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Free Fire (Joe Pickett #7)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  3,196 ratings  ·  231 reviews
A Joe Pickett novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Endangered.

Joe Pickett’s been hired to investigate one of the most cold-blooded mass killings in Wyoming history. Attorney Clay McCann admitted to slaughtering four campers in a back-country corner of Yellowstone National Park—a “free-fire” zone with no residents or jurisdiction. In this remote fifty-square-
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jim Thomsen
This is one of my favorites in the Joe Pickett series. It's set in Yellowstone National Park, where I worked for a year in 1997, and so I felt more connected to the setting than a Washingtonian normally world to a series that takes place exclusively in Wyoming.

But beyond that, it's just got a great plot, great characters and great tensions. Some highlights:

— The legal ambiguity surrounding Yellowstone's tiny "Zone Of Death," where a person can kill anyone inside without fear of prosecution, is
There is a small stretch of land on the southwest edge of Yellowstone Park where Idaho and Wyoming meet called the "Zone of Death", where there is no real law because of bureaucratic B.S. A place where Idaho law and Wyoming law have no jurisdiction because it is on National Park Land. A man kills three people and has to be set free because no one is allowed to prosecute. Joe Pickett is sent to investigate the killings and what he discovers is a twisted web of cover ups and conspiracy that goes a ...more
This is probably the best in the Joe Pickett series so far. Number 7 in the series finds Joe being sent to Yellowstone National Park by the Wyoming governor to investigate the murders of four Park contract employees by a local attorney. The murders took place in an area called the Zone of Death where the murderer could not be prosecuted because of the local jurisdictions. Joe, who was fired from his game warden job in the last book, is promised to be reinstated by the governor if he takes on the ...more
FREE FIRE (Licensed Investigator-Joe Pickett-Wyoming-Cont) – Ex
Box, C.J. – 7th in series
Putnam, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780399154270
First Sentence: A half-hour after Clay McCann walked into the backwoods ranger station and turned over his still-warm weapons, after he’d announced to the startled seasonal ranger behind the desk that he’d just slaughtered four campers near Robinson Lake, the nervous ranger said, “Law enforcement will be here any minute. Do you want to call a lawyer?”
*** Joe Pic
C J Box box writes a decent crime novel around a the character of Joe Pickett, a game warden in Wyoming. The series is interesting in that it paints a picture of Wyoming and big game hunting that most of us have never been exposed to.

Box's stories are what I call "Republican formulaic" in that organized law enforcement is always inept or corrupt, or both, and Pickett is the 'every man' succeeding from pure tenacity, luck and righteousness. Pickett's innocence requires being saved in each episod
Another great entry in the Joe Pickett series. I recommend reading this series in the correct order, because I'm not, and it's hard to keep track of some of the characters as they reoccur throughout the series.
Another great Joe Picket novel, this time set in Yellowstone. A rock solid book with plenty of mystery.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jon Borah

Joe Pickett, recently fired from his job as a Wyoming game warden, is working on his father-in-law's ranch when he receives a visit from the governor. Governor Rulon - a devious but down-home politico - has a special request, one Joe knows he can't refuse. For weeks, the headlines have been abuzz with the story of Clay McCann, a lawyer who slaughtered four campers in a far-off corner of Yellowstone. After the murders, McCann immediately turned himself in at the nearest ranger station. Seemed lik

How to balance the excess violence (bad) & worship of the "outside the rules" approach to police work with the joy of reading about Yellowstone National Park and a kid who gives her father a hard time about his gas-guzzling vehicle? Really this should be 3-1/2 stars, I suppose. I rounded up because I know I'll go look for more C. J. Box. I do like Pickett and could find myself sort of liking Wyoming.
Mark Mitchell
C.J. Box has chosen an inventive premise for this installment in the Joe Pickett series based on real-world facts: at one point, an obscure combination of laws made it impossible to prosecute crimes in a particular section of Yellowstone National Park. Pickett investigates murders that occurred in this region, and becomes entangled in an ongoing criminal enterprise with political implications. But, despite the interesting concept, the book falls flat. The story itself just isn't that interesting ...more
Free Fire - Joe Pickett #7 - Joe Picket returns, this time to the wilds of Yellowstone National Park. Deftly plotted and full of intrigue, Free Fire is C. J. Box's best novel yet.

