Breaking Point

Mysterious Book Report No. 112

by John Dwaine McKenna

In spite of what the old saw says, and what our mothers and other teachers told us . . . sometimes we just can’t help but prejudge . . . we go right ahead and judge a book by it’s cover, as the old saying goes.  I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it at one time or another, only to find out at a later date how very wrong we were in our first assessment.  This applies to people, places and things, or in my personal case, books.

A few years ago, I was offered a pair of novels about a Wyoming game warden.  “They’re pretty good,” the recommender said.  “Nah,” I said, “that doesn’t appeal to me, it doesn’t sound very exciting, to tell you the truth.”  At the time I was deep into international espionage: spy versus spy and the like.  Now, fifteen best-selling novels later, yours truly finally got around to reading one of the ‘Game Warden’ novels . . . and discovered just how much he’s been missing.

Breaking Point, (Putnam, $26.95, 367 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-16075-2) by C.J. Box is the thirteenth in his Joe Pickett series.  It’s a novel that’s bound to raise the hackles of any property owner, but in particular, any owners of property in or around a watershed area, because the novel concerns the property owner versus an overreaching government bureaucrat.  The novel begins with two EPA employees being sent from Denver, Colorado to serve an EPA order on a Wyoming property owner, that comes complete with fines and penalties that mount up by the day, because the area has been designated as a wetlands.  The owner is a small time builder who’s trying to build his retirement home in an established development, between two existing properties.  When the two agents are found shot to death, a massive manhunt for Butch Roberson is set into motion that pits Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett against the father of his own daughter’s best friend.  All the signs point to Roberson, who may have reached his breaking point, but as the facts start trickling in, the outrageous unfairness of it all makes Pickett realize that he too, is approaching his breaking point.  The revelations, twists and turns keep coming, all the way up to the denouement and stunning conclusion that will leave you squirming in your seat, feeling as if you’ve been gut-punched.  This is one helluva story, and one you won’t forget for a long, long time . . . I know I won’t.

And I know too, that I’ll be spending some time at the library, catching up with the backlist of Joe Pickett novels.  Will I bump into you there?

You’re all invited to come over to our redesigned and improved websites:


you’ll find all of our tried and time-tested features as well as some new and improved ones that’ll keep you informed and up to date with what’s happening out here by “the Sun Mountain Sitting Big,” as the Ute Indians called Pikes Peak.  The Boy Who Slept With Bears is drawing rave reviews from all who’ve seen and read it.  It details the efforts of a Ute boy to survive in a prejudicial world controlled by a government bent on his removal or a least his “civilizing.”  Don’t miss a chance to read this heart wrenching and heartwarming novel that’s been read and loved by ages eight to eighty.  Told in a warm grandfatherly voice by George R Douthit, it’s a past winner of a golden EVVY for fiction, and it’s now in it’s third printing in a new, enlarged and revised edition.  $15.00 (ISBN 978-0-9839952-8-9) and available at bookstores everywhere, Amazon and all eReaders.  A very limited number of signed copies are available at Rhyolite Press, P.O. Box 2406, Colorado Springs, CO  80901.  Don’t forget to add $4.00 for shipping and handling.

And hey!  That’s not all . . . I’m happy to announce that Colorado Noir by John Dwaine McKenna is, after delays, interruptions, more delays, civil disobedience, war, famine and pestilence . . . finally at the printers.  I expect the heavens to open up and legions of cheribim and seraphim to accompany the UPS truck to the Rhyolite Press warehouse at any time . . .

Seriously folks, this one’s been a long time coming, but it’s worth the wait.  It contains eleven of the best stories I’ve ever written, all from the dark and seamy side of life.  More next week about our latest, and best. crime fiction ever!

And don’t worry.  We’ll be back next week with an all new MBR.  See you then.