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Vicious Circle

(Joe Pickett #17)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  8,407 ratings  ·  772 reviews
The plane circled in the dark. Joe Pickett could just make out down below a figure in the snow and timber, and then three other figures closing in. There was nothing he could do about it. And Joe knew that he might be their next target.

The Cates family had always been a bad lot. Game warden Joe Pickett had been able to strike a fierce blow against them when the life of his
Hardcover, 369 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Kim Liv left after giving her statement & left to get Nate. Dallas never made it to trial where she would have been called to testify.

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4.26  · 
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 ·  8,407 ratings  ·  772 reviews

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Cindy Burnett
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
I read and really enjoy a wide range of mystery series, and C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett series is at the very top of my list. Each installment is outstanding and unique, and Vicious Circle (the 17th in the series) is no exception. I am not usually a fan of retribution stories so I was a little concerned that this book might not appeal to me as much as some of his others, but thankfully Vicious Circle is fast-paced, a page-turner, and does not get bogged down in the retribution story line. I read it ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All mystery fans
C.J. Box has hit his stride and is knocking these books out of the park!

The last few of his books have been great, but this one is the best of his I have read in a long time. So, when the book is better than books you already felt were pretty great – that is a very good thing!

Lots of action, corruption, revenge set all around the state of Wyoming: Big Horn Mountains, Jackson Hole, even the small town of Lusk gets featured. I grew up in Wyoming and went to Lusk for the 4th of July once. It is not
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
I have read quite a few of C J Box's books and have become a firm fan. But this is my first encounter with Joe Pickett and, to be brutally honest, I found it to be a little boring; almost tedious.

Not what I have come to expect from Box. Will this put me off reading more from this author? Definitely not. I will even be tempted to read more from this series as I have enjoyed all his previous works that I have read.

Thank you to Head of Zeus via Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of Vi
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, actually - but good enough to err on the upside when half-stars aren't possible.

This is something like the 17th book about Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett, and since I've read most of them, by now I consider Joe a good friend. There's another reason I love the guy: As those who have read my past reviews most likely are tired of seeing, Joe and I share a surname. In fact, that's what got my attention in the beginning. This one, though, is extra-special for another reason: It was releas
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it

Joe Pickett is a Wyoming Game Warden who's very good at catching wrongdoers in his district, Twelve Sleep County, a sprawling region of forests, mountains, rivers, and so on. Twelve Sleep County seems to be chock full of miscreants who have a grudge against Joe.....and are prone to target the warden AND his family: wife Marybeth and daughters Sheridan, April, and Lucy.

In this 17th book in the series, Joe is in the sights of former rodeo star Dallas Cates, who just got out of prison. Joe has a l
Sean Peters
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I had heard a lot about this author, thought about time I read this author..

Only read about Joe Pickett through a book of Lee Childs, with different authors and characters...

I think the character of Joe Pickett is great, a normal family man, who does and honest job to the best of his ability.

This book really come in three parts, first part starts the story and sets it into motion, second part a court case, and third part the best part the chase..

Although I liked the character, the family, the ov
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett has been in a lot of dangerous and threatening situations before, but none have been as perilous for him and his family as their encounters with the evil and twisted Cates clan. (The history of those confrontations is detailed in “Endangered” the 15th book in the series.) At the conclusion of that book, Joe gets a measure of justice against the Cates for the abduction and beating of his daughter April. But that justice came at a high price for the Cates family. In ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Brilliant! As always....I love this series.

My View:

I’ll keep this review brief as you all know how much I love this author and in particular this series. This is another outstanding episode in the life of game warden Joe Pickett, the narrative just keeps setting darker and more intense as the series goes on. This is a clear your diary, order dinner to be delivered, read in one night kind of book…you will not be disappointed!

I’ll add one additional thought – the Wanda Stacy event raised my blood
What's up with that ending? Felt like Box just said, "I'm done" and chopped it short. I was definitely expecting a bit more.
Alex Cantone
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-challenge
Although only 207 miles as the crow flies from Saddlestring, it had taken 360 vehicle miles to get there (Jackson Hole) … driving east to west across a state knuckled with north-to-south mountain ranges and rivers slowed things down … Twice he had to slow down for elk to cross the highway in his headlights, and he’s almost hit a black bear loping across the road to Togwotee Pass.

Dallas Cates, former rodeo champion, has been released from county jail, within weeks of two other violent offenders.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
It's always great to spend some time with Joe Pickett and his family and friends. And this one promises to be an exciting ride: the Cates family, who Joe had a run-in with a couple of books back, has returned to get their revenge. But it's really kind of a dull book, all-in-all. What should have been an epic battle gets resolved all too easily. It almost seems like these last couple of Pickett books have been phoned-in rather than really developed and that's a shame, because Joe Pickett is one o ...more
Janet Duncan

I love the books by C. J. Box and have read all of them. This book was not one of his best books. You had to know Joe Picket to "get the book". Joe was not in the mountains or wilderness with snow or rivers that gushed. It was too much talking. The reviews indicated that Nate was in the book and he was. But very little.
Moonlight Reader
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was one of those books that you start, and then really can't put down until the last page is read. The Cates/Pickett feud comes to a bitter, bitter end. There was one really good twist that surprised me. A terrific entry in the series.
Craig Sisterson
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, rural-noir
If you feel like getting out of the urban jungle and into the countryside with your crime reading, then CJ Box should be near the very top of your to-read list. He's won the Edgar Award for his outstanding standalone Blue Heaven, but the spine of his terrific authorial oeuvre is his long-running series starring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett.

