The Highway

The Highway

3.5 105
by C. J. Box
     
 

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Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel, the New York Times bestselling author of Back of Beyond andBreaking Point and the creator of the Joe Pickett series is back.

"If CJ Box isn't already on your list, put him there." – USA Today

When two sisters set out across a remote stretch of Montana road to visit their friend, little

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Overview

Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel, the New York Times bestselling author of Back of Beyond andBreaking Point and the creator of the Joe Pickett series is back.

"If CJ Box isn't already on your list, put him there." – USA Today

When two sisters set out across a remote stretch of Montana road to visit their friend, little do they know it will be the last time anyone might ever hear from them again. The girls—and their car—simply vanish. Former police investigator Cody Hoyt has just lost his job and has fallen off the wagon after a long stretch of sobriety. Convinced by his son and his former rookie partner, Cassie Dewell, he begins the drive south to the girls' last known location. As Cody makes his way to the lonely stretch of Montana highway where they went missing, Cassie discovers that Gracie and Danielle Sullivan aren't the first girls who have disappeared in this area. This majestic landscape is the hunting ground for a killer whose viciousness is outmatched only by his intelligence. And he might not be working alone. Time is running out for Gracie and Danielle…Can Cassie overcome her doubts and lack of experience and use her innate skill? Can Cody Hoyt battle his own demons and find this killer before another victim vanishes on the highway?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two sisters, 16-year-old Gracie and 18-year-old Danielle Sullivan, set out from their mother’s home in Denver to spend Thanksgiving with their father in Omaha, Neb. But Danielle doesn’t tell anyone that they are driving to Montana first to see her old boyfriend, Justin Hoyt, until they are on the road—she doesn’t even tell her sister or Justin. Justin’s father is Cody Hoyt, a law enforcement officer who barely acknowledges rules, much less follows them. Fired from his most recent post at the Helena sheriff’s office for planting evidence on a murdered criminal in order to assure the killer’s arrest, he continues to mentor his ex-partner, Cassie Dewell, who shakes her head at his willingness to do anything necessary to track down and arrest criminals, even as she is amazed by his skills and persistence in doing so. Ronald Pergram calls himself the Lizard King. An independent long-haul trucker, he is intelligent, cunning, filled with rage against women (be they “lot lizards”—prostitutes who work truck stops—passing drivers, or his mother), and a serial killer who enjoys capturing and torturing his prey. When the sisters’ car breaks down in the midst of wilderness, they think themselves rescued, until their rescuer turns out to be the Lizard King. When Danielle’s messages to Justin suddenly cease, he knows to turn to his father. Cody, aware that several young women have vanished in the region in recent years, is immediately suspicious, and enlists Cassie to help him find the girls and the man he knows to be their kidnapper. Filled with believable characters and hard, realistic dialogue, Edgar-winner Box’s perfectly paced novel (slated for an August release) offers a suspenseful story laced with more than a few shockingly unexpected plot twists. In unfolding his narrative he provides fascinating insights into the life of the long-distance trucker: how to maintain a Peterbilt, which states have the toughest traffic laws, which truck stops have the most lot lizards available for easy assault—and how the nature of life on the road, where the driver never stays long in a single place and can be hundreds of miles away in a matter of hours, can readily allow the criminal to get away with murder for years. While Cody confronts his own demons—including some he never expected—Cassie comes into her own as a good cop in spite of the condescension, sexism, and personal insults she has faced from most everyone save for Cody; and watching her confidence in her own skills grow as she confronts darkness greater than anything she has previously imagined is tremendously satisfying. As the film Duel demonstrated, the mere sight of an enormous truck speeding up behind you on a long, empty stretch of highway is never comforting; and Box works that inherent fear masterfully. Jack Womack is best known for his novel Random Acts of Senseless Violence.
From the Publisher

“That The Highway is read by the incomparable Holter Graham makes it all the more scary…If you like your audiobooks creepy and riveting this is for you. But I wouldn't advise listening to it on a long stretch of unpatrolled road.” —The Star-Ledger

“Narrator Holter Graham creates a frantic, exhilarating pace as Box continues the story of police detective Cody Hoyt.” —AudioFile Magazine

