“Off the Grid” By C.J. Box

Nate Romanowski doesn’t like being called a homicidal libertarian folk hero, even though the old adage, “if the shoe fits,” just happens to fit Nate like a glove. Nate has been minding his own business when a phone call from his lover, Olivia Brannan, reveals his location to a pair of very alert guys; Brian Tyrell and Keith Volk. These two tell him that, unless he wants to go to trial for the many felonies he’s accumulated over time, he’d better sign up with the Wolverines. This is a group of government freelancers who are sick of federal rules and regulations. They tell him he must speak to a terrorist who has landed in the Red Desert. They hope that Muhammad Ibraaheem (or, Ibby, their target), will open up to Nate because they share a love for falconry.

No sooner has Nate taken off to track down Ibby then Wyoming Governor Spencer Rulon, who has found out about Nate’s disappearance, calls in Nate’s old friend, game warden Joe Pickett, to go after him. Obstacles in the way of Joe and Nate involve a very irritated Grizzly, as well as Joe’s daughter, Sheridan, a college senior who decides to go camping in the worst possible place.

Nate locates Ibby and makes friends with him; Joe, in the end, finds Nate. But nothing goes according to plan. This is a terrific read, yet again, from C.J. Box, who’s Red Desert of Wyoming has become a very unwelcome place for all who tread there.

Reviewed by Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian and Co-Owner of The Write Companion for Suspense Magazine