Back of Beyond [NOOK Book]

Overview


Edgar® Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author C.J. Box delivers a thriller about a troubled cop trying to save his son from a killer in Yellowstone. Cody Hoyt, while a brilliant cop, is an alcoholic struggling with two months of sobriety when his mentor and AA sponsor Hank Winters is found burned to death in a remote mountain cabin. At first it looks like the suicide of a man who's fallen off the wagon, but Cody knows Hank better than that. Sober for fourteen years, Hank took pride in his ...
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Back of Beyond

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Overview


Edgar® Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author C.J. Box delivers a thriller about a troubled cop trying to save his son from a killer in Yellowstone. Cody Hoyt, while a brilliant cop, is an alcoholic struggling with two months of sobriety when his mentor and AA sponsor Hank Winters is found burned to death in a remote mountain cabin. At first it looks like the suicide of a man who's fallen off the wagon, but Cody knows Hank better than that. Sober for fourteen years, Hank took pride in his hard-won sobriety and never hesitated to drop whatever he was doing to talk Cody off a ledge. When Cody takes a closer look at the scene of his friend's death, it becomes apparent that foul play is at hand. After years of bad behavior with his department, he's in no position to be investigating a homicide, but this man was a friend and Cody's determined to find his killer.  When clues found at the scene link the murderer to an outfitter leading tourists on a multi-day wilderness horseback trip into the remote corners of Yellowstone National Park--a pack trip that includes his son Justin--Cody is desperate to get on their trail and stop the killer before the group heads into the wild. Among the tourists is fourteen-year-old Gracie Sullivan, an awkward but intelligent loner who begins to suspect that someone in their party is dangerous.  In a fatal cat and mouse game, where it becomes apparent the murderer is somehow aware of Cody's every move, Cody treks into the wilderness to stop a killer hell bent on ruining the only thing in his life he cares about. Back of Beyond is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Mysteries title.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this sprawling, ambitious stand-alone from Edgar-winner Box (Three Weeks to Say Goodbye), Cody Hoyt, an investigator in the sheriff's department of Montana's Lewis and Clark County, and a (barely) recovering alcoholic, goes in search of the man who burned his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor to death. What at first appears to be a random crime broadens in scope to include multiple murders, the unresolved disappearance of a private plane in Yellowstone National Park, and a Mexican drug lord. The action culminates with a chase into the "back of beyond," a remote wilderness area of Yellowstone, where Hoyt's son, Justin, who's in his late teens, is on an expedition with his new stepfather. Box makes the rugged expanses of the American West even more palpably compelling than his largely appealing characters; he provides backstories for even the most minor ones. This padding and some improbable plot twists tend to undercut the suspense, but Box's many fans won't mind a bit. 125,000 first printing; 10-city author tour. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
Praise for the novels of New York Times bestselling author

C. J. Box

BACK OF BEYOND

“May be his best yet...a roller-coaster ride of unexpected twists and turns...one of the most suspenseful wilderness thrillers since Deliverance.” —Associated Press

“Once again, Box provides the complete suspense package.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A great creation.”Houston Chronicle

“Grade A...page-flying suspense with superior character portrayal...a great adventure.”Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Terrifically entertaining stuff that comes together with a bang in the end.”Booklist

“A perfect introduction to the novels of C J Box.”Petrona (UK)

“Tough, gripping...[with] atmospheric volatility.”The Australian

“Sprawling, ambitious...palpably compelling.”Publishers Weekly

“Timeless...gripping...resemble(s) an Agatha Christie closed-community whodunnit but with horses, bears, wolves, and hunting rifles.”Sunday Times (UK)

“Box...knows life and death in the backcountry like few other writers today.”Library Journal

“The type of entertainment and escapism that drives us towards crime fiction in the first place.”