Library Journal
Cody Hoyt, a former investigator with the Lewis and Clark County, MT, sheriff's office, is on the trail of two missing girls. Supposedly on their way from Colorado to Nebraska to visit their father over Thanksgiving, Danielle and Gracie Sullivan are actually driving to Montana to visit Danielle's boyfriend, Justin, who is also Hoyt's son. The girls' reckless behavior and car trouble put them in the path of a killer who drives an 18-wheeler. Although Cody's erratic conduct and evidence tampering led to his firing, he embarks on a search for the girls at the request of his son and former partner Cassandra Dewell. Then Cody disappears, and Cassandra steps up to search for him. She soon stumbles across evidence of psychotic killers, police corruption, and scenes from the dark underside of transient society. Her tenaciousness serves her well and the results are explosive. VERDICT Drawing on characters introduced in Back of Beyond, Box's stand-alone weaves together subplots into a nonstop, action-filled race against time. Rolling down the superhighway of suspense, this thriller will leave readers breathless.—Patricia Ann Owens, Illinois Eastern Community Colls., Mt. Carmel
Kirkus Reviews
The creator of Wyoming Fish and Game Warden Joe Pickett (Breaking Point, 2013, etc.) works the area around Yellowstone National Park in this stand-alone about a long-haul trucker with sex and murder on his mind. The Lizard King, as he calls himself, normally targets lot lizards--prostitutes who work the parking lots adjacent to the rest stops that dot interstate highways. But he's more than happy to move up to a higher class of victim when he runs across the Sullivan sisters. Danielle, 18, and Gracie, 16, are supposed to be driving from their mother's home in Denver to their father's in Omaha, but Danielle has had the bright idea of heading instead to Bozeman, Mont., to visit her boyfriend, Justin Hoyt. Far from home, their whereabouts known to only a few people, the girls are the perfect victims even before they nearly collide with the Lizard King's rig and Danielle flips him off. Hours later, very shortly after he's caught up with them in the depths of Yellowstone and done his best to eradicate every trace of his abduction, Justin, worried that Danielle refused his last phone call, tells his father that something bad has happened. Cody Hoyt, an investigator for the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Department, is already having a tough day: At the insistence of his crooked boss, Sheriff Tubman, his longtime student and new partner, Cassandra Dewell, has just caught him planting evidence in an unrelated murder, and he's been suspended from his job. If he's lost his badge, though, Cody's got plenty of time on his hands to drive downstate and meet with State Trooper Rick Legerski, the ex-husband of his dispatcher's sister, to talk about what to do next. And so the countdown begins. Box handles this foolproof formula with complete assurance, keeping the pot at a full boil until the perfunctory, anticlimactic and unsatisfactory ending.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312546892
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
07/01/2014
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
107,375
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.20(d)

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The Highway


By C. J. Box

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2013 C. J. Box
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-03192-1



CHAPTER 1

4:03 P.M., Tuesday, November 20


He called himself the Lizard King. The prostitutes known as lot lizards feared him. More precisely, they feared his legend, the idea of him. None of them who'd ever seen his face up close lived to describe it.

He was parked in the back row of trucks with his diesel engine idling, his running lights muted, his hair slicked back, and a bundle of tools on the floorboard on the right side of his seat within easy reach. He was hunting but there was no need to go after his prey. The lot lizards would come to him.

The truck stop was four miles west of Billings, Montana, off I-90. A cold mist hung in the air and moisture beaded on the windows and the paint jobs of more than seventy big trucks. The black asphalt lot shined as if freshly varnished between the rows of semis, reflecting the lighted highway signs and hundreds of streams of horizontal running lights from the parked trucks themselves. The air outside hummed with rumbling engines. Tendrils of steam rose from beneath the engines and combined with the undulating waves of heated exhaust that rose from beneath the big rigs.

From his high perch in the dry and warm cab, his sight lines were clear. The truck plaza itself was filled with activity and he noted it carefully. Vehicles entered and exited the long banks of fuel pumps in front of the garish low-slung building a hundred yards away. Professional truckers filled 150-gallon aluminum tanks with diesel fuel on one side of the lot, passenger cars and vans filled up with gasoline on the other.

