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Blood Trail (Joe Pickett #8)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  6,348 Ratings  ·  381 Reviews
It is elk season in the Rockies, but this year a different kind of hunter is stalking a different kind of prey. When the call comes in on the radio, Joe Pickett can hardly believe his ears: game wardens have found a hunter dead at a camp in the mountains; strung up, gutted, and flayed, as if he were the elk he'd been pursuing. A spent cartridge and a poker chip lie next to ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Putnam Adult
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Rex Fuller
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. The story is clean and firm like newly tightened wire. Great surprise ending. My only regret is we don't see how, or even whether, Joe Pickett gets out of trouble at the end. I understand the reasons for doing it that way (dramatic ambiguity, teasing for the next book, etc.). However, to render perfect justice, which I thought was a hallmark of the series, the good guys have to come out okay. Even so, I would go so far as to say this is one to read again, the best that can be said of ...more
BLOOD TRAIL (Licensed Invest-Joe Pickett-Wyoming-Cont) – G+
Box, C.J. – 9th in series
Putnam, 2008 – US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780399154881

First Sentence: I am a hunter, a bestower of dignity.

Joe Pickett, now working director for the Governor of Wyoming, is called to go to a murder scene where an elk hunter has been murdered and his body treated like the quarry he sought. This isn’t the first such killing.

The Governor puts Joe on the multi-agency investigation, in spite of the antipathy between him a
Jan 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
One of my favorite Joe Pickett books. There is a serial killer on the loose in Wyoming. The killer is going after hunters and treating them like deer: Gutted, skinned, decapitated and hung up. Joe is asked by the Gov. to find out who is doing this. Joe is reunited with his old boss, Nate, and the regular cast of characters that we have come to enjoy over the years.
Box has really tightened up his story telling. I didn't find myself skipping pages only turning them as fast as I could. Unfortunat
Susan Grace
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A bit bloody and I easily figured out "who dunnit" and still an enjoyable read.
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent entry in the Joe Pickett series. I have been reading these in order and they just seem to get better and better. In this one, someone is hunting and killing hunters. It appears that the perpetrator is making these kills because he is against the hunting of animals...but is this the real reason? Why is the killer leaving a red poker chip next to each victim as a calling card? And why does it appear that the victims knew each other? And then why is Pickett's boss, Randy Pope, so ...more
Chris Jensen
Jan 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Entertaining. I read this while vacationing out east and it was the type of easy reading that made the end of the day something to look forward to. It's not a very complicated plot. I sort of figured it out about half way through the book. Work for a fish and game agency, the working relationships with hunters, Native Americans, the politicians and the overly ambitious bureaucrats is spot on and very entertaining to view through the eyes of C.J. Box.
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: box
12 jul 16...and on to another from box for me. ole joe pickett...he has something in common with travis mcgee...they both lost a brother to death. victor. the last story, i think that was the 2nd? time, 2nd story? that joe p's bro is mentioned. free fire.
they're everywhere! they're everywhere!
13 jul 16, finished, great story!
Eve Nolon
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, e-book
This was so close to being the first five-star rating that I gave to a Box novel, and it was so damned close until the very end and Joe Pickett had to go and ruin it. I'll get to that. First let me say that there was AWESOME Nate/Sheridan stuff. I ship them like burning, especially now that Sheridan is older and I love that she wrote him while he was in prison and thinks of herself as an apprentice falconer. Further, I loved that Nate referred to her as "his girl" when he asked Joe about her on ...more
Karen Cater
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first C.J. Box book I have read; it will not be the last one. At first, I didn't think I would like this book. I didn't like the title and I didn't like what was written on the book jacket. But it was the book assigned by my book club, so I thought I would give it a try. And I am so glad I did! Note to self: don't judge a book by its cover!
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Blood Trail is the eighth book in C. J. Box's Joe Pickett series. In this adventure, someone is hunting elk hunters in Wyoming. The first couple killings appear to be hunting accidents, but when a man is hung and gutted like prey, the police, the state game warden, even the governor take an active role in finding this human hunter. And their first step in solving the heinous crimes is to call in Joe Pickett.

