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Free Fire (Joe Pickett #7)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  2,937 ratings  ·  217 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
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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LJ
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
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John
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
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Quinn
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
Kay
Another great Joe Picket novel, this time set in Yellowstone. A rock solid book with plenty of mystery.
Wesley
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

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L
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
Pattianne
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
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CT
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
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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
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Cvongarlem
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
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.
Lance
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
Chris
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
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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 prosecut ...more
Tyler Genty
#1

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.

#2

I think the book this time around is boring it has no action in it right now. All
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Sherri
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
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Mary
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
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Andrew
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
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Jen
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
Lise
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
Kathy
This is the 7th book of the series, which I am enjoying. In this book, Joe has been sent "undercover" by the governor of Wyoming to investigate a multiple shooting event in a secluded section of Yellowstone National Park. Of course, he discovers an underlying reason, along with many bad guys to make things exciting. Oh no! His friend Nate is victim of a deal with the FBI going sour, and is taken prisoner. Guess we wait for the next book to see what happens there.
Corinne Copelan
This is my Favorite Book of C. J. Box, so far, and I really like them all. And if you have never read him, this could be easily a stand alone novel, even if you don't know the details about everybody. I read this one out of sequence(had to order it at my library).
It as it all. The West, Beautiful Yellowstone (one of my favorite U.S. Park, that I really love), murders (I never cared for murders were you have to find WHO did it, I always figure it out way to soon), but I like to know HOW the other
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Linda
If one were to read only C.J. Box and Nevada Barr novels, they'd never want to vacation in any national park or wilderness area for all the illegal activity and murders they depict as happening there. Thankfully, this is just fiction (right?). In this novel, Joe Pickett, a recently fired park ranger, is enlisted by the Wyoming govenor to go back to work for the state (albeit kind of undercover and with no support from anyone) to find out what really happened when a local small time lawyer killed ...more
Chris
Two very interesting plot lines intersect in this page turner. Joe is visited by the governor and offered his job back working on special projects for the governor like something out of Mission Impossible-he's getting paid by the state but if something goes wrong they will not acknowledge him. He's dispatched to Yellowstone Park to investigate the murders of four people. The killer confessed but can't be charged because the crimes committed were in a legal zone where laws don't apply due to a lo ...more
Shannon
As I believe I've read elsewhere, Box's writing is getting better. This storyline takes place in Yellowstone (and how I am so looking forward to visiting there again!) and Box's writing about the area and people feels like you are there. Joe takes a "job" for the Governor and goes to Yellowstone to follow up on a murder of four people for no apparent reason other than a lawyer who pulled the trigger could get away with it based on a technicality. Bad lawyers, rangers, businessmen and maybe the G ...more
Rebecca
This is so far my favorite Joe Pickett novel. This takes place in Yellowstone Natl Park. The images of the scenery makes me want to go WY.

A lawyer walks into a ranger station and states he has killed four people. The lawyer gets off due to a loophole in the laws that govern the national park system which is called "zone of death" I didn't know that. The lawyer is released and the governor once again turns to Joe to investigate the situation. He turns up a connection to bio-engineering firms, th
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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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“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
“two sharp brown eyes surveyed the room like drive-by shooters.” 0 likes
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