It’s going to be difficult for C.J. Box, appearing today in a reading and signing session of his new thriller Force of Nature, to find a section of the book that won’t be a bit bloody. Although it’s from the Joe Pickett series, the main focus here is on his shady friend Nate Romanowski. In the book’s opening pages, Romanowski captures and strangles a duck. Then he thrusts his thumbs into the duck’s still-warm belly, rips open its skin, and yanks out its breast. Later Romanowski is shot through the shoulder with an arrow (thanks to an especially bloodthirsty hit man). He removes it by ramming himself up against a cottonwood, burying the arrowhead in the tree and pulling the shaft through his bloody shoulder. And that’s just the first 21 pages!
Already on the run from the law (due to circumstances in the previous book), Romanowski finds himself evading a hit squad sent by a member of his former Special Forces unit as well. It’s a clean-up effort by one of the unit’s members, a man who committed a terrible crime in front of Romanowski and now wants to eliminate any witnesses.
Romanowski might be able to escape the killers that are coming after him, but he knows he isn’t their only target. In order to lure him out, they’ll attack his friends, Pickett and his wife and children. Neither Romanowski nor Pickett was looking for a fight, but now that one’s come to them, they’ll have to see it through to the death. 6:30 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit www.murderbooks.com. Free.
Thu., March 22, 2012