Inside the truck stop restaurant, waitresses served the $10.95 T-bone special advertised on the marquee near the exit. Drivers lounged in the "trucker's only" section checking e-mail, comparing road conditions, or drinking coffee. Truck stop employees cooked up fried chicken and potato wedges for the lighted bins at the front counter and manned the cash registers selling salted snacks, energy boosters, beef jerky, and drinks.

This was the way it was on the open road; islands of lighted activity in a sea of prairie darkness. Cars and families on one side, truckers on the other, but sharing the same facility. Two vastly different worlds that met only at places like this. Inside, truck drivers and citizens barely acknowledged each other and the modern truck stop was designed so there would be little interaction. Sure, the drivers would get on their radios and laugh at the rubes they'd run into inside and mock their looks or stupid conversations, but inside they were segregated between the amateurs and the professionals, the clueless consumers — the civilians, the amateurs — and the cloistered universe of the providers.

He was on the road so much his outlook on it had changed completely over the years. It no longer seemed like he was moving, for one thing. Now he felt as if he were stationary while the road rolled under him and the scenery flowed by. The world came to him.

Like the captain of a large ocean vessel, a large swath of the landscape was off-limits to him, as he was confined by the shipping lanes that were interstate highways. When he parked his truck at a rest area or truck stop for the night he couldn't venture into town because he had no way to get there unless he walked. It was like a captain who had to anchor his boat and take a dinghy to shore.

Oh, how he resented the smug people in those towns. They thought their food, clothing, furniture, appliances, and electronics simply appeared at stores or on their front doorsteps. They didn't stop to think that every item they ate or wore or used was likely transported across the nation in the trailer of his truck or those like him, or that the hardworking blue-collar rednecks they avoided in real life and despised on the road were the conduits of their comfort and the pipeline of their wealth.


* * *


It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so there was more traffic on the highways than usual. It would be much worse the next day as families moved across the country with a lull on Thanksgiving and another spike on Sunday as people returned home. He was used to it. The rhythms of the road were like rivers that flooded and receded in perpetuity.

The Beartooth Mountains to the south were light blue with new snow and the lack of stars indicated heavy cloud cover. It was still warm enough on the valley floor that the moisture hadn't turned to snowflakes, but there was a snap in the air outside and he watched as travelers left their cars and zipped up coats on their way into the truck stop. He snorted at an overweight family of fools wearing T-shirts and shorts who practically ran from their passenger van to the door that led to the restrooms. Fucking idiots. What if they broke down wearing clothes like that? Who would they look for to rescue them? Me, he thought. The invisible, faceless trucker.

In the darkened cab of his eighteen-speed Model 379 Peterbilt, the Lizard King was alone, quiet and still, the cab perched over 550 horses of steel muscle under the iconic squared-off snout. The truck was flat black, stripped of chrome, and as subtle as a fist. It was a trucker's truck the way a Harley-Davidson was a biker's bike. He'd even painted the twin stacks with black chimney paint to eliminate any hint of flash.

Without looking down, he let his right hand slip down on the side of the seat until he could find the string that held his bundle together. He pulled the cord and the bundle unrolled. His fingertips traced each item. Everything had been wiped clean and sterilized since its last use: the tire thumper, which was a short lead-filled wooden baton used to check the pressure of his eighteen wheels, the pliers and wire cutters, two pairs of handcuffs, four knives — the heavy hunting Buck, the short folding Spyderco, the long thin filet knife, and the stainless-steel hatchet. His lightweight Taurus 738 TCP semiauto in .380 ACP. In an oblong, hard, and hinged box once used for sunglasses was a syringe filled with Rohypnol. And his vintage fourteen-inch long Knapp butcher saw with the aluminum T-grip and both bone and wood teeth on opposite sides of the blade. It was designed for the rapid field butchering of big game. He ran his thumb gently along the bone teeth.

Satisfied that everything was in order, he removed the tire thumper and placed it on the dashboard next to his roll of one hundred-mile-an-hour brown Gorilla tape. Both were standard items used by every trucker and they wouldn't draw a second glance. He bundled the rest of the tools and reached under his seat for the satchel, which contained heavy plastic bags, the wire ties, his folding shovel, the 300,000 volt Stun Master stun gun, and the three-inch-wide roll of duct tape. He put the bundle of tools back into the satchel and zipped it closed.

If things went well, he wouldn't even need to reach for the satchel. If things went well ...