—Bookgeeks.co.uk

“A taut tale...that hooks you.”USA Today

“If Box isn’t already on your list, put him there.”Toronto Globe and Mail

 “The best of Box’s novels that I have read.”—Powerline

“A brand-new stand-alone thriller which may just clinch it for [Box].”The Daily Mail (UK)

Library Journal
A disgraced cop with a history of alcoholism, Cody Hoyt is also a bulldog investigator. When his AA sponsor turns up dead, Cody determines that the killer is one of 14 dudes on a weeklong expedition in Yellowstone National Park; Cody's son is also on the trip. While struggling to figure out who and why, and where they are in the wilderness, Cody also searches for redemption on behalf of his friend. Following 2008's Blue Heaven, this is the author's second stand-alone thriller to take place in the wild. As Box has shown in his Joe Pickett series, he knows life and death in the backcountry like few other writers today. [125,000-copy first printing; ten-city tour; see Prepub Alert, 3/14/11.]
Kirkus Reviews

A second standalone from the chronicler of Twelve Sleep County Game Warden Joe Pickett (Cold Wind,2011, etc.) takes a Montana cop deep into the wilds of Yellowstone National Park in the hope of protecting his teenaged son from a determined killer.

The evidence says that Hank Winters died in a house fire shortly after downing several stiff drinks. But Cody Hoyt, an investigator for the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Department, doesn't believe the evidence. Hank was Cody's AA sponsor, and he knows that although he might have fallen off the wagon himself, his adamantine mentor never would have done so. If Hank didn't drink from the uncapped flask found nearby, then someone must have planted it—and that rules out both accident and suicide. Kicked off the case, Cody still keeps working it with the help of his friend and colleague Larry Olson, who soon uncovers a nationwide chain of murders with a remarkably similar m.o. Even more chilling, however, is a clue that convinces Cody that the killer is headed to a backcountry expedition through Yellowstone Park, the very same place Cody's son Justin has been taken by His Richness Walt Franck, the developer who's engaged to Cody's ex Jenny. As Cody laboriously makes his way closer to the park, dodging suspicious cops and murder attempts, Box keeps cutting away to the expedition organized by outfitter Jed McCarthy, whose party of a dozen amateur adventurers is methodically whittled away one by one. Can Cody, a refugee from the Denver PD who's no great outdoorsman himself, catch up with the group and identify the killer in time to save his son's life?

Once again, Box provides the complete suspense package: unobtrusively slick detection, buckets of surprises and mounting thrills, all amid his trademark settings in the majestic high country.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429970686
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 13,363
  • File size: 886 KB

Meet the Author

C. J. Box

C.J. BOX is the bestselling author of Three Weeks to Say Goodbye, and ten novels including the award-winning Joe Pickett series. Blue Heaven won the Edgar® Award for Best Novel in 2009, and he’s won the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, and the Barry Award. His first novel, Open Season, was a New York Times Notable Book and an Edgar® Award and L.A. Times Book Prize finalist. The novels have been translated into 25 languages. Box lives in Wyoming.
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Read an Excerpt


