Mike Dellosso’s Summer Reading List

Reviewer's Contact InformationOpen Season by C. J. Box
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  May 7, 2001

What’s it about:
Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden—especially one like Joe who won’t take bribes or look the other way—is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he’s had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in. Even after the “outfitter murders,” as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of the two more bodies, are solved, Joe continues to investigate, uneasy with the easy explanation offered by the local police.

As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.

Mike’s Thoughts:  Read this one first. This was my first experience with C. J. Box. Fellow author Darcie Gudger turned me on to him and I am totally impressed. His Joe Pickett character is just like a leading man I would create for one of my books. He’s tough but sensitive, a family man, dedicated husband, honest, yet genuinely flawed. I’m hooked.


Savage RunSavage Run by C. J. Box
Publisher:  Putnam
Publication Date:  June 2002

What’s it about:
Box returns with a gripping and suspensful new mystery, as dramtic and brutal as its Wyoming setting.

When a massive explosion occurs deep within the forests of Twelve Sleep County and a colorful environmental activist appears to have perished in the blast, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett is called to the scene to help investigate. The case is wrapped up quickly, explained as an environmental publicity stunt gone wrong, but Joe isn’t convinced. He soon discovers clues that suggest a deadly conspiracy–one that will test his courage, his survival skills, and his determination to “do the right thing” despite all costs.

Set against the rugged Wyoming landscape, Savage Run is a righly textured novel–and an exciting confirmation of the talents of a writer hailed by Tony Hillerman as “a great storyteller.”

Mike’s Thoughts:  This is the second book in Box’s Joe Pickett series. I’d like to fill my summer with these books but I want to be careful not to get sick of them. Too much of a good thing, you know? I’ve started this one and am totally engrossed. Can’t wait to see how it all wraps up.


WinterKillWinterkill by C. J. Box
Publisher:  Putnam
Publication Date:  May 2003

What’s it about:
Joe Pickett’s pursuit of a killer through the rugged mountains of Wyoming takes a horrifying turn when his beloved foster daughter is kidnapped. Now it’s personal.

Mike’s Thoughts:  Yes, okay, I did it. I added another Joe Pickett novel to the list. I don’t know if this will be the third book I read this summer or not. We’re going away in September and I might save this one for then. I want to read all the Joe Pickett stories. This is number three in the series.


The Camel ClubThe Camel Club by David Baldacci
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date:  October 25, 2005

What’s it about:
Welcome to The Camel Club. Existing at the fringes of Washington, D.C., the Club consists of four eccentric members. Led by a mysterious man known as “Oliver Stone,” they study conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government to discover the “truth” behind the country’s actions. Their efforts bear little fruit-until the group witnesses a shocking murder…and become embroiled in an astounding, far-reaching conspiracy. Now the Club must join forces with a Secret Service agent to confront one of the most chilling spectacles ever to take place on American soil-an event that may trigger the ultimate war between two different worlds. And all that stands in the way of this apocalypse is five unexpected heroes.

Mike’s Thoughts:  This will be my first Baldacci novel. I’ve heard so many good things about him and his Camel Club series. I actually started reading this a couple months ago and got busy with other things then discovered C. J. Box and have been devouring his writings. I plan to pick this one up again and finish it.


When Night ComesWhen Night Comes by Dan Walsh
Publisher:  Bainbridge Press
Publication Date:  October 20, 2014

What’s it about:
Jack Turner comes back to Culpepper to give a series of lectures for his old history professor. Within days, he starts having bizarre experiences at night. Like he’s traveling back in time, experiencing the epic events in his lectures firsthand. He has no control over these experiences and can’t make them stop.  

Joe Boyd thought he’d left big city crime back in Pittsburgh when he took a detective job in Culpepper, Georgia, a sleepy southern college town. His peaceful life ends when two students turn up dead in two weeks. The coroner is saying natural causes, but something doesn’t add up.

Rachel Cook, a teaching assistant at Culpepper, can’t believe Jack is back in her life again. She’s had a crush on him since she was fourteen, but Jack never knew. He instantly seems attracted to her, but she can tell…something is deeply troubling him.

Watching all this from a distance is Nigel Avery. He’s certain this experiment’s about to unravel. It’ll be his job to tie up all the loose ends when it does.

Bestselling author Dan Walsh is known for page-turning storylines. Fans of his novels The Discovery and What Follows After will especially love…When Night Comes.

Mike’s Thoughts:  I haven’t read any of Walsh’s books but have heard so many good things about them. This is the first of his thrillers and I’m anxious to dive in. I read the first chapter when I downloaded the book to my Kindle several weeks ago and it is very intriguing. I’m looking forward to seeing how the crime is solved.


Water From My HeartWater from My Heart by Charles Martin
Publisher:  Center Street
Publication Date:  February 2, 2016

What’s it about:
New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin’s breathtaking novel of love and redemption.
Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible–and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

Mike’s Thoughts:  I love Charles Martin’s books. I haven’t read any in a while but am just so impressed with his writing. He’s one of the authors I read to get inspired. I enjoy a variety of genres and Martin’s books always tap into a different place in my soul than thrillers do. Every now and then I’ll read one of his just to stay grounded.


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