* * *


The Lizard King glanced around the cab to make sure he'd completed all the items on his mental checklist. The carpeted floormats had been pulled and stashed, leaving a bare metal floor. Both seats were fitted with clear plastic covers. All logbooks, maps, and other paperwork — anything that could absorb fluid — had been stashed away. He turned in his seat. The cloth drapes separating the cab from the sleeping cabin had long ago been replaced by clear shower curtains that allowed him to see clearly into the back. On his bunk was a specially adapted cover made from blue tarpaulin, and plastic sheeting lined the walls. The single small window of the sleeper was blacked out.

He'd forgotten nothing. There was no cloth or porous surface for blood, hair, or fiber to cling to inside, and the cab and cabin could be hosed clean in a few minutes by a power washer.

He was ready.


* * *


He waited for the segregation between the professionals and the amateurs to breach. It did when a rusted-out van cruised the trucking lanes and parked in shadow on the side of the truck stop. North Dakota plates.

Two lot lizards got out and the van drove away. That meant they had thumbed a ride or made arrangements for a pickup later. Meaning there would be no telltale vehicle left at the truck stop to raise any alarm. That was good.

What wasn't so good was that there were two of them. It wasn't unusual; they tended to partner up to some extent. Which meant if one of them vanished the other would know.

One lot lizard, who was short and heavy and dark — maybe an Indian from the res to the south — started off for the far corner of the lot. She'd work that side first, he guessed. He breathed a sigh of relief.

The other one put her hands on her hips and looked in his direction.

She looked thin and gaunt and had long stringy blondish hair haloed by the blue overhead lamps and the mist. He couldn't see her face yet because of the darkness. A long sweater or shawl-like cape hid her figure, which was one of the tricks of the trade. She teetered on high heels and held her hands out to her sides as if for balance and she baby-stepped toward the parked lines of trucks.

Perfect.

He stubbed his cigarette out and squinted through the curl of smoke and the rain-smeared windshield. He could feel his insides start to knot.


* * *


Since that morning outside of Chicago the Lizard King had been planning the hunt. He'd awakened in his bunk thinking about it, and at breakfast he'd gone through his mental checklist. It had been several weeks, and he was due.

He pulled a fifty-three-foot trailer known as a "reefer," meaning the inside of the box was controlled by a separate diesel refrigeration-slash-heating unit mounted on the front. Depending on the contents of his load, he could keep the box cool to freezing, and his loads were primarily pallets of fresh or frozen food. He ran coast-to-coast, picking up apples in Yakima, Washington, and delivering them to Boston, and completing the circuit with yogurt from Connecticut or potatoes from New Jersey to be delivered in the west. The loads and destinations varied from circuit to circuit, and sometimes he forgot what he was hauling. It took him four and a half days to run from one coast to the other, and he generally completed two full laps of the nation before returning home. His life was a rhythm of three weeks on the road, a week at home to recuperate and get repairs, then three more weeks of running. He was on his way home after nineteen straight days on the road; meaning no more than eleven hours of driving in any fourteen-hour period, and ten hours of rest in order to legally drive another eleven.

The Lizard King knew mileposts on every highway in America and knew which truck stops to fuel up and which ones to avoid. He timed his routes to avoid as many weigh scales — called "chicken coops" — as possible and he'd rather use his piss-jug than be forced to stop at highway rest areas frequented by homosexuals known as "pickle parks." Like all truckers, he did his best to avoid states with overbearing troopers and stupid regulations like Minnesota, Ohio, California, Oregon, and Washington, and he gave a wide berth to other trucks from companies known for poorly trained drivers.


* * *


It had taken just one glimpse of a young woman the night before, red-haired and college-age, her car filled with boxes and clothes she was taking home for Thanksgiving break, who passed him on an incline and swung back into his lane so recklessly that he had to tap his brakes and lean on his horn. When he was able to catch back up with her in the passing lane she looked up and their eyes met for a brief second. Then she flipped him off with dismissive contempt. That's all it took. Rage blasted through him and orange spangles erupted in front of his eyes.

Before he could swing his rig over into her lane and force her off the highway she stomped on her accelerator and shot ahead. Their bumpers almost kissed but she gained distance. He cursed the half-load in his trailer that held him back. It was like dragging an anchor behind him. He cursed that red-haired girl until her taillights faded away in the dark.

