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Free Fire (Joe Pickett #7)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  5,405 Ratings  ·  350 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 G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jim Thomsen
Sep 05, 2009 Jim Thomsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 13, 2009 Quinn rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jan 06, 2009 CT rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 18, 2015 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
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.
Nov 18, 2014 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
Another great Joe Picket novel, this time set in Yellowstone. A rock solid book with plenty of mystery.
Jan 18, 2016 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! I felt I was in Yellowstone ! Wow great book!
This is the first book I have read by C.J. box even though it #7 in the series, because I needed a book set in Yellowstone national park. It does well as a standalone, there are references to past events, but no big holes in the story.

It is a mystery/western/ adventure type story, not usually my thing. I think the fact that I have been to Yellowstone enhances the reading experience, and the descriptions rang true throughout the book. It is basically about someone who thought they had committed t
Eve Nolon
Dec 29, 2015 Eve Nolon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Free Fire is definitely my favorite of the series so far, surpassing Blood Trail, which could of been a five-star book for me, but wasn't for reasons I'll explain in that review. Back to Free Fire! Excellent concept that really pulled me into the plot and the plot made sense! All the way through, which is sort of amazing. I enjoyed the change of scenery to Yellowstone, where I've never been but I've wanted to visit. Box did an excellent job with his descriptions of setting and really making the ...more
Mar 07, 2015 Frank rated it it was amazing
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
Nancy picked up this book while we were in Yellowstone, October, 2014. The setting for the book is Yellowstone. She really enjoyed it and passed it on to me. I bought the audiobook at Audible.
Just starting today.

I enjoyed the book, the western theme, the location. I didn't think the writing was very sophisticated. I like Craig Johnson's style and characters better. Course, this is the first Joe Pickett I have read.
I thought the first encounter he had at Yellowstone with the FBI guy, the assi
May 17, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
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
Aug 01, 2011 Wesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series_favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2009 L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.
Jul 20, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned so much about Yellowstone National park in this story of backstabbing, insanity and murders. Joe Pickett, the hero, has lost his game warden job. It was only a matter of time. But the new Wyoming Governor has decided to turn Joe into a sleuth by sending him on a Mission Impossible-type position. Find out why a prominent lawyer killed four people and who else was involved.

An excellent tale from an author that I enjoy more each book!
Jul 11, 2016 wally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: box
11 jul 16, another from box for me. this must be...ummm, maybe the 10th? give or take. #7 joe pickett. onward & upward.
12 jul 16, finished. great story! ooga booga! yellowstone...the caldera. fascinating story. almost made it to yellowstone back when...but stopped at the museum in cody, spent the day there, instead. i live in the u.p.
onward, ever onward.
Jeff Dickison
Mar 06, 2016 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it
A good Joe Pickett novel as he must go to Yellowstone Park as a special agent to find out how and why a man could kill six people and get away with it. Good writing, excellent action, and good descriptions of the park and it's building make this a winner. Recommended.
Susie James
May 16, 2016 Susie James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting side trip into crime, bureaucratic bungling and straight arrows --and a trip into Yellowstone!
Charlie Vetters
Feb 07, 2017 Charlie Vetters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Has it been seven books already? Free Fire is the 7th book based on a Wyoming Game Warden named Joe Pickett. Some of the books have been better than others but I haven't hit a clunker yet but I personally enjoyed this one a little bit more. There is something about these books that captivates me. The main character is a simple man with an unwavering moral compass that leads him into all kinds of sticky situations and mysteries.

The wild mountain geography and its wildlife are integral parts of e
Lissa Notreallywolf
Jun 07, 2015 Lissa Notreallywolf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ronda Rodgers
Feb 04, 2017 Ronda Rodgers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a little slow getting started for me, but then surprising turns hooked me. If I could change one thing - it would be character naming. Langston, Layton, and Layborn - too close. When you have to put a book down and pick it back up frequently, it's hard to keep the identities straight. I loved the science of it all. Oh, and 2016 was the 100th anniversary of the Nat'l Park Service, and we visited a couple of them - so the whole NPS system stuff was intriguing to me. Enjoyed it!
David Weinfeld
Jan 18, 2017 David Weinfeld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really choice book. Joe Pickett, fired from his Park Ranger job is hired to secretly find out what is going on in the park. He uncovers a major scandal involving the theft of natural resources from the park. His old buddy Nate Romanowski plays a key role in protecting Joe and his family. Many murders and conspiracy at Yellowstone Park are ultimately solved, big time.
Jan 28, 2017 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so exciting, I read it too fast!

Now I have to buy the next one!!! So Nate, in my brain, is Clay Matthews. I don't have a celebrity for every character, but I'm getting there! Another exciting murder mystery with turns and twists galore!
Jaymi Couch
Oct 22, 2016 Jaymi Couch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another classic Joe Pickett story. Always relevant with beautiful descriptions of the Wyoming nature. An exiting and compelling read.
Jan 12, 2017 Arda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not my favorite Joe Pickett book. The storyline was good but it would get bogged down in the technical side of it.
Feb 03, 2017 Joey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good but the ending was unsatisfactory.
Mark Easter
Dec 09, 2012 Mark Easter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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 the story of Clay McCann, a

Michael Sova
Jan 08, 2014 Michael Sova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 10, 2017 Cactuskid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one as Joe was sent to Yellowstone National Park and the whole book was in that setting mostly. Since we were there several years ago, it really is fun to read about the place when you know the places and buildings that are being talked about. Of course there is some fictitious things but a lot was for real. A good story too.
David Pedersen
Oct 04, 2016 David Pedersen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic and a quick read - love mysteries and the great outdoors, so this was a perfect book for me. Has me inspired to visit Yellowstone National Park again!
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Anyone reading Joe Picket series? 16 52 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 17 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)

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