C.J. Box won the Anthony Award for Best First Mystery Novel with this book.
Open Season is the first of the Joe Pickett series but the second of the series I've read. I liked them both. Originally I gave this series a try because I liked Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series so much, each being set in a different National Park. the first Joe Pickett book I read was Free Fire which was set in Yellowstone.
In Open Season Joe finds himself game warden in the Twelve Sleep area of Wyoming. When a poacher whom he tangled with the year before turns up dead on his wood pile with a cooler that had had some kind of live animals in it, Joe has a mystery. A mystery that threatens him, his job, and his family.
The poacher was obviously coming to see him. Riding horesback to the poacher's camp Joe finds the poacher's partners dead in their tent and two of Joe's closest friends acting strange.
In this book Box visits the controversial Endangered Species Act which this story is wrapped around.
I loved his descriptions of the area. I liked the character of Joe. He is a good guy that tries to do everything by the book but he is not perfect. He is a family man that loves his wife and kids. I did not like the description of the treatment of the endangered animals. It was harsh and I suppose realistic. I will be reading more of this series.
This is a book about a game warden, so be aware that it talks about hunting and other related subjects.