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Free Fire

(Joe Pickett #7)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  11,837 ratings  ·  708 reviews

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

Kindle Edition, 380 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Corvus (first published May 10th 2007)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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Jim Thomsen
Sep 05, 2009 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
Interesting story! This time Joe Pickett was asked to investigate four murders at Yellowstone National Park by Wyoming Governor. Shockingly there's an area of 50 square miles of the park in Idaho that purported a loophole in the US Constitution (Sixth Amendment) and you may get away with any crime and even MURDER. It's called "The Zone of Death". I never heard of this, it's actually true. What??!! read on wiki

As always this series has wonderful characters that continue to grow. We also learn mor
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

Joe Pickett is asked by the governor to head into Yellowstone and investigate murder. It seems that a man has killed a group of people while they were camping and, weirdly, he was not punished for it.

The premise of this story is completely fascinating. The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution gives accused people the right to a speedy trial by a jury in the State and district where the crime has been committed. (See this explanation of the Vicinage Clause) There is a small section of Yellow
May 17, 2012 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 episo
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
Kate Lacy
I have been a fan of C.J. Box and his park ranger, Joe Pickett. This is one of the latest books and sorry, folks!
It's basically a diatribe against governmental practices in handling Yellowstone Park. All of the points made may be true, but I was reading the book for pleasure, not for politics and Joe Pickett has been lost in translation.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely interesting tale and Joe finally develops some balls and does not let any one run him over !!! Of course he still has his vehicle wrecked...
Was glad to see Nate again too :)
Tory Wagner
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever gone or want to go to Yellowstone National Park, you'll enjoy this book. As always, Box presents beautiful descriptions of the park although there are more descriptions of the geysers and other geological features rather than the wildlife. The mystery involves an area called The Dead Zone" in which neither state nor federal laws can be applied. Taking advantage of this loophole, several people are murdered and Joe Pickett is called in by the governor to investigate. ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
This is another good entry in the Joe Pickett series. In this one, Joe Pickett goes into Yellowstone National Park to investigate a mass murderer. It proves to be no easy task.
We get an interesting story with a good mystery and the typical C.J. Box twists. We get cold-blooded killers, some odd-ball characters, slimy politicians, dirty cops, corporate intrigue, danger, and no little violence. In addition to all that, Yellowstone Park itself becomes a character in this story. (This story says to m
Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
An interesting premise, but ultimately I just couldn't get into it. ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story about the former Wyoming game warden, Mr. Pickett. He's approached by the governor's assistant to do some under cover investigating in Yellowstone Park. A lawyer has found a loophole to commit murder in a certain area that is not under normal rules. Good mystery, laughs and action. ...more
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: authors-i-ve-met
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read the previous book in this series several weeks ago and the ending left me hanging, wondering how the main character, Joe Pickett, would respond to the changes in his life. He had just been fired from his job as a game warden for the state of Wyoming. He had finally run afoul of bureaucratic politics once too often. The job had defined who he was as a person. What would he do now?

The answer was that he would become a ranch foreman for his wealthy father-in-law. But, of course, that didn't
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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. ...more
Nov 18, 2014 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! I felt I was in Yellowstone ! Wow great book!
Randy Tramp
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett goes to Yellowstone National Park at the request of the Governor. No other agency wants him there.

Attorney Clay McCann admitted to killing four campers in the back-country of Yellowstone. Does he commit the perfect crime and get away with murder?

I like Joe Pickett as a character and Yellowstone as the setting. Two for one. I've never been to Yellowstone, but one day I'd love to go there. Especially, after reading this story and experiencing the sites. (Box did an
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read the six previous Joe Pickett novels by C.J. Box, and Free Fire is the best of the bunch. The pacing is great, the action is infrequent but well-rendered, and the ending is satisfying. Also, some of the previous Pickett novels have been too cluttered with child-rearing challenges and marital difficulties. Free Fire is mostly free of those issues. Much of the novel's action takes place in Yellowstone National Park, and Box's descriptions of the place's natural wonders are vivid. This b ...more
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book # 77 - Free Fire -This is the 7th book in C.J. Box's series about Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett. I love this series for the interesting characters and good plots with some surprising plot twists. Pickett was fired from his job in the prior book. In this one the new governor hires Joe to sniff around a case which has already been investigated and has garnered much news coverage.

The case involves Clay McCann, a lawyer who killed in cold blood four campers in a corner of Yellowstone National
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Yet another gripping tale of intrigue from C.J. Box. I have come to expect that Box's Joe Pickett and his family will be put in harms way. I have come to expect there to be rather gruesome scenes. I was not disappointed. Nate is a fascinating character. Did Joe weed out all the bad guys? I wonder. Box uses his words not just to paint the gruesome scenes, but also to give the reader vivid images of the settings, both of man made and natural. I could hear the sound of the geysers spouting off. On ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed how the premise from the law review article, "The Perfect Crime" was developed into a novel. For the attorneys it is worth schooling yourselves up on the vicinage clause of the constitution before you start. A quick youtube of the "Zone of Death" will also give you a quick primer. ...more
Robert James
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another winner from this author. I loved that the setting was so unique. He made Yellowstone Park into a critical character in the plot. Pickett seems to me to be moving out of the stumbling and bumbling simple game warden mode. He has a lot of Columbo in him.
Luke Walker
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story goes in a different direction than the other Joe Pickett novels, and it took me a while to get into it, but it paid off. This is another solid entry in the Joe Pickett series. I highly recommend this series!
More everyman, lawful good, Joe Pickett. This one is set at Yellowstone National Park, and it was great, as usual. Don't start with this one if you haven't read the series, though. Start with book 1 so you understand everything this family has been through.

3.5 stars. On to the next!
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really enjoying this series: the writing, plot, narration is all such fun. This volume is set in Yellowstone Park which has always fascinated me.

If only my library stocked all the books!
Christina Patterson
My favorite Picket book to date!
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Might even be 4.5. If you want to get to know Yellowstone Park this is a must read. Along with it is a few murders to be solved too! Really a good read
Diane Benson
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
love Joe Pickett and his stories
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Play Book Tag: (Poll Ballot) Free Fire by C. J. Box - 4 stars 4 12 May 06, 2020 06:23PM  
Anyone reading Joe Picket series? 16 59 Nov 17, 2012 10:08AM  
cj box 1 14 Oct 10, 2012 05:38PM  

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C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, two Barry Awards, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. He was recently awarded the 2016 ...more

Other books in the series

Joe Pickett (1 - 10 of 21 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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