C.J. Box is a Wyoming native and
the author of the award-winning Joe Pickett series of novels. He has
won the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 Award (France), the Macavity
Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and an Edgar Award and has
been an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist. Open Season was selected as a
New York Times Notable Book. His nationally bestselling novels have
been translated into 12 languages. Box enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking,
riding, and skiing throughout Wyoming and the
Mountain West. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne
Frontier Days Rodeo.
The premise of
stand-alone novel Three Weeks To Say
Goodbye is unlike any of my previous novels.
It’s based on an experience that actually
happened to some friends of mine.
years of trying to get pregnant, my friends chose to do a very noble
adopt a little girl. They
chose the open
adoption method, meaning they met with the pregnant girl – in
this instance an
unwed teenager who’d not seen or heard from the birth father
for months – and
were selected by her to adopt and raise the child.
We admired our friends for their decision and
we were thrilled how much they loved and cherished their new little
months after they brought
her home, their phone rang. It
adoption agency calling to say the father – a teenage slacker
backed by his
suspicious father – had never signed away parental custody. The call came just days
away from a legal
time limit which would have awarded full parental custody to my friends. “This never
happens,” the agency people
explained to my friends, “We’ve never had this
happen before.” The boy
intimated that he might just want the little girl – whom he
had never even seen
– “back at home.”
It was a nightmare
scenario, made worse by the fact that the teenage father had the law on
Over the next
years, my friends found themselves being held hostage to the impulses
of a troubled teenager who knew he had the power to control their lives
withholding his signature from the papers awarding them full parental
rights. And the boy
ratcheted up his
drop by their house
with his friends. He’d
park his car in
their driveway at night and sit there.
He’d call at all hours.
friends knew at any time they could call the authorities and have the
arrested. He knew
it, too. But if the
police became involved, it was
clear to my friends the boy would continue to withhold his signature
nightmare would continue.
When I heard the
my blood ran cold. It
just wasn’t right,
but it was happening nevertheless.
could the legal system be so depraved?
And when the rules are stacked against a young couple in
the way they
were, what could be done to secure the child from almost certain
answer was to strike back at the boy, his friends, and his father --
my friends were much wiser than Jack and Melissa McGuane in my new
novel Three Weeks To Say Goodbye.
couldn't help thinking of the decisions they could have made.
those decisions might lead them if they had.
This story gripped me in a way that was both exhilarating and a little
It grabbed me by the throat and heart and would not let go
until I had
written the final page. It's a first person rocket ride to
the gates of
hell. And it took me to some dark places I'd rather not go again.
far would you go?
by Atlantic/Corvus Books, December 2009 £12.99 hbk
SHOTS’ review here:
Below Zero (2009)
Three Weeks to say Goodbye. (2008). New York: St. Martin's.
Blue Heaven (2008). New York: St. Martin's Minotaur.
Blood Trail: Joe Pickett Novels (2008). New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Free Fire (2007). New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
In Plain Sight: A Joe Pickett Novel (2006). New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Out of Range: A Joe Pickett
Novel (2005). New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Trophy Hunt: A Joe Pickett Novel (2004). New York: Putnam Publishing Group.
Winterkill (2003). New York: Putnam Publishing Group.
Savage Run (2003). New York: Putnam Publishing Group.
Putnam Publishing Group.