C.J. Box first introduced readers to Joe Pickett, a newly hired Wyoming game warden, in the 2001 novel, Open Season.
Since then, over the course of seventeen novels, Joe has worked all the way up to badge number twenty (there are fifty game wardens in Wyoming, each one is assigned a badge number based on their seniority), thanks to Bill Haley’s (who was badge number one) noted retirement in Off the Grid.
On top of advancing Joe’s badge number, Box has put on a clinic that other writers should study for how to best develop their series characters over multiple books.
Nobody has developed their lead character, secondary characters, and their universe, better than Box. Since Open Season, fans have seen Joe deal with multiple governors, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, game wardens, father-in-laws, bosses, and–for a brief time–an entirely different job, when he worked as a ranch hand before Governor Rulon had him reinstated as a game warden.
On top of that, Joe’s family expanded when he and his wife, Marybeth, welcomed foster daughter April into their home. They relocated (temporarily) several times, even buying a house at one point before moving back to the state-issued home they’ve occupied for most of the series.
Their daughters, who were young girls in Open Season, have all grown up now. Only Lucy is still at home–though she’s graduating from high school and close to joining her two big sisters in the real world.
In many ways, reading Box’s books–and following his characters’ realistic progression–is like watching a long-running television show where the actors (especially the child actors) grow up right on camera.
Also growing and expanding is Box’s fanbase. In fact, 2016’s Off the Grid was the author’s first #1 New York Times bestselling novel. This year’s Vicious Circle was a huge hit with critics and readers, especially Book Spy followers, on its way to debuting at #2 on the New York Times list.
While it can be daunting to start a new franchise that’s seventeen books long, we highly encourage readers to jump into Box’s series. While he recently described his genre as “cowboy noir,” his books are perfect for fans of modern westerns, crime novels, mysteries, and thrillers. Basically, if you can read, you’ll enjoy C.J. Box’s novels.
On Wednesday, May 31st, Box posted on his official Facebook page, asking his fans a simple question: “How well do you know Joe Pickett?” Attached is a link that takes readers to Box’s website, where he posted a full bio for Joe Pickett that’s perfect for both newcomers to his series and longtime readers.
To read more about Joe Pickett, click here. Otherwise, if you still haven’t read C.J. Box’s books, get Open Season today. Also, don’t forget that Box’s new novel, Paradise Valley (which is not a Joe Pickett book, but rather part of his Cassie Dewell series) comes out on July 25th.
Lastly, if you’ve been waiting to pick up the latest Joe Pickett novel, Vicious Circle, it’s currently 38% off on Amazon. Order your copy now!