Joe Pickett, having recently been fired from his job as a Wyoming game warden, is working on his father-in-law's ranch when he receives a call from the governor's office. Governor Rulon-a devious but down-home politico-has a special request, one Joe knows he can't refuse. For weeks, the headlines have been abuzz with
Excellent mystery set in Yellowstone Park. The book worked on many levels: the intro to Yellowstone, story of how Joe Pickett’s past intersects with the present, the free fire zone, and the jurisdictional nightmare that is Yellowstone.
Michael Sova
Forced to turn over his gun and badge, disgraced Wyoming Game and Fish warden Joe Pickett accepts a position as foreman on the Longbrake Ranch. The change of scenery gives Joe some financial stability, a more comfortable home and much closer proximity to his social climbing mother-in-law. When Governor Randy Pope offers Pickett an opportunity to get his old job back under far less than ideal circumstances, he still jumps at the chance.
Free Fire is the seventh C.J. Box novel in his award winni
Michael Arches
It's a terrific story focused on Yellowstone where several problems exist at once. First, a sleezy lawyer has figured out there's a part of the park where serious crimes can't be prosecuted, called the Zone of Death, and the lawyer kills four men there. Then there's the problem that the entire park is one giant volcano ready to burst at any time. And Joe has to confront his past because his brother died in the park many years before, an event that destroyed Joe's family.
It's a lot for one man to
Jacqui Binford-bell
Unique look at a national park

I love books which can educate as well as entertain. I have been fascinated with the Joe Picket books because of their honest portrayal of the modern west and the position of parks and federal lands in that balance.

This novel, placed in Yellowstone Park, has a texture beyond Box's other books set in Wyoming. The park becomes a major character in the book. I live and work in a resort community and was enthralled with the characterization of the employees at end os se
Free Fire was my first C.J. Box novel and my introduction to Joe Pickett. I was instantly drawn in and so happy to be reading a book in which I could drown myself. It was a pleasure meeting the characters - they're fresh, interesting and likeable, enjoyed the outdoor setting, and know I learned something new while I read. And, oh my goodness, I identify with Joe’s family dynamics. They’re so well done and age appropriate, he must have daughters. Added bonus? It’s a series, so I immediately looke ...more
Joe Pickett is sent by the Wyoming Governor to Yellowstone Park, on special assignment, to investigate some unusual goings on. Four people are dead who had worked in the park. They were murdered by a local attorney who managed to get off with no jail time. As Joe investigates he finds that there might be some park employees behind the deaths. And, then the attorney kills two more people and doesn't want to get off this time. What in the world is going on? Who can Joe trust? Maybe not even the Go ...more
An improvement over #6, mostly because it was so cool to head into Yellowstone and learn about stuff. Nothing much to say about character growth (one anvil, didn't really have much of an effect) but a solid, entertaining read. Didn't love it. (Haven't really loved these except #1 and #2) but a vast step back to quality compared to the previous volume with (view spoiler).

I keep expecting Box to pull a Dick Francis, but when you stay with the same character
Game Warden Joe Pickett is asked by the Govenor, (off the record), to go to a small Wyoming town to Investigate the mysterious death of his undercover representative. The representative was originally sent in to find out, just why, a millionaire mogul would build a ranch in the middle of nowhere.

This was actually my first Joe Picket novel. Our book club picked it and then the leader changed her mind and chose "Stone Cold" instead. So I looked at the wrong list and ended up reading both.

I like th
Minty McBunny
Now that is more like it! This was a real return to form for Box, the best Pickett book since Winterkill. The new setting of Yellowstone was refreshing and also fascinating to learn about, I have never been and never really thought much about it before. Now I am interested!

