Below Zero: Book summary and reviews of Below Zero by C. J. Box

Below Zero

By C. J. Box

Below Zero
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2009,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

Below Zero begins with an unassuming phone message: "Tell Sherry April called." But Sherry—Joe Pickett's oldest daughter, Sheridan—and the Pickett family are shaken to the core. April, Pickett's foster daughter, was killed in a horrific murder and arson spree six years prior. To Joe, it doesn’t seem even remotely possible that April could have survived the massacre described in Winterkill. He was there. But Sherry starts to believe there's a chance that April is still alive; the girl on the other end of the phone is able to recall family incidents that only April could know.

Joe, however, remains suspicious, especially when he discovers that the calls have been placed from locations where serious crimes have occurred.

At the same time, an older man and a much younger girl cross the country. The man is on a mission to repent for the crimes he's committed against the environment during his lifetime. He ultimately wants to offset each incident until he not only becomes carbon neutral, but actually drops below zero— as if he's never existed. As the path of these travelers starts to intersect with the Pickett family's, the question is raised: Is this young girl April—or are Joe and his family the victims of the cruelest of hoaxes?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Box's series is the gold standard in the western mystery subgenre (Blood Trail ), and his latest is just as addictive as the others." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Powered by provocative themes of environmental activism, this relentlessly paced powder keg of a thriller could be Box's best to date." - Publishers Weekly

"[T]he discussion isn't as nuanced as we've come to expect. The book is, however, a successful blend of the two things Box does best ..." - Booklist

"Despite incidental pleasures, this is the weakest of Joe's nine cases to date." - Kirkus

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Author Information

C. J. Box Author Biography

C. J. Box is the author of over ten novels including the award-winning Joe Pickett series. He’s the winner of the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and an Edgar Award and L.A. Times Book Prize finalist. Box was named 2007 Writer of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. His short stories have been featured in America’s Best Mystery Stories 2006 and limited-edition printings. The novels have been national bestsellers and have been translated into 13 languages.

Blue Heaven, a stand-alone thriller, was published by St. Martins Press in January, 2008 and was on the New York Times Bestseller list for four weeks and was optioned for film. Blood Trail, the eighth Joe Pickett novel, was published...

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