Kirsty Darbyshire's Reviews > Open Season
by C.J. Box
[these comments are taken from a mailing list discussion and are both out of context and contain spoilers]
[on the prologue]
I have a general dislike of prologues. I tend to feel authors use them to inject some excitement into a dreary start of a book and often confuse me with something that isn't relevant for another 457 pages by which time I've forgotten it.
I liked this prologue ok though, apart from the time lapse between it and chapter one it wasn't told in a different style and I didn't get confused. Whether it contains important things that I'll have forgotten by the time I get to page 457 is yet to be seen though.
I felt it was a reasonable introduction to Joe, portraying him as a hardworking honest family man and it waylaid some of my reservations about the book. I had an expectation from somewhere that a game warden character would be a very macho hunting, shooting and leaping tall buildings in a single bound sort of a bloke and was glad to find that this wasn't what Joe seemed to be.
[on why joe investigates]
To me the fact that Ote had ended up on Joe's woodpile after their altercation in the prologue was enough of a reason for Joe to want to look further than the others did. There also seemed to be something off to me about the fact that the fourth man at the camp ended up nearly dead, it seems a bit too neat to me and to Joe.
As I think Donna has mentioned already I'm having trouble with the term "outfitters" not being preceded by "gentlemen's" and that no one has had a fitting for a three piece suit yet.
I'm unclear as to how much Joe is investigating in a professional capacity and how much of what he's doing is amateur sleuth stuff. He's able to send samples to labs for analysis (oh yes, the bit where his sample went missing was the point that I felt that Joe really had a reason to think something odd was going on) (and isn't "scat" a great term, it sounds lovely and polite to me compared with every other synonym) and search property on the Sheriff's say-so but I don't get the feeling that he's a proper cop.
On the whole I feel that the fact that everyone else wants the investigation tied up post haste with the minimum of explanation is a fair enough reason for Joe to sense that something is up.
[on the quotes]
I'm afraid that on the whole I tend to ignore these type of chapter toppings in nearly all books. I've picked up a hint that endangered species are likely to feature later in the book but that's about it. My brain does some kind of skipping thing over things that don't look immediately relevant and I find I'm reading the next chapter without really thinking about what I might have missed out on.