow, a famous (or notorious, depending on your point of view) eco-terrorist and his new wife. They were out that day busily spiking trees when the cow exploded nearby.

It tu
...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 16 books)
  • Open Season (Joe Pickett, #1)
  • 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)
  • Blood Trail (Joe Pickett, #8)
  • Below Zero (Joe Pickett, #9)
  • Nowhere To Run (Joe Pickett, #10)
  • Cold Wind (Joe Pickett, #11)
Open Season (Joe Pickett, #1) Blue Heaven Force Of Nature (Joe Pickett, #12) Winterkill (Joe Pickett, #3) Out Of Range (Joe Pickett, #5)

Share This Book

“On the third day of their honeymoon, infamous environmental activist Stewie Woods and his new bride, Annabel Bellotti, were spiking trees in the forest when a cow exploded and blew them up. Until then, their marriage had been happy.” 17 likes
“Like most men, he had a tough time believing that his wife had had any kind of interesting life before she met him. Which was ridiculous on its face.” 2 likes
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