Read Free Fire Online

Authors: C.J. Box

Free Fire

Table of Contents
“When I came across the world of Joe Pickett, I was remindedof the time I discovered Tony Hillerman.”
—Michael Connelly
PRAISE FOR
Free Fire
“[
Free Fire
is] Yellowstone in all its dangerous glory.”

The Wall Street Journal
"C. J. Box has fashioned a splendid thriller, deftly plotted and skillfully executed . . . Previous Joe Pickett novels have earned Box numerous awards. This should bring him another.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune
“A must read for anyone who’s headed for Yellowstone this summer, and highly recommended for everyone else.”

The Rocky Mountain News
(critic’s choice pick)
“Absorbing . . . His best yet.”—
Publishers Weekly
(starred review)
“Box, winner of the Anthony, Macavity, Gumshoe, and Barry mystery awards, knows how to turn on the nail-biting suspenseand violence until the cliff-hanger of an ending . . . Highly recommended.” —
Library Journal
(starred review)
“Though Joe’s far out in no-man’s-land, as professionally on his own as he’s ever been, the family man’s moral compass is as strong as ever. And setting the action in the bubbling Yellowstonecaldera . . . is a masterstroke.” —
Booklist
(starred review)
“Absorbing . . . Almost unimaginably exotic.”

Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader
“Well paced and action packed. Pickett proves once again to be an appealing hero.” —
The Madison (WI) Capital Times
“Deftly plotted and quickly paced.” —
Lansing (MI) City Pulse
“Like the thunder telling of a coming storm, [
Free Fire
] builds to a lightning strike finish that will leave you breathless and in awe.” —
Crimespree Magazine
"C. J. Box is that rarest of writers—a skillful, talented, and carefulwordsmith who also tells a rollicking good story.”
—Alexandra Fuller, author of
Don’t Let’s Go to the
Dogs Tonight
"C. J. Box vividly evokes life in the West.”
—People
In Plain Sight
“Startling . . . Well plotted . . . An explosive conclusion . . .
Full of tense suspense and believable, emotional, well-crafted characters.” —
Lansing (MI) State Journal
“Edge-of-the-chair-suspense . . . Heart-stopping action . . . [An] unforgettable mystery.” —
Library Journal
(starred review)
“Any mystery fan . . . can get drawn in just by reading the opening page of
In Plain Sight.
Just be warned, you’ll want to keep the lights burning.” —
Billings (MT) Gazette
Out of Range
“Intelligent [and] compassionate.” —
The New York Times
“Grade A. If you haven’t yet discovered C. J. Box, don’t wait.”

Rocky Mountain News
“An absolute must.” —
Kirkus Reviews
Trophy Hunt
“The surprises [Box] springs keep you guessing right to the end—and a little beyond.” —
People
“Action packed.” —
The Denver Post
“Ripping good . . .
Trophy Hunt
is a choice mystery; spooky, poignant, thrilling, and rugged.”

The Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger
Winterkill
“Exquisite descriptions . . . Moves smoothly and suspense-fullyto the showdown.” —
The Washington Post
“Fast moving, intelligent.” —
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Box proves he knows how to make every storm into a story.”

Houston Chronicle
Savage Run
“The suspense tears forward like a brush fire.” —
People
“Hunker down and hang on tight for an intense, twisting ride that lasts to the final page.” —
The Denver Post
“Brilliantly crafted . . . Bears comparison to the best work of mystery giants such as Tony Hillerman and James Lee Burke.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Open Season
A
New York Times
Notable Book
Los Angeles Times
Book Prize Award Nominee,
Best Mystery/Thriller
“Buy two copies of
Open Season
, and save one in mint conditionto sell to first-edition collectors. C. J. Box is a great storyteller.” —Tony Hillerman
“Intriguing, with a forest setting so treacherous it makes Nevada Barr’s locales look positively comfy, with a motive for murder that is as unique as any in modern fiction.”

Los Angeles Times
“A muscular first novel . . . Box writes as straight as his charactersshoot.” —
The New York Times Book Review
Also by C. J . Box
The Joe Pickett Novels
OPEN SEASON
SAVAGE RUN
WINTERKILL
TROPHY HUNT
OUT OF RANGE
IN PLAIN SIGHT
FREE FIRE
BLOOD TRAIL
BLUE HEAVEN
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
FREE FIRE
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
Copyright © 2007 by C. J. Box.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
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a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-0-425-22124-2
BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
The name BERKLEY PRIME CRIME and the BERKLEY PRIME CRIME design
are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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To Becky, who finally saw her bear
. . . and Laurie, always
part one
YELLOWSTONE ACT, 1872
AN ACT TO SET APART A CERTAIN TRACT OF
LAND LYING NEAR THE HEADWATERS OF THE
YELLOWSTONE RIVER AS A PUBLIC PARK
Approved March 1, 1872 (17 Stat. 32)
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the tract of land in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming, lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone River . . . is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale under the laws of the United States, and dedicated and set apart as a publicpark or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people; and all persons who shall locate or settle upon or occupy the same, or any part thereof, except as hereinafter provided,shall be considered trespassers and removed therefrom. (U.S.C., title 16, sec. 21.)
1
Bechler River Ranger Station Yellowstone National Park July 21
A half-hour after clay mccann walked into the backwoods ranger station and turned over his still-warm weapons, after he’d announced to the startled seasonal ranger behind the desk that he’d just slaughtered four campers near Robinson Lake, the nervous ranger said, “Law enforcement will be here any minute. Do you want to call a lawyer?”

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