The stakes are raised in the investigation when an anti-hunting advocate, Klamath Moore,
Mar 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american-west
No one writes Wyoming like C.J. Box. Curling up with one of his books is like getting in out of the wind, he gets the people and the places just right and you can almost smell the sage as you turn the pages. So why only two stars?

1. We get it, Mr. Box. You. Don't. Like. Animal. Rights. Activists. Enough, already! Look, I laughed when the tree spiker wound up in the tree in the beginning of Out of Range, and for a book or two it was fun, but seriously, it's time to skip the needle over a track.
Elly Wendy
Sep 06, 2016 rated it liked it
3* I am really enjoying this solidly-written, action-packed series. I like stories set in remote areas, outdoor and animal and hunting themes, and the conflicts arising from the various perspectives about those issues. There is a lot more too. Another Good One!
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Joe Pickett, family and Nate Romanowski are at it again. Someone is killing off hunters in Wyoming, but Joe feels it is personal since each is left with a poker chip in his mouth. Joe's kinda boss is more than ready to support him (yes, hell as frozen over!) with all the help he needs. Wh6y? Joe has an idea but, as things progress life takes a bad turn.

I love this series. I love learning about Wyoming, the Parks there and what game wardens do.

Great book.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
My husband likes these Joe Pickett mysteries & if you like tails of the new west (especially Wyoming), you'll like them too. I listened to this on audiotape with him on a recent car trip. The main character is a game warden who ends up solving murder cases. You have to be willing to suspend disbelief and go along with a little frontier justice, but its a perfectly enjoyable ride.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I always look forward to a C.J. Box novel featuring Joe Pickett. Although the story starts out slowly, it quickly picks up pace and as we approach the denouement, the reader can't help but be transfixed as he or she turns the next page and is already looking forward to the page following.
Feb 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Good as always. I really enjoy the taste of Wyoming and the West I get every time I read one of CJ's books. Like Nate, it makes me want to bury my face in a sagebrush and inhale the wonderful scent. I miss it!
Becky ♡The Bookworm♡
Wow! The twists and surprises in this installment were amazing! And Nate....oh boy...I don't have the words! I loved this book! I'll be back with a more detailed review when time allows!
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: authors-i-ve-met
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eight books into the series, I'll drop a few random thoughts.

1. I think I may be the only reader who read this book while also reading Rebecca Solnit's new essay collection. The men in the series are front and center, but there are some really strong females just off-screen, especially Marybeth and Sheridan Pickett. Marybeth does get a fair amount of agency (e.g. successful business owner), but deserves more page-time.

2. I know from reading seven other books about Joe Pickett that C.J. Box does
Ken Heard
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the better Joe Pickett's that I've read so far.

Two observations:

1) There's a continuation of drama and characters in this series that grows. Pickett's dysfunctional relationship with the FBI and the Wyoming Game and Fish continue. His daughters are growing up. Nate continues to be Nate. It's best, I've found, to read this series in order to fully enjoy each character's growth and motivations for their actions as the books progress.

2) Some of the writing reminds me of John Sandford and h
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is elk season in the Rockies, but this year a different kind of hunter is stalking a different kind of prey. When the call comes in on the radio, Joe Pickett can hardly believe his ears: game wardens have found a hunter dead at a camp in the mountains; strung up, gutted, and flayed, as if he were the elk he'd been pursuing. A spent cartridge and a poker chip lie next to his body.

Ripples of horror spread through the community, and with a possibly psychotic killer on the loose Governor Rulon is
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2017-fiction
More contemplative than I'm used to with the Pickett series and the beginning interior monologue by the unknown doer took more patience than I usually have. This goes on throughout, where we are privy to this doer's thoughts though not given identifying information, which keeps the suspense to the end. This did not add to the tension for me at all.