He'd kept an eye out for her all the way to Janesville, Wisconsin. But by the time he got to Chippewa Falls he'd lost her somewhere. She'd either continued to speed home straight ahead or she'd taken an exit off the interstate.

She had no idea, he thought, how lucky she was. Outside West Fargo, he'd barely slept and he thought of what she'd look like bound in cuffs and tape with a whole new attitude toward him.

So after breakfast, in light rain outside of Mandan, he parked at a rest area and pulled on his raincoat. The first thing to do was to make his loaded eighty-thousand-pound truck invisible. He did it by covering the transmittal dome of his Qualcomm unit with a shower cap lined with aluminum foil and sealing the bottom with tape. This way, neither his employers nor curious troopers could track his movements or his speed.

His anticipation built throughout the day as he rolled west. He paid special attention to the radio and slowed in advance of the speed traps or scales outside Wibaux and Bad Route, Montana, and he didn't stop for lunch or mandatory rest periods although he lied in his logs to say he did. He shot across I-94 in Montana maintaining the perfect speed of sixty-three miles per hour for maximum fuel efficiency for his Caterpillar C15 motor to get as far ahead of schedule as possible. They shouldn't expect him before 10:00 P.M. If the dispatcher, that bitch, said she had trouble tracking him via his Qualcomm, he'd curse and say it must have malfunctioned again like the last time.

He gained four hours, he figured, by the time he hit Miles City, Montana. Four hours of free time, where no one would be watching. He'd carry that four free hours with him as he pounded west, and not withdraw a minute of it until he got to the truck stop outside Billings.

Four hours was more than enough time to do what he needed to do. He'd done it in two, so he was sure of it.


* * *


He'd arrived early to the truck stop, an hour before dark. At that time there was plenty of room in the back row of the trucker's lot when he arrived, and he took a middle space without neighbors on either side.

Choosing the back row meant something to other truckers. Either the driver wanted to get some real sleep in his cabin behind the seat, or he wanted privacy to rest or do paperwork, or, in this case, he was sending a signal that he was available to the truck stop prostitutes who worked the facility. The lot lizards.

He carried a duffel bag across the lot in the dusk and went straight to the trucker's entrance of the building. Inside, he paid eleven dollars for a shower. He shaved and changed into a disposable one-piece Tyvek jumpsuit with elastic bands on the sleeves and cuffs. The jumpsuit got no strange looks in the trucker's lounge because truckers wore all kinds of strange clothing. A driver with a full beard, a multicolored serape, and flip-flops sat at a table reviewing his logbook. The man didn't even look up. One driver he knew drove in his underwear with the heat on high.

Still, though, when he became the Lizard King he knew his presence made a statement. People shied away from him when they saw him coming. Conversations stopped as he passed by, like there was some kind of malevolent black cloud hanging over his head. And when he stared at others they tended to quickly look away. It used to bother him, but now he took a kind of perverse pride in it. He didn't want to make new friends, anyway. What was the point?

The Lizard King had never felt brotherhood toward other drivers. In fact, he found many of them as disgusting as the amateurs on the road. He noted how many piss-jars and urine bombs had been tossed on the side of the road, how many Walmart bags of feces. He'd seen the cutaways in the floorboards of some trucks, and he cringed when he witnessed fat truckers parking as close as possible to the truck stop restaurant so they wouldn't have to waddle far to eat. And then there were the Bible-thumpers ...

He avoided the public retail section of the truck stop, and took a long route back to his Peterbilt through dozens of idling trucks so no one would track where he went. As he passed between two semis in the first row he was dismayed to find a small knot of five drivers shooting the breeze back and forth. Three men leaned against the fuel tank of a blue Mack on the left and two others mirrored their posture against a red Kenworth on the right. He had no choice but to walk right through them and to betray no surprise or caution. To his chagrin, they were arguing about a Bible passage.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Highway by C. J. Box. Copyright © 2013 C. J. Box. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

C.J. BOX is the bestselling author of Back of Beyond, Three Weeks to Say Goodbye, and thirteen other novels including the award-winning Joe Pickett series. Blue Heaven won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2009, and Box has won the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award. His first novel, Open Season, was a New York Times Notable Book and an Edgar Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. Box's work has been translated into twenty-five languages. He lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Holter Graham, winner of AudioFile's 2008 Best Voice in Science Fiction & Fantasy for Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron, is a stage, television, and screen actor. He has recorded numerous audiobooks, including much of Sherrilyn Kenyon's bestselling Dark-Hunter series. The winner of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he has also read works by Scott Turow, Dean Koontz, C. J. Box, and Stephen Frey.