1
 

The night before Cody Hoyt shot the county coroner, he was driving without a purpose in his county Ford Expedition as he often did these days. He was agitated and restless, chain-smoking cigarettes until his throat was raw and sore. He drove right by the rural bars he used to frequent, not going in. Then the call came from dispatch on his cell phone: hikers claimed they found a burned-out cabin in the Big Belt Mountains to the northeast with maybe a dead body inside.
Even though it was the end of June the weather was unseasonably cold and it had rained in the valley for three straight days. That evening, before the clouds finally lifted and the sun died, he’d seen a dusting of snow on the tops of the Big Belts to the north and the Elkhorn Mountains to the south. Snow.
“Patrol has been sent up there,” Edna the dispatcher said. He liked Edna even though she’d decided she was his surrogate mother and gave him pies and casseroles and tried to fix him up with Helena divorcees. She said, “My list says you’re the one on call tonight.”
“Yeah,” he said. Cody was a Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Department investigator. Detectives were automatically called to investigate any “unattended death,” meaning accidents, suicides, or in the rare instance, homicides.
“Because you have nothing else to do,” she said, mock joking.
“Not a damned thing,” he said, deadly serious.
“Are you at home?”
“Yeah,” he lied. “Watching the game on TV. Just a second, let me grab something to write on.” He knew if Edna wanted to she could fire up the tracking screen in the dispatch center and find the location of his vehicle out in the county because of the GPS unit mounted under the front bumper. Or she could have at one time, before he dismantled it the month before because he didn’t want anyone knowing where he’d been going or that he spent his other nights driving, driving, driving.
He pulled to the side of the road into the rough parking area in front of the Gem State Bar, the tires popping on the wet gravel. A single mercury vapor light on a pole threw dark shadows across the parking area. Pools of standing water from the recent rain reflected the light and the few stars that had appeared between night thunderheads. There were five other parked vehicles in front of the bar, all pickups. His pen was somewhere in the ashtray, which was spilling over with butts. As he pulled it out he noted the plastic barrel of the pen was rough with burn marks.
“Okay,” he said.
“The cabin is located past Vigilante Campground on Highway 280, eight miles up Trout Creek on County Road 124. The map shows it’s in the Helena National Forest, but maybe there’s a private place up there.”
He lowered the phone and sat back and closed his eyes without writing anything down. Outside his driver’s side window, two men wearing dirty jeans and hoodies and ball caps pushed their way out the door of the bar. He recognized them as sapphire miners. Sapphire mining was a small industry in the county, and there were scores of one- and two-man claims that had been worked for years and still produced. The miner in the gray hoodie was practically as wide as he was tall. The one in the yellow hoodie was gaunt and skeletal with eyes sunk deep in their sockets. They were laughing and shoving each other. Yellow Hoodie had a twelve-pack of Coors Light under his arm for the road and he’d no doubt leave a trail of empties all the way up into the Big Belts to his little one-man mine. They looked up and saw him parked but didn’t straighten up or try to act sober. He was just a guy in a muddy SUV to them because the vehicle was unmarked. Even the plates didn’t give him away because they were skip plates. If anyone ran a check on them, they’d come back to a fictitious address and company name.
“Cody?” Edna asked.
“I’m here.”
“Did you get that?”
“Yeah.”
“The complainants called from the York Bar. They agreed to stay there until they met the officer so they could guide him to where the cabin is. Officer Dougherty was dispatched to the scene and he is there with them now taking their statement. Should I ask them to stay until you get there?”
“Not necessary,” he said, “I know the cabin. Tell Dougherty to proceed—I’ll meet him there. What did they say about a body?”
“Not much really. They said they thought it was an old place by the look of it and they poked around inside a little. They said that they think there’s a body there because of the smell and what looked like a human hand, but they didn’t actually see the body. They said it was raining hard and getting dark and they just wanted to get out of there.”
“Male or female body?”
“They don’t know. They said the hand might have been a glove or the arm from a dummy because it didn’t look real.”
He nodded to himself. Fire turned human bodies into sexless grotesques. He’d been on the scene where the fire was so hot the dead muscles of the arms and legs cooked and roasted and contracted the body into a fighter’s stance: arms curled against the chest and knees bent, like a boxer in the ring. And the smell, like charred pork.…
Outside in the parking lot, the two miners put the twelve-pack on the hood of a pickup and pulled out two cans and opened them. The spray from a can hit Fat Gray Hoodie in the face and he bellowed a laugh as he took the beer.
“Okay,” Cody said to Edna.
He said, “Edna, call Larry. Tell him I need him.”
Larry Olson, the only other detective in the five-man Criminal Investigations Division whom Cody thought was worth a damn. Olson was short, solid, and shaved bald; a flesh-colored fire hydrant who entered a room like a quiet exclamation point. Larry Olson was a Montana legend. He’d solved crimes by careful observation and exhaustive investigation. He wore suspects down. He wore his fellow detectives down. When an unsolved crime went on too long anywhere in the state, the call went out to “borrow” Larry Olson. The word was the only reason he stayed in Helena instead of going state or federal was that he wanted to be there for his three boys who lived with their mother in town.
