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Shadows Reel

Shadows Reel By C. J. Box Summary

Shadows Reel (A Joe Pickett Novel) Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett and his wife Marybeth make separate discoveries that put the Pickett family in a pair of killers’ crosshairs in this thrilling new novel in the bestselling series.

A day before the three Pickett girls come home for Thanksgiving, Joe is called out for a moose poaching incident that turns out to be something much more sinister: a local fishing guide has been brutally tortured and murdered.  At the same time, Marybeth opens an unmarked package at the library where she works and finds a photo album that belonged to an infamous Nazi official. Who left it there? And why?

She learns that during World War II, several Wyoming soldiers were in the group that fought to Hitler’s Eagles Nest retreat in the Alps—and one of them took the Fuhrer’s personal photo album. Did another take this one and keep it all these years?  When a close neighbor is murdered, Joe and Marybeth face new questions: Who is after the book? And how will they solve its mystery before someone hurts them…or their girls? 

Meanwhile, Nate Romanowski is on the hunt for the man who stole his falcons and attacked his wife. Using a network of fellow falconers, Nate tracks the man from one city to another. Even as he grasps the true threat his quarry presents, Nate swoops in for the kill—and a stunning final showdown.

About the Author

C. J. Box is the author of twenty-two Joe Pickett novels, six stand-alone novels, and a story collection. He has won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Gumshoe, and Barry Awards, as well as the French Prix Calibre .38, and has been a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. A Wyoming native, Box has also worked on a ranch and as a small-town newspaper reporter and editor. He lives outside Cheyenne with his family. His books have been translated into twenty-seven languages. He’s an executive producer of ABC TV’s Big Sky and Joe Pickett on Spectrum Originals and Paramount+.

Shadows Reel By C. J. Box Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

LORNE TRUMLEY HAD CALLED DISPATCH TO REPORT A DEAD MOOSE ON HIS RANCH. Since it was two weeks after the close of the moose-hunting season in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, Joe Pickett had responded.

He slowed down and then stopped his green Ford F-150 pickup in front of the closed barbed-wire gate. Engine running, he limped out and approached it, all the while keeping his eye on several Black Angus cattle who had poked their heads out of a seven-foot stand of willows to stare dumbly at him. Even though he was moving slower than usual, Joe was able to open the gate, drive through, and close it again before the spark of a bovine thought—We can run out on the road!—slowly worked its way through the cows’ brains. By the time they’d realize their escape was possible, it would be too late.

He grunted as he dropped the iron loop over the top of the gatepost and levered it closed. Most of the muscles in his body still hurt, and he had stitches in his back and thighs from an encounter with a wolverine.

He wished old Lorne Trumley would replace the ancient wire gate and install a cattle guard at the entrance to his place. It was unlikely, though. Lorne was in his eighties, and like a lot of longtime local ranchers, he only fixed things for good after they’d been repaired so many times there was nothing left of them. And the three-strand gate still worked, sort of. Joe winced as he pulled himself back into the cab. His Labrador, Daisy, scooted toward him on the front seat and placed her heavy head on his lap,
as if offering sympathy for his infirmities.

He patted Daisy’s head and eased down the worn two-track road that would take him to Lorne’s home.
“Thanks, old girl,” he said to her.
As he drove by, the cattle finally leaped to action and charged past him toward the closed gate. Yup, too late.

Lorne Trumley’s Crazy Z-Bar Ranch was a fourth-generation holding spread over lush, unique landscape six miles west of the town of Winchester. It was largely a glacial river bottom, and the north branch of the Twelve Sleep River did a series of lazy S-curves through it, providing a version of a natural irrigation ditch. Trumley raised cattle and grew hay, and because of the river branch there was plenty of water, which was a rarity in the valley. The water sustained thick, tall stands of willow and knotty brush that divided the ranch land as if by windrows. It was a geothermal area as well, with warm-water seeps and heated quicksand that steamed in the winter.

The name of the ranch had nothing to do with the ownership or history of the place. “Crazy Z-Bar” was just a description of the brand used on its cattle: the letter Z tilted forty-five degrees to the left over a single line.

Joe knew from experience that the Crazy Z-Bar was a good place not to get stuck. The first time he’d come out to talk to Trumley about a change in hunting regulations, he’d mired his pickup in quicksand and had to walk the rest of the way to the house. After delivering a lecture about the big-game biologists in Joe’s agency knowing absolutely nothing about anything and any change in the hunting seasons would be foolish as hell, the rancher had followed Joe back to his pickup in a tractor and pulled him out.

It was a cool day and the sky was close. The summits of the Bighorn Mountains were shrouded with cloud cover. Joe looked at the digital temperature display on his dashboard: forty-two degrees.

FOR JOE, IT FELT GOOD to go back to work that morning after lolling around his house for too many days. It felt right to him to pull on his red uniform shirt and pin on his badge and J. PICKETT, GAME WARDEN nameplate. It even felt right to buckle on his holster and .40 Glock semiauto.

Marybeth had told him a strange story that morning. He pushed it to the back of his mind for now.