I liked that he brought in new characters, fresh victims and villains, and did the groundwork to make this book more than just a rehash of earlier themes and ideas.
maybe i am too easy on books..maybe i just find great books. cj box is NOT a household name, but i have read 3 of his Joe Pickett books, and really have found them....good. this one focused on a murder mystery and investigation, set in yellowstone park. there is plenty of national park love, and the game warden (pickett) is a likable guy. The book/story turns out to more complex and intriguing than a heretofore unknown author might be considered; and, as one of my friends described another autho ...more
Box, C.J. – 7th in series
Putnam, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780399154270
First Sentence: A half-hour after Clay McCann walked into the backwoods ranger station and turned over his still-warm weapons, after he’d announced to the startled seasonal ranger behind the desk that he’d just slaughtered four campers near Robinson Lake, the nervous ranger said, “Law enforcement will be here any minute. Do you want to call a lawyer?”
*** Joe Picket has been fired from being a game warden and is chafing at w
Joyce Lagow
7th in the Joe Pickett series.[return][return]With this installment, Box returns to form with a fascinating novel that takes place in Yellowstone National Park. The mystery part of the plot is good though nothing unusual typical good workmanship on Box s part. But crucial to the story are several unique aspects about Yellowstone, one geological and the other legal. [return][return]The legal oddity is that in the strip of the park that is within Idaho s boundaries, no felony can be prosecuted. Th ...more
Tyler Genty

I think the book is getting better than the last couple of weeks that I have read this book. I'm on page 59 and I have found out that Joe Pickett the main character has been given his job as a game warden back. I was happy to hear that because when I read that he had been fired I though that the book was going to start to get bad. I'm going to read this book the whole way to see how good it's going to be ending.


I think the book this time around is boring it has no action in it right now. All
Joe Picket comes back to his fans in this 7th CJ Box novel, and turns Yellowstone National Park upsidedown.

Touted as being the best CJ Box novel so far, we watch as Joe is fired from his job as Wyoming game warden and is called by the governor to work secretly for him. Joe's been working in his game warden leave-of-absence on his father-in-law's ranch. Governor Rulon is asking for Joe's help in figuring out some murders by Clay McCann, an attorney who is slaughtering people in campgrounds and ge
Another exciting Joe Pickett book. You can't help but like Joe - his character is very believable - 1 of those slightly contrary but very responsible, capable guys. As with the others in the series, it is exciting, with the facts revealing themselves as the story progresses. The wilderness setting is an interesting plus.

Storyline: Joe Pickett, having recently been fired from his job as a Wyoming game warden, receives a call from Governor Rulon. For weeks, the headlines have been abuzz with the s
A professional colleague told me a couple of years ago that his nephew wrote a legal brief that ended up being the basis of a novel by C. J. Box. This was the book - what happens if you kill someone in the Idaho portion of Yellowstone National Park, where no one lives and as such you cannot gather a jury of peers??

Yes, Free Fire is that novel. BUT that legal question is actually a small part of the story - the "why" is the real mystery in C. J. Box's novel.

There were a lot of things I didn't lik
Free Fire is the seventh book in C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series. In this installment, Joe is working on his father-in-law's ranch when the Governor of Wyoming offers him a job back with the game wardens. Only this time he won't have an assigned district to cover, he'll be going to Yellowstone National Park to investigate a multiple homicide case that was committed in the "Zone of Death." A lawyer figured out that a small strip of land overlapped jurisdictions, the free fire zone, and therefore no ...more
Characters. Great setting. Action. Microbiology. Yep, that's right. In Free Fire Pickett finds himself on loan by the state's governor, investigating the deaths of some animal rights activists in a crime instigated by a legal loophole in the area of Yellowstone Park in which it is committed. There's political corruption, corporate greed, inter-agency squabbling as Joe knocks heads with the park rangers, including a mother and wife who's just trying to get along. Surprises are rife in this one, a ...more
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Anyone reading Joe Picket series? 16 49 Nov 17, 2012 10:08AM  
cj box 1 14 Oct 10, 2012 05:38PM  
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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)
  • 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 Savage Run (Joe Pickett, #2) Force Of Nature (Joe Pickett, #12) Winterkill (Joe Pickett, #3)

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“We are both disciples of the Louis Jordan song ‘What’s the Use of Getting Sober (When You’re Gonna Get Drunk Again).” 1 likes
“the Eight Percent Rule to McCann. “It’s really very simple,” he said, using the same melodic voice he used to pet and stroke the jury. “I have to convince one juror out of twelve to vote with us. One of twelve is eight percent, give or take. Not that I need to convince him our client is innocent, understand. I just need to establish an intimate partnership with that one fellow or lady in a crowd who is contrary. The man or woman who has an ax to grind. My theory, and you saw it happen twice, is that in any group of people forced to be together, at least eight percent of them will go against the majority if for no other reason than to shove it up their ass—if they have an authority figure they can trust to be on their side. I am that leader in the courtroom.” 0 likes
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