As usual I got a new take on things I thought I knew about. For instance, Joe's observation that the Native American school was more white, I'd guess
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
... I have not read all the - Joe Pickett - series by C.J Box ... however I have read eight in the series not being able to get hold of the complete set of eighteen in Audio !!! ... I absolutely love this writer and how he describes the Wyoming landscape and the peoples and creatures that inhabit it ... just fantastic, for anyone who enjoys reading about the beauty and the destruction too of Nature by Humans a definite recommendation !!!! and you too will become a big fan on Joe Pickett and his ...more
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid Joe Pickett novel, but ...

1) Is the body count going to keep climbing? I counted 11 dead folks in this one.

2) Are we to continue to believe that Joe and Nate can get away with some of their extreme actions?

3) Are we supposed to continue to admire Joe just because he expresses some guilt about some of the unconscionable things he's done? The "he needed killin' " justification only goes so far. One person's "flawed hero" becomes guilty of manslaughter and cold-blooded murder in anoth
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
Someone is killing off hunters in Wyoming. 8 books into this series and I'm still really enjoying it. He now has to deal with leaking roofs and nosy neighbors. Reporting directly to the governor he has become a troubleshooter and fills in where needed at the whim of the governor. All the characters are there: Nate, wife and kids and some others new to the story line.Those are the bad guys. Some familiar ones get bumped off. At the end, there are a pile of bodies. The story is clean and firm
Jill Benson
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like the main character because he is not all "good guy" . He has a darker side too. The setting is especially nice however the hunting images are brutal. I imagine the author intended it that way, but this was not a one sided anti-hunting harangue either. The story had some surprises, but not much. The ending sure made me want to see what happens next.

Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great read! The different views of hunting were at the center of the story, which made the investigation more personal for Joe. The involvement of Nate seemed kind of forced and unnecessary, but I guess it's good to have him available again for future books. I kind of wish the Master Tracker was a regular character, too.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am getting very attached to Joe Pickett and his crew. I love the addition of Nate and it somehow feels good to see him take vengeance though it gets him into trouble. The plots are interesting and fast paced.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-library, 2017
CJ Box just gets better and better. This may have been my favorite Joe Pickett book yet. That ending, man.

I don't know how Box does it, maintaining that level of suspense and tension when I've figured out whodunit.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe Pickett chases a Hunter

Joe and Nate on the trail of a killer who kills hunters and field dresses them like elk. There’s something else going on and it’s an interesting ride figuring it out
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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 18 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)
  • Free Fire (Joe Pickett, #7)
  • Below Zero (Joe Pickett, #9)
  • Nowhere To Run (Joe Pickett, #10)
  • Cold Wind (Joe Pickett, #11)
“AS A HUNTER I am looked down upon in Western society. I am portrayed as a brute. I am denigrated and spat upon, and thought of as a slow-witted anachronism, the dregs of a discredited culture. This happened quickly when one looks at human history. The skills I possess—the ability to track, hunt, kill, and dress out my prey so it can be served at a table to feed others—were prized for tens of thousands of years. Hunters fed those in the tribe and family who could not hunt well or did not hunt because they weren’t physically able to. The success of the hunter produced not only healthy food and clothing, tools, medicine, and amenities, but a direct hot-blooded connection with God and the natural world. The hunter was the provider, and exalted as such.” 2 likes
“I often think that in the world we live in today, where we are threatened by forces as violent and primitive as anything we have ever faced, that it would be wise to look back a little ourselves and embrace our heritage. We were once a nation of hunters. And not the effete, European-style hunters who did it for sport. We hunted for our food, our independence. It’s what made us who we are. But, like so many other virtues that made us unique, we have, as a society, forgotten where we came from and how we got here. What was once both noble and essential has become perverted and indefensible.” 2 likes
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