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Breaking Point

by C. J. Box

Series: Joe Pickett (13)

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5694032,432 (4.09)30
Joe Pickett investigates the disappearance of a local businessman, who recently had his intended retirement property declared wetlands and is suspected in the murder of two EPA employees.

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Rock solid, fascinating, exciting mystery with some good twists. One of the better entries in the Joe Pickett series. The books are always solid but some have seemed rushed, written hurriedly to meet a deadline. Happily, this one is a little longer than average, the writing is assured, and it does not suffer from feeling like a first draft. ( )
  usuallee | Oct 7, 2021 |
It seemed like a bit too much time was spent complaining about the various bureaucracies involved in the pursuit of the solution to the crime. Was this an anti-government essay in the guise of a mystery? ( )
  gbelik | Jun 28, 2021 |
I've never read any of the "Joe Pickett" novels, but this one (#13) popped up on my radar for some reason, and I gave it a shot. It was terrible, but for a reason I rarely encounter. Every once in a blue moon, an author decides to write a book that's simply a vehicle to rant about political beliefs. That's what this is. You could sum up the story very briefly, and you can see the ending (including all plot twists) from a mile away. That wasn't the point, though. The point was to write a diatribe against the gamut of bogeymen found in the fevered dreams of every right-wing conspiracy theorist. We have evil government bureaucrats from the EPA and IRS scheming against poor honest country folks just trying to scratch out a living. We have drones doing all sorts of crazy things on US soil. We have nonsensical regulations being enforced by corrupt officials for their own interests. Of course, it's not like these kinds of things haven't happened in the real world - they have, and our government is far from perfect. However, to roll all of these into the life of one man at one time in one place is to hold up a ridiculous caricature for the author to target. ( )
  tombrown | Feb 21, 2020 |
Force of Nature was the first CJ Box novel I'd read and I found it to be excellent so even though I'd started off at book 12 in the series I figured I'd continue along from there with Breaking Point.

Once again this is a complete book seemingly not punishing the reader for skipping earlier entries in the series, there's enough of a background for each character given to enjoy the storyline as it unfolds even if some deeper background for longer term readers may be absent. I can't say I felt like there was noticeably absent character depth that you do get in some series when you haven't read them all.

If there's one thing I took away from this book, it's that the author seemingly doesn't like the federal government's ever expanding powers, or does a very good job of portraying such feelings through his writing. You can't help but feel appalled at what happens to the character in the story at the hands of the federal bureaucracy. I thought the way things wrapped up at the end tied a nice knot in the plot points and overall found this to also be an excellent novel which I'd recommend. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Jul 2, 2019 |
I found this on the sale shelf at my local library and thought it looked interesting. I've not read any of the Joe Pickett stories that came before this one, and I will admit it is odd to jump in at book 13 (I didn't realize that when I bought it.) but I wasn't lost so the author does a good job of making the novel one that can stand alone.

I liked that this novel didn't have the seemingly-obligatory-to-the-genre sex scene(s). That's not to say that there aren't some "sins" represented. There's murder and extortion just to name a couple bad things.

I'm not overly familiar with Wyoming and the people who live there, but it seems fishy that someone would believe a verbal threat (supposedly from a government agency) with the threat of a large daily fine that wasn't backed up with paperwork. Apparently, the threat was enough to stop the Robersons for a year, but when the promised paperwork never showed, Butch Roberson went back to the land they planned to build a house on.

I still have no idea if Kim Love was in on the scandal and knew to stay away from the serving of the paperwork or suspected the wrongdoing and didn't want to be part of serving the compliance order or if he truly didn't feel well and just got lucky. (His character kind of disappears from the plot early on and is never heard from again.)

I like Joe Pickett. He seems to be a man who cares about his community and wants to uphold the laws, though he's willing to bend a little if there's a good reason behind it (such as poaching because you need food for your family vs. poaching just to get a trophy). He's got a decent relationship with his wife and family. I didn't like that he was pulled into the machinations of the federal troops.

Butch Roberson seems like a decent sort of man too in his own way. He's true to his wife and only wants to give her the house of her dreams in the location she desires. He loves his daughter (you'll see why I say this if you read the book.) He spares Farkus (though he allows the Feds to think he was killed). He even tries to save the former sheriff who'd hunted him down in the hopes of getting the reward and showing the townspeople he's the better choice for sheriff in the next election, when they're caught in the forest fire. I don't condone what he did, but by the end of the novel, I do understand it better. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jan 19, 2019 |
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Banality of evil: A phrase coined by philosopher Hannah Arendt that describes the thesis that the great evils in history generally were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.
You can still get gas in Heaven, and drink in Kingdom Come, In the meantime, I'm cleaning my gun.--Mark Knopfler, "Cleaning My Gun"
For Mike and Chantelle Sackett And Laurie, always . . .
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On an early morning in mid-August, EPA Special Agents Tim Singewald and Lenox Baker left the Region 8 Environmental Protection Agency building at 1595 Wynkoop Street in downtown Denver in a Chevrolet Malibu SA hybrid sedan they'd checked out from the motor pool.
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Joe Pickett investigates the disappearance of a local businessman, who recently had his intended retirement property declared wetlands and is suspected in the murder of two EPA employees.

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Average: (4.09)
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