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 planes which is delightfully ironic for a man who has dealt with more than his share of danger. It does, however, provide a setup for Box to tell readers about flight searches and the equipment involved without interrupting the flow of the story. It is also a nice way to provide plot threads and set up the action.
The difficulty with finishing a story that had begun several books ago is that a great deal of background information is needed. Although this can feel as though it’s filler for those who follow the series, it is necessary for new readers in order for the story to make sense. Box does do a fairly good job of striking a difficult balance. However, because of the amount of explanation needed, it did detract for Box’s usual fast-action, high tension storytelling and the ending seemed abrupt.
Creating fully-developed characters is essential, and Box does just that. As well as providing backstory on the characters and their relationships, these are characters one can see and hear. And he does create truly evil and terrifying villains.
One small note; don’t ignore the chapter headings. They are very well done. And “Outlander” fans will appreciate the slight nod—“He approached the Plexiglas window at the end of the hall and startled a heavyset woman who was reading a thick novel by Diana Gabaldon.”
Box does include politics in his book, but in a straight-forward manner that related to the impact of political decisions rather than on the parties themselves.
“Vicious Circle” is a story that needed to be told in order to bring the Cates’ story, which began in "Endangered," to an end. So doing caused a few weaknesses in the book, but it is still very worth reading and anticipating the next book in the series.
VICIOUS CIRCLE (Lic Invest-Joe Pickett-Wyoming-Contemp) – G+
Box, C.J. – 17th in series
G.P. Putnam’s Sons – March, 2017