Edna said, “Larry’s not on call tonight.”
She waited for him to acknowledge, but he didn’t.
Finally, she said, “Cody?”
He held the phone out away from him at arm’s length and made a gargling sound in his throat that resembled static. He said, “I’m losing the signal right now. Call Larry. I’ll call back when I get a better signal,” and closed the phone and dropped it to the seat. Overwhelmed with a wave of nausea and needing air, he pushed open the door and stepped outside, his boots splashing in a deep puddle.
“Good one,” Skinny Yellow Hoodie said, laughing. “Right in the hole.”
Cody ignored them as he bent forward, grasping his knees with his hands. He breathed in the moist mountain air, filling his lungs with it. Mixing it with the smoke. His eyes watered and he stood and wiped at them. Cold water poured in over the top of his low boots, filling his socks. He wished he’d worn his cowboy boots instead.
“You okay?” Yellow Hoodie asked.
“Fine.”
“Want another beer? You could probably use one now.”
“No,” he said. They assumed he’d been drinking. Or, he thought, they recognized him from when he haunted the bars.
“This fucking rain, eh? Day after day. My dad said never curse the rain in Montana, and I never have. But this is motherfucking crazy. El Niño or some such thing. I heard the weatherman call it ‘The summer without a summer.’”
Cody grunted.
“Want a hit?” Fat Gray Hoodie asked in a voice indicating he was holding his breath in, and Cody realized the man was holding a joint between his fingers. Cody’s face must have cracked the miner up because he coughed and expelled the marijuana smoke in a cloud.
“Jesus Christ,” the skinny miner said to Cody. “Don’t mind him.”
“Just being friendly,” the second miner said, bringing the joint back up to his mouth.
Cody Hoyt was thirty-eight years old but often mistaken for being in his late forties. He had unkempt sandy hair, a square jaw, high cheekbones, a broken nose, brown eyes flecked with either gold or red depending on the circumstances and often described as either “mean” or “dead,” and a mouth that twisted naturally into a cop smirk even when he didn’t want it to. He wore jeans, boots, and a loose long-sleeved fishing shirt. Detectives didn’t wear uniforms and dressed to blend into the community. He reached down and pulled the hem of the shirt up so they could see the seven-point gold sheriff’s department badge on his belt.
“I got a card for this,” the smoking miner said quickly, nodding to the joint.
Practically every sapphire miner in the county had a card signed by a doctor for medical marijuana use, Cody had found. And many of them grew plants in quantities and potency well beyond simple home use. It wasn’t a coincidence that the miners used most of the same instruments—scales, small tools, hundreds of small Ziploc bags—dope merchants used.
Cody raised his .40 Sig Sauer in a shooter’s grip.
“Really,” Fat Gray Hoodie said, stepping back and dropping the joint, which extinguished with a hiss between his feet in the mud, “really, I got a card. I’ll show you. Shit, I know I’m not supposed to smoke in a public place, but damn, my back started hurting.…”
“Give me the rest of the beer,” Cody said.
Both miners froze, then shot glances at each other.
“You want the beer? You can have it,” Yellow Hoodie said. “Why the hell you want my beer? What kind of cop wants my fucking beer?”
“I don’t,” Cody said with a twisted smile. He holstered his weapon and climbed back into his Ford. He roared away, thinking he wanted that beer so goddamned bad right now he would have killed them both for it.
*   *   *
He’d heard a couple of maxims from Larry after they’d danced around each other for three months. Larry had stopped by his desk one afternoon when no one else was in the office, paused, leaned over until his mouth was an inch from Cody’s ear, and said:
“I know you were a hotshot detective in Colorado and I also know your rep as a drunk and a screwup. I’ve heard about some of the things you used to do when you grew up here, and your crazy homicidal white-trash family. I’ve personally arrested two of your uncles and I sent one to Deer Lodge prison. I was shocked as hell when you moved back here, and even more shocked when the sheriff hired you on. I can only speculate that you’ve got something on him so big and nasty he didn’t have a choice.”
Cody said nothing, but locked in Larry with his best cop deadeye and refused to blink.
Said Larry, “If so, good for you. More power to you, brother. But since we have to work together, I called a couple of your old partners in Denver. They said you were crazy, violent, and unpredictable. They said you were a loose cannon and you were all over the place like a fart on a hot skillet. But they also said you were a fucking fantastic cop and you went at every case like a bulldog on steroids who wouldn’t let go. That you nailed a child-porn king and a sitting Federal District judge in one fell swoop. But they said they didn’t really want to ever work with you again because they wanted to keep their jobs and not spend half their fucking time defending themselves and you to Internal Affairs and the mayor’s office.
“Me,” Larry said, “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. But don’t ever screw me, and don’t ever put me in a position I don’t want to be in. Just do the job and show me what you’ve got, and you’ll find out you can trust me. But you need to earn my trust because you brought a lot of baggage back with you to Montana.”
Cody said nothing.
