Vicious Circle – Joe Pickett vs. the Cates Family Part 2 – C.J.Box

Vicious Circle - C J Box

Vicious Circle – C.J.Box (Joe Pickett # 17)


Earlier in the week, I finished Vicious Circle the latest book In the Joe Pickett series from C.J.Box. It’s the seventeenth book chronicling the adventures of Joe and his family. Like all of the books in the series. It’s a great read.

If you are unfamiliar with the series, Joe Pickett is a game warden living in Saddlestring Wyoming. Joe has a way of being in the wrong place at the wrong time which makes for many exciting adventures and the loss of a lot of government trucks.g

Typically, somewhere along the way Joe is assisted by his friend the shadowy Nate Romanowski. Nate operates on the edges of the law and serves to offset Joe’ Dudley Do-Rightish nature.

Joe is also a family man with a wonderful wife, Marybeth and three daughters. Natural daughters Sheridan and Lucy and adopted daughter April, He even has the mother in law from hell – Missy(surname whichever man she is married to now) Missy believes that her daughter unlike herself has married down.

The Beginnings of the Vicious Circle


Two books ago in Endangered Joe’s adopted daughter April ran away with Rodeo Champion Dallas Cates. The Cates family is bad news. If something bad happens in the county the first people the police look for are members of the Cates family.

So when Joe’s daughter April ran away with Dallas Joe was rightly upset. And when Dallas she is found beaten on by the side of the road and she ends up in the hospital. Dallas becomes the focus of Joe’s wrath. Needless to say things didn’t end well, with Dallas ending up in jail!

Now Dallas has been released from prison and he is back in Saddlestring. And He’s coming for Joe and his family!

Bottom Line

like most of its predecessors Vicious Circle is  a four star book for me. One of the best aspects of the Joe Pickett series has been the development of the characters over the  course of the series. Joe has been Joe with a few changes through the years. But all three of his girls have grown from little girls to young women. In addition, wife Marybeth has gone from library volunteer to the library’s head administrator. Other characters have also changed. Nate Romanowski has gone from an ex-Seal on the run from the law to a free citizen, who may still be willing to operate outside the law. While Joe’s mother in law is now on her sixth?? husband as she continues to marry up and up. So if your willing start at the beginning and enjoy the ride.

At a minimum read Endangered first. Now you still may be able to read and enjoy Vicious Circle without reading Endangered, but I still think it’s better if you know what happened in the first half of the vicious circle!!

Either way check it out!! As for me, I’m moving on the Marked for Life by Emelie Schepp!!

Links for the Further Explorations of the Books of C.J.Box

Author’s Website
Goodreads:Joe Pickett Series