C.J. Box has two new novels this summer and both are page-turners! I enjoy C.J. Box books because they have a strong sense of place, good character development and the plot twists and turns. Books are always set in the West and often in places where I have traveled.
Breaking Point is the thirteenth installment in the Joe Pickett series. Like many other Pickett stories, the plot is loosely based on a legal issue and Joe must unravel details to get to the heart of the story. In this case, a central issue that moves the plot is the interaction between the EPA and landowners. The foundation of the story is loosely based on the Sackett Case, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that the EPA overstepped its jurisdiction when dealing with a family in Idaho. In Breaking Point, a landowner and family man is on the run after EPA agents are found dead on his property. All signs point to his guilt; however, the more Joe digs into the story, the more he realizes the facts don’t add up. Joe feels a strong moral obligation to solve the case; however, a rogue EPA agent, unmanned drone, and a dry forest full of trees killed by pine beetles may push Joe to his breaking point.
The Highway is a stand-alone novel, although characters from Box’s previous book, Back of Beyond, return in this novel. Cody Hoyt continues to struggle with sobriety while working as a sheriff’s deputy in Wyoming. When two teenage girls, who are friends of his son, disappear somewhere between Denver and Yellowstone en route to Montana, Cody feels an obligation to find them. Meanwhile, a long-haul trucker who has nicknamed himself The Lizard-King preys on prostitutes at truck stops and other women he encounters on the highway. Unhappy at home, he gets satisfaction from kidnapping and torturing women. Although he believes he outsmarted others, his clandestine crimes begin to unravel as the search for the girls continue.
I always look forward to C.J. Box novels. Two new books in one summer make for a great reading adventure! ~Enjoy~