Larry continued, “There are four things you need to know about this place. One, we only get a homicide about once a year. But that’s not good, it’s bad. It’s bad because most of these jamokes around here,” he nodded toward the door to indicate the rest of the sheriff’s department as well as the municipal police department across the hall, “never get enough experience to work a murder investigation smoothly. If the homicide is hinky and not a straightforward domestic or bar brawl, it’s always the first time for most of ’em. They’ve grown up watching CSI and cop shows and they turn into actors they’ve seen on the screen instead of remembering their training.
“Second, the most important topic of every day is where to go to lunch. You’ll find yourself discussing that particular dilemma more than anything else.
“Third, bad things always happen on a Friday, almost always after you’re off duty. So if you’re off duty but on call, you better not hit the bottle like I’ve heard you do.
“Fourth, and most important, take every possible fucking opportunity you can to eat and take a shit, because this county is thirty-five hundred square miles, a third of it roadless.”
With that, Larry Olson stormed out of the room.
*   *   *
Cody thought of the third and fourth maxims as he drove up into the mountains. The rain had started again, and heavy-bellied drops smacked against the windshield as if they were committing suicide. The two-lane highway was dark and slick. Canyon Ferry Lake—so named because they’d built a dam to hold back the Missouri and submerge the historic river crossing—simmered like a stew on slow boil because of the rain. The dark wooded canyon wall rose to his left. He realized he was hungry because he hadn’t had dinner. His vague plan had been to go to York and have a burger, but a burger without a beer seemed an impossible mission.
And he could use a toilet as well. There were outhouses at Two Camps Vista and another at Devil’s Elbow. He hated outhouses because he could never not look down into the pit—sometimes using his flashlight—to see what was floating around down there. It reminded him of too many things.
*   *   *
The possible body in the cabin beyond Vigilante Campground made Cody’s heart pound and his hands go cold on the steering wheel. His mind raced and scenarios formed. He immediately assumed the worst.
He dug out his cell phone and called Edna at dispatch.
“Is Larry coming?” he asked.
“He’s not happy about it.”
“I don’t blame him.”
“Quit pretending you’re losing your cell phone signal when you aren’t.”
He sighed. “Okay.”
After a beat, she said, “Should I call the Scooter?”
The county coroner, Sceeter Kerley, enjoyed his job a little too much and was considered a pain in the ass to work with ever since he found out he was the only elected official with the authority to arrest the sheriff. Plus, elections were five months away and he wanted to keep a high profile in the local press. Nothing could be done with a body until the coroner arrived. He owned all bodies in Lewis and Clark County and they couldn’t be touched or removed without his authority.
“Naw, I’ll call him if we have to,” Cody said. “I’ll confirm it’s a body first. The hikers could have seen anything. Lots of things look like hands.”
“And I should ignore the call I just got from a drunken miner saying a sheriff’s department employee tried to steal his beer outside a bar?”
“Yeah, you should ignore that,” Cody said.
*   *   *
He drove just under control, taking the switchbacks hard, crossing the faded double center line with each turn. There wasn’t a light bar on the Ford so he’d toggled on the switch that turned his headlights into strobes that flashed psychedelically on the wet canyon walls and pine trees. And froze two cow elk in their progress across the highway.
Cody cursed and swerved to the left, his tires dropping off the pavement into the muddy ditch, but he wasn’t fast enough. One of the elk inexplicably bounded in front of him and turned her head toward him and their eyes locked a split second before he hit her solidly in the shoulder with the right front fender of the truck. The impact made the Ford fishtail. If it weren’t for the front right tire still gripping the pavement, he would have hurtled left into the bank of trees. He jerked the wheel and the Ford bounced up out of the ditch.
He stopped in the middle of the highway, breathing hard, knowing if his brakes hadn’t bitten he would have gone straight off the edge of the mountain into Canyon Ferry Lake. Rain drummed on the roof. A single headlight pointed out into the dark, lighting only the rain that slashed through the beam. He checked his side mirrors. In the red glow of his taillights he could see the other elk bound up the canyon wall but the one he’d hit was down, its legs churning, head writhing.
“Shit!”
His boot eased off the brake and he began to roll forward again, making sure he could still go forward. The Ford went a few feet before it stopped again. He needed to assess the damage. And he couldn’t leave her suffering like that.
Chanting “Shit-shit-shit-shit-shit…” he got out and walked back along the wet asphalt in the rain and drew his Sig Sauer and shot her in the head. Her thrashing went manic until it stopped altogether. He couldn’t shed the afterimage of her eyes boring into him before he hit her, even when she closed them now. It took five minutes to pull her off the roadway. She was heavy, wet, and smelled of musk and hot blood.
He took a quick look at his bumper. His right headlight was out and thatches of elk hair were caught in the grille. There was a six-inch gap between the frame and the hood. He could smell the sharp odor of burning hair and meat on the hot surfaces of the motor. He had a couple of thousand dollars in damage and years of jokes from the county maintenance shop guys and fellow cops ahead of him. But the Ford still ran.
“Shit-shit-shit-shit-shit…”
For his next trick, he climbed into the cab of the Ford to locate a dead body in a burned-out cabin.
“Shit-shit-shit-shit-shit…”
A body that, in all probability, belonged to someone he knew and trusted and admired and who had kept him tethered to normalcy the past few months by a single fraying thread. And he could feel the thread unraveling.