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The Highway 3.5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 105 reviews.
KarenWalters More than 1 year ago
This is a phenomenal mystery/suspense book. I really like C.J. Box's fast writing pace. He keeps the story moving at a really quick pace. There lots of twists and turns. The characters are all very well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first C J Box book that I will not recommend. The story is too gory and the language is too rough throughout. The story reminds me of a true incident in the 1980's of a college girl who was raped and murdered in WYoming as she was traveling home on a lonely highway. Too sad.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
C J Box revives some characters from BACK OF BEYOND to populate this thriller of a mystery story. Once I realized that this is NOT the same style as my favorite Joe Picket books, I quickly got engrossed in this fast passed story that covers only a couple of hair raising days in a few people's lives. Evil travels the highways and I might just need to avoid highways for a few days until I get my breath back!  Cody Hoyt, ex-alcoholic policeman, has bypassed the law again, for all the right reasons, but bypass them he did. This has given his purely politically minded boss just the excuse he needed to fire Cody. Unfortunately, Cody's new rookie partner, Cassie Dowell, was sent to spy on Cody to provide the evidence of his wrongdoing. As a single mom, she felt obliged to follow through, but she also felt terrible doing this to a man she truly respects for his record of closed cases. As Cody and Cassie moan their situations in a local bar, Cody breaks his sobriety. But a couple hours later, Cody's son, Justin, calls to tell his Dad that Justin's girlfriend and her sister have gone missing while they were traveling the highways to Justine's house for Thanksgiving. Cody leaves to check out the situation, even though he no longer has "cop status". Cassie, on her own time, mans the computer to seek information. After a few hours, communications for Cody stops also, and Cassie goes on the search for answers. Troubles they will find, as pure evil shows it's ugly face.  This is definitely a darker story than other C J Box books, but the thrills and "issues" are definitely shining through in this story also. The book is populated with deeply flawed characters whom you will root for, and also with purely evil characters whom you wish never existed in real life---but , unfortunately, they do exist. Fortunately for me, Box manages to give just enough descriptions so that I "got the evil" without lots of gratuitous descriptions of blood, gore, and excessively described pain. The "possibilities" that Box describes are so reasonably likely, that it made my mind race for possible solutions. I love that Box tells a great story, which also makes me think, as well as just enjoy his great mysteries. Could this be a future new series for Box? let's hope so!!!
Duells More than 1 year ago
This was my first C.J. Box book,and I'm not real sure why.I had read alot of reviews on the book,lots of good reviews.So I figured I'd give it a shot.Well to my surprise I couldn't put it down! Needless to say I will be reading more of C.J. Box.I don't want to give away the story but it twists and turns like a rattlesnake.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
How many times have you heard DO NOT get in a stranger’s vehicle? If The Highway by author C. J. Box doesn’t prove the dangers of that action, nothing will! Teen sisters, Danielle and Gracie Sullivan, in an act of parental defiance, take a road trip to see Danielle’s boyfriend, Justin (Deputy Sheriff Cody Hoyt’s son), but they never arrive. On a lonely stretch of highway, their car breaks down and the trucker that stops to “help” them becomes their biggest nightmare. Known as the Lizard King, this trucker is actually a twisted monster who preys on women for his own perverse pleasure. Will Cody be able to save them before it’s too late? Will the vast beauty of the landscape work against him? The Highway is very dark, an edge of your seat, twisted and gut-clenching battle against an evil so vile, you may want to lock your loved ones away for their own safety! From start to finish, there is no reprieve for your nerves or your imagination! Author C. J. Box has developed his hero with flaws, making him all the more real! He even nailed the teen defiance and daring! When the beauty of the surroundings can become menacing, as well, you KNOW you’ve found some great writing! The pace is quick, the plot is deep and you will be haunted by its contents long after the last page! An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur in exchange for my honest review.
sherrb1158