Pickett is the inverse of many standard crime heroes, and not just because he lives and works in the wide open landscapes of Wyoming rather than hunting k
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You can't put it down. Once again everything happens to poor old Joe Pickett!
Vicki Renee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
For those few of you who follow my reviews you may remember that from time to time I will find an error in Mr. Box' stories and point it out. I do it not out of malice but simply for fun. The errors I find are minor in the extreme and do nothing to detract from the overall high quality of his work. In Vicious Circle Box has made a somewhat large error though it still doesn't reflect badly on the story.

At one point in the book one of the characters is trying to get a shot on a pronghorn. The cha
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: box-c-j, pickett
VICIOUS CIRCLE by C.J. Box is the 17th installment in the Joe Pickett Series, and continues in the struggles Joe has of being a game warden in Wyoming constantly finding himself in situations that place both him and his family in peril and in need of assistance from his reclusive friend Nate Romanowski, a very skilled and dangerous man who has pledged his life to protecting Joe and his family for life.
Dallas Cates is a figure from Joe’s past whose entire family has meant nothing but trouble for
Don Gorman
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
(3 1/2). I have read all 17 Joe Pickett books, and I am glad to tell you that this series has gotten better with age. This is not the best one of the last three or so, but it is damn close. We have a great story based on recurring characters with a wonderful, mostly believable twist. As always, our "Dudley Do Right" style protagonist, Joe, gets caught in the middle of the muddle and has to fight for his, and his family's life. I don't think these are books that would fare as well if you had not ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was reccomended by a friend. I had never read anything by the author before. Pleasantly surpised. Fast paced thriller with decent characters (some a little cliched). I liked the Wyoming setting. Very easy read. Plot wasn't overly original (same with the twists) but it still seemed to work. Will definitely keep any eye open for anything new from the author.
Lucy Burdette
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
CJ Box is a master, his Joe Pickett might be the best mystery series character out there. That said, this book scared me to death--bad guys are seriously bad.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love Joe Pickett series, in this one he is again confronted w/ his enemy, Dallas Cates and family (what's left of it), and must solve their crimes as well as protect his family.
Carmen Bollinger
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Joe Pickett is facing fire from multiple fronts this time out. His mother-in-law and Dallas Cates are both back, and someone's poaching game.
Only C. J. Box could write a character who rips off peoples' ears, and still makes you want to meet him.
The end of the poaching racket was great, too. Box always throws in a comment or two on the country's circumstances.
The Real Book Spy
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read This Review and more at

Over the course of sixteen prior novels, Joe Pickett, America’s favorite Wyoming game warden, and his family have been in over their heads numerous times–but they’ve never been tested quite like this.

Dallas Cates, who enjoyed minor fame and a small fortune as a champion bull rider on the rodeo circuit before landing in prison, has come back to his hometown of Saddlestring, Wyoming looking for revenge.

Longtime fans of Box’s best-selling serie
First Sentence: Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett Flicked his eyes between the screen of the iPad mounted in front of him and the side window, as the vast dark pine forest spooled below the Cessna Turbo 206.

Game Warden Joe Pickett knew he’d have to deal with the Cates family someday after his first confrontation with them when they’d endangered his daughter April. Although the mother is still in prison, the son is free and wants payback.

Everyone is afraid of something. For Joe Pickett its small pl
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

C.J. Box is still going strong with the seventeenth in his Joe Pickett series. I'm waiting for someone in Hollywood to finally figure out how to turn this into a series. If they can do it with Craig Johnson, surely they can do it again!

This series revisits some old bad blood between the Pickett family and the Cates family, covered in the book "Endangered" (15 in the series). After Joe tangled with the Cates, some of them were d
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I suppose that I should note that I was one of the likely few people who wasn't overly enamored with the previous book in this series, "Off The Grid". While it was highly rated by a lot of people, I just felt that the book never quite came together for me. Given that the previous 15 books in the series before that were all excellent, I figure one that I didn't LOVE is fine.

That said, for lack of a better term, "Vicious Circle", is a welcome return to form for C.J. Box and Joe Pickett. Right from
A consistently excellent series, but then I like all Box's books, other series and standalone. Here, it's Joe Pickett, Wyoming game warden, and his family who are the targets. A few books back Joe put rodeo star Dallas Cates in prison--he had kidnapped Joe's daughter April and done a ton of other things which couldn't be proven--and in the process Joe killed another Cates son and his father and, after their confrontation, the mother ended up in prison and a quadriplegic. Now Dallas is out and he ...more
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: box
just finished this one this early afternoon, just after three. great story. and...i noticed in the "also by" column that i musta missed one. joe pickett 11.5 i think it was. the master falconer, something like that...which must mean something about nate, who appears in these joe pickett stories from time to time. (i wondered about the six-hour thing in this one but i imagine all is well)

i don't believe i read all of these as numbered...a few were out-of-line, but i'd guess they're best enj
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Vicious Circle by C. J. Box

Exciting, fast-moving thriller/mystery.

Joe Pickett, Wyoming Game Warden, has loads of trouble. In addition to a poaching ring he cannot seem to find, he’s got the newly-elected governor breathing down his neck and a group of thugs who will do anything to take down Joe and his wife and three daughters.

As the book opens, Pickett is on a small plane with the help of a pilot and co-pilot, trying to find a missing hunter. As Joe watches on highly advanced radar, he believes
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Joe Pickett (1 - 10 of 20 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)
  • Blood Trail (Joe Pickett, #8)
  • Below Zero (Joe Pickett, #9)
  • Nowhere To Run (Joe Pickett, #10)
“So it was a two ear confession. Those are the best kind you know. The most reliable.” 0 likes
“Thanks for keeping your eye on them. I appreciate it. But I wish you wouldn't do that with the ears. It's been a long time Nate said, I kinda missed it/” 0 likes
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