 
Copyright © 2011 by C.J. Box
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

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(19)

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(20)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Summer Read!!!

    I have never heard of CJ Box before clicking on the banner (on another website). Boy, am I glad I read a chapter or two on B&N and decided I needed to get this book! I was drawn in very quickly and the story takes you places where you don't expect. I got to the point of "and the killer is..." and had to go back to work!! It drove me CRAZY til I was able to get back to the book!! I would definitely pick this one up!! Now, I know he has a series of books as well....hmmmm....yet another series I'll probably pick up!! READ THIS!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    He keeps getting better 3 1/2 stars

    I have been working through C.J. Box's backlist the last several months, catching up on Joe Pickett and family as he navigates the violent and highly political world of Wyoming wildlife management. So I was excited to see the author's latest book, Back of Beyond, was a standalone mystery/thriller that I could read right now without ruining my Pickett timeline.

    Now here is the odd thing about this book. Box's writing is just getting better with every book he writes so this story just flowed beautifully; never a dull moment. It is a good solid read and very enjoyable. Unfortunately the lead character was just to stereotyped and the plot a little to contrived. You have a divorced alcoholic cop who gets in his own way when trying to connect with those that love him; like his son, ex-wife, and coworkers. He is a tenacious and skilled investigator but is a little to willing to go outside the rules to get things done. Not exactly unique.

    As to the plot you have got a plane full of drug money crashed out in the wilds of Yellowstone Park. So you have bad guys that just happen to kill our hero's AA sponsor and want to go after the plane. But hey, coincidences happen all the time. But then the only way to get to the plane is through an annual guided horseback excursion to that part of the park, and our hero's estranged son just happens to be going on that trip. Then you have another set of bad guys who are also acquainted with our hero who are also willing to kill for the prize. So the coincidences keep building from there, almost as much as the bodies do; and there are a lot of bodies in this book.

    It all builds to a Gunfight in the O.K. Coral scenario that plays out like a Hollywood movie ending. At the end of the book all lose ends have been resolved completely, the bad guys are gone and the hero is back on track. Therein lies the problem, Box went with an extremely messy hero but wrote an extremely clean conclusion. Those two just do not match.

