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Savage Run (Joe Pickett #2)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,082 Ratings  ·  373 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 G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2002)
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Favorite Mystery Series
59th out of 286 books — 104 voters
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"Modern" Westerns
2nd out of 101 books — 6 voters


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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
☯Cathrine
Jan 11, 2016 ☯Cathrine rated it liked it
3.5 for book 2 in what has become my favorite Man Lit series. #nohasslereading ...more
Melissa
Oct 18, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
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
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
Anthony Bellaleigh
Oct 16, 2011 Anthony Bellaleigh rated it really liked it
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
Wesley
Aug 21, 2011 Wesley rated it liked it
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
Sherri
Mar 03, 2011 Sherri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lynn Pribus
Apr 08, 2016 Lynn Pribus rated it liked it
"On the third day of their honeymoon, infamous environmental activist Stewie Woods and his new bride were spiking trees in the forest when a cow exploded and blew them up. Until then, their marriage had been happy."

How can you not continue reading a book with THAT opening graf? This is the second in quite a long series which should evidently be read in order, since this books basically reveals the mysteries of book #1. It's also pretty darn predictable. Nevertheless, I'll get more in the series.
...more
Rex Fuller
Apr 12, 2013 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it
A very smooth and easy read, in which the author just about perfectly skewers environmental extremists on both ends of tne spectrum.
Becky ♡The Bookworm♡
Well, that's one way to make ground chuck! Seriously though, I really enjoyed this book. The character development was very well done. Our villains are deeply disturbing individuals with an evil plan. Charlie Tibbs ranks up there with my "Best Worse Villains Ever" and the last person I'd want to tick off. On the upside, I'm really becoming fond of Joe Pickett, who is once again the underdog. He's not the alpha male that is so popular in fiction today, just an average "Joe" who loves his family a ...more
Robert
Dec 31, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Clyde
Jan 03, 2016 Clyde rated it really liked it
In Savage Run, Wyoming game warden Joe Picket runs up against a new age range war. Killers have been hired by some shadowy group to kill off environmental activists. Joe gets caught up in the conflict at first peripherally through his job and then directly through a family connection from the past.
For the first two thirds of the book, the story builds in two separate lines. One follows the team of killers as they go about the country eliminating victims in imaginative ways. The other follows Joe
...more
Alan Williams
Sep 06, 2011 Alan Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
Jul 20, 2015 Michael Arches rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Marge Anderson
Jan 31, 2016 Marge Anderson rated it really liked it
Another rock-solid mystery/adventure from C.J. Box.

This one pits radical environmental saboteurs and a newly-revived group of ranchers and wealthy landowners against each other, with the methodical but values-driven Joe Pickett and his family caught in the middle. The wealthy ranchers, tired of losing most of their battles to encroach on wilderness through ranching and development, have hired a "cattle detective" to hunt down infamous environmental activists. The cattle detective is right out of
...more
Eve Nolon
Jan 06, 2016 Eve Nolon rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook
This series. Well, I am not sure what I think as a whole but the individual books are pretty solid. I like that Joe Pickett isn't right all the time or a badass warrior who has all of the answers. I like his family, and I do like that the family faces the consequences of Joe's (in)actions. The daughters are well developed for young characters, even though I think 7-yo Sheridan acted more like a girl twice her age in the first book. I strangely dig Nate even though I am damned sure if he was a re ...more
Martha Bullen
Apr 06, 2014 Martha Bullen rated it really liked it
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
Kelly ...
Jan 06, 2016 Kelly ... rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, fiction
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. I found the plot interesting and the characters well-developed. Yes, it isn't a traditional mystery as we already know who the bad guys are, but Mr Box develops the setting so well that it becomes another character. I live in the mountains of Colorado and life is quite similar to life in WY. Hunting, fishing, ams... I think Mr Box does a great job of illustrating the type of lives that are lived in the rural West.

Some reviewers said
...more
J
Apr 12, 2016 J rated it really liked it
Maybe 4.5

Intended to get the first book in the series when I grabbed it at the library, but I must have missed one... will have to go back and get the actual first book.

Opening a bit rough - quote about "defending" earth, a naked woman. But this soon faded into familiar territory - Joe is married to Marybeth. They have their 3 daughters - Sheridan (10), Lucy - foster child (8) and April (4). Joe has been a warden for two years. It was nice to see the characters so young. Joe is frequently awkwa
...more
Lkelly6
May 24, 2014 Lkelly6 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
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
Ed
Aug 20, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#2 in the Joe Pickett series.

Joe Pickett series - Wyoming Game Warden Joe Picket is still fallible, his strong sense of duty, honor and justice again naively running afoul of the greedy villains bent on misusing the exquisite, vividly described landscape. A pair of well-drawn, unconventional hit men, one a conscienceless killer, are murdering environmentalists. First, a powerful explosion blows up "infamous environmental activist" Stewie Woods and his new wife while they're sabotaging logging in
...more
Nate Hendrix
Oct 29, 2012 Nate Hendrix rated it really liked it
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
May 24, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Robert Scott
Oct 01, 2015 Robert Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Pickett may not always do the smart thing, but he always does the right thing. He infuriates a local attorney/boutique rancher because when he goes to give him bad news about his herd he sees an elk head mounted on the wall that could only have been poached. He has been with the sheriff and his deputy to investigate an explosion in the mountains. As he tries to gather evidence he has to do his regular work. In the meantime, environmentalists are taking severe hits to their credibility by bei ...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
Jun 02, 2015 Lissa Notreallywolf rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
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
Dec 11, 2009 Robert Bell rated it really liked it
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
Aug 13, 2010 Michael rated it liked it
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
Ellen
Feb 07, 2016 Ellen rated it really liked it
Two ruthless hired hitmen have hired by a shadowy group known as the "Stockman's Trust" to kill several influential 'eco-terrorists' who the group see as threatening to their ranching lifestyles. The first to be attacked is "Stewie Woods" who is calmly spiking trees in Wyoming's forests in order to thwart logging company ventures. Stewie and his bride of three days happen upon a tethered cow with a pack of C4 strapped to its back. A remote detonation sends the cow, Stewie and his wife into the t ...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)

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“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.” 18 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.” 3 likes
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