WHILE RECOVERING, he’d used part of his time to thoroughly clean out his pickup. He’d done a lot of the things he’d always promised to do when he “had the time.” He’d repaired his equipment and repacked his extra clothing. His weapons were all cleaned and oiled, and the console box of maps, ticket books, notebooks, and agency bulletins had all been organized and replaced. He’d vacuumed Daisy’s dog hair off his bench seat and power-washed the floor mats.

It was as if he were driving a new pickup, he thought. He wondered how long it would last.

ALTHOUGH HE HAD the business about the moose to take care of first, Joe looked forward to seeing all of his girls together in their house for Thanksgiving. It would be strange, since the family had their history and memories in another state-owned home that had been burned to the ground and not at the newer, much nicer residence on the bank of the Twelve Sleep River. It was unfair to his girls, he thought, that there were now more rooms and more space than there’d ever been when the three of them were growing up.

Although Sheridan stopped by often—not often enough for her mother— April and Lucy had been to the new place infrequently, and separately, depending on their schedules. This wasn’t really their home—it was the place where their parents now lived.

With Lucy bringing a friend along and the added presence of Liv Romanowski and her baby daughter, Kestrel, Marybeth was organizing a fairly large Thanksgiving meal and weekend. No doubt, she’d already determined who got which room to avoid conflict and how the seating at the table would be assigned. Joe’s job, he knew, was simply to be available. He was good at that.

Joe hoped Liv would have news about Nate Romanowski, her husband and Joe’s longtime friend. Nate was away, following the trail of an outlaw falconer named Axel Soledad, who had beaten up Liv, threatened baby Kestrel, and stolen Nate’s falcons. Nate had left in a black rage and Joe hoped he could recover his Air Force without leaving a body count. But Joe knew Nate all too well, and he feared for what could happen.

WITH SO MUCH on his mind that morning, he was grateful for the distraction when Lorne shambled out of his old house and waved hello. Joe pulled into the overgrown ranch yard and parked next to a muddy ATV bristling with irrigation shovels strapped down by bungee cords. The butt end of a leveraction carbine poked out of a leather saddle scabbard.

“Hey, Joe,” Lorne said.
“Hey, Lorne.”
Trumley looked like a piece of jerky that happened to be wearing an oversized flannel shirt, a Carhartt vest, and baggy jeans cinched by a belt with a rodeo buckle so ancient and smoothed off, the engraving had vanished. His short-brimmed cowboy hat was stained and battered and it gave his appearance a comical framing.

He raised his arm and pointed vaguely over Joe’s shoulder. “That way,” he said. “Just look for the birds.”

“When did you find the moose?” Joe asked.
“This morning. I was looking for a couple of missing heifers and I seen it across the swamp. It isn’t very far from the edge of my property.” He pronounced it prop-ity.

“Did you hear any shots?”
“I don’t hear much of nothin’ these days.”
“Is it a bull or a cow? Could you tell?”
“I don’t know. I just know it was black like a moose. Too dark for an elk and not one of my cows.”

Joe asked, “Can I get there in my truck?”
“If you try, you’ll get stuck again, would be my guess.”
“Can I borrow your Ranger?
” Joe asked, chinning toward the ATV. He
had one back at his game warden station, but it would take a few hours to drive there, load it on a trailer, and return.
“Be careful with it,” Trumley cautioned. “My other one’s broke down.” Joe nodded.
“Just follow my tracks through the meadow and you should be okay.”

JUST LOOK FOR THE BIRDS, Trumley had said. Joe understood. Predatory birds like ravens and crows were always the first on the scene of a carcass. Birds of prey, like eagles and falcons, would show up next. Larger predators would follow their lead, and scuttling armies of insects would later mop up.

Daisy loped alongside the ATV as he drove in Trumley’s tracks across the meadow, through ditches, and via openings in the hedgerow brush. Several of the openings would have been too narrow for his pickup, and on either side of the high ground where Trumley had traveled was soft mud and hidden swamp. Daisy liked to splash through it, and she gave chase— for half a minute—to a pair of mallards she’d flushed.

Before leaving the ranch, Joe had secured his necropsy kit in the bed of the Ranger, plus his twelve-gauge Remington Wingmaster shotgun, which was primarily for safety if the poachers were still about. He’d also thrown in a heavy chain and nylon towrope.

After photographing the scene and looking for evidence like spent brass casings or boot prints, he would likely have to drag the carcass out behind the ATV to perform the necropsy and find out how it had been killed. If the animal had been shot, he’d attempt to locate the bullet. More often than not, the projectile would be located beneath the skin of the hide on the opposite side of the entry wound.

Moose season had closed. It was a special permit area, so he knew from experience that it was unlikely a moose hunter with a legitimate license had been involved in the poaching incident. The violator—if there was one— was probably an elk hunter who’d chosen the wrong species, or an out-andout outlaw who wanted to kill a moose out of season. Which made his blood boil.

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Shadows Reel

Shadows Reel (A Joe Pickett Novel) PDF

Product details:

EditionInternational Edition
ISBN0593331265, 978-0593331262
Posted onMarch 8, 2022
Page Count368 pages
AuthorC. J. Box

Shadows Reel By C. J. Box PDF Book Free Download - Epicpdf

Shadows Reel (A Joe Pickett Novel) Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett and his wife Marybeth make separate discoveries that put the Pickett family in a pair of killers’ crosshairs in this thrilling new novel in the bestselling series.


Author: C. J. Box

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