    Even after all that I like the book. It was well paced and the dialogue was genuine. I guess what I am saying is that while I enjoy complex and developed meals (i.e. the Joe Pickett books), sometimes a well made peanut butter sandwich is just the ticket. Read this book to get a taste of what C.J. Box is capable of, and then go back and read his backlist to savor the delights they contain.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    Great page turner read

    I just loved this book. I read constantly. The book has so many twists and turns that it keeps you constantly guessing. So, so good. I just loved it and recommended it to two of my friends. I plan to look for more of Box's books in the future.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Stick with Joe Picket

    Lots of gratuitous swearing. Not much of Montana except place names. At least Joe Picket likes some people.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2011

    Recommended for C.J. Box fans

    A good book but not one of his better ones. Can't beat the Joe Pickett series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    No Blue Heaven

    This is my second CJ Box book. I enjoyed the story but it didn't hold a candle to the first book I read, Blue Heaven. This book was entertaining but I was able to put it down, something I couldn't do with Blue Heaven.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

    Not worth the money

    Poorly contrived plot, rambling, waste of time and money. Nowhere near as good as his Joe Picket series.

    Without giving away any plot points, the entire premise for the initial (and subsequent) murders makes no sense at all.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Hooked on C.J Box

    My friend met C.J. in Yellowstone and she got me hooked.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Fast, fun and fascinating. A must read for fans of mystery and adventure

    C.J. Box creates believable yet larger than life characters. He captures the wonder and beauty of the outdoors, and the scariness that lurks around every bush. I couldn't put this down.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Top Notch

    Cody Hoyt is the kind of character you think you'd hate--alcoholic, chain smoker, rule-breaker. But Box's skill has you rooting for this anti-hero as he does whatever it takes to make sure his son is alive. Twists and turns that Box does so well. Read it before you read The Highway, another Cody Hoyt novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Check it out!

    Enjoyed very much. Recommended

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Great resd Great read

    Best of Box writings so far!

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Unexpected

    Against the vastness and isolation of Yellowstone Park, C.J. Box has once again created a suspense-murder-thriller novel using the natural environment as a backdrop. Cody Hoyt, a rogue cop who first appeared in “Blue Heaven,” returns once again, as he is called in to investigate the death of a man shot in the head and burned in his half-destroyed mountain cabin, later identified as Cody’s AA sponsor, making the case very personal to the detective.

    In the course of his investigation, Cody discovers that the murderer has joined a group on a multi-day wilderness horseback trip in a remote part of the park. Adding incentive, Cody learns that his son is part of the group on the trip, so he has to not only find the murderer but save his son.

    The author then takes the reader on a wild ride, never once giving much away in clues as bodies and riderless horses start turning up along the trail as Cody, who now is suspended and AWOL from the Sheriff’s department, tries to close in on the remaining group. The descriptions are sweeping, the character development deeply absorbing.

    Recommended.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    Great Book

    I have read all of C.J. Box's books. He brings the west alive with fascinating details and scenery. They have all been great. Even though this one didn't have my favorite game warden in it I loved the story and the hero. As always anxiously awaiting the next C.J. Box novel !!

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  • Posted April 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I really enjoyed this book. Cody Holt is a troubled cop, trying

    I really enjoyed this book. Cody Holt is a troubled cop, trying to get off alcohol. He is called to investigate a fire at a remote cabin. He finds his AA sponsor dead in the rubble. Though all investigators determine that his sponsor died of an accident, Cody is certain that he was murdered. Going on the flimsiest of evidence, he decides to investigate. He then accidently shoots the coroner and is suspended. Being stubbon, Cody continues looking for answers in the death of his friend.

    Cody needs to hide all he is doing as he could be arrested. As he continues searching things happen and someone tries to kill him. Pretty soon he is in a race to find his son (Justin), who has gone on an off the tracks excursion through Yellowstone Park with his ex-wife's boyfriend. Cody is sure that the person who killed his sponsor is on the trip and all the people (about 10) on the trip are also in grave danger.

    The book starts slow for the first 100 pages then takes off like a rocket. The tension is great at several junctures and the reader starts to form a bond with a few of the travelers that are with Justin, especially Gracie, a teen who came with her sister and father. Once that far in, the book is impossible to put down until the last page. The only thing that prevented me from giving it the full five stars was the slow start and the fact that it takes the reader a long time to bond with Cody. He is very obnoxious at times and some of his habits are annoying.

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  • Posted February 20, 2012

    excellent book. suspensful to the last page.

    I wish Box could write books faster. Very good story yeller.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    Great Book

    Loved it--another entertaining read by CJ Box.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Great book, I have all of c j box's books, and my cousin in Victoria BC really likes his books.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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