Below Zero-C.J. Box

Below Zero

C.J. Box

Putnam, Jun 2009, $24.95

ISBN: 9780399155758

April Kelley supposedly died six years ago when the FBI opened fire on the Sovereign Cult (see WINTERKILL); who were fanatical survivalists. It comes as a shock when a resident in their old home tells Sheridan Pickett that April called and he gave the caller her cell number. Her mother Marybeth thinks it is a fake until April shares information with Sheridan about the Picketts that only the family would know.

Game Warden Joe comes home and after hearing the cell phone information contacts the FBI who becomes interested because April is traveling with Chicago mobster Stenko and his born again rabid environmentalist son Robert. The Feds track them through April’s cell phone when she calls Sheridan who is with her dad Joe seeking her. Stenko and son go on a murder spree while Joe tries to extract his April from the killers and before the FBI open fire again.

Although six years have passed, the Pickets are euphoric that April somehow is alive although they wonder why she never contacted them before. The family is what makes C.J. Box’s thrillers as exciting as they always are by bringing believable reactions and plausibility to the always exhilarating plot. This time it is extremely personal as readers are hooked with the non stop action and like the Pickett brood hope April not only comes out of it alive, but is innocent and returns to the family. Joe being the only cynic is still elated to learn she lives and risks his life to see she stays alive.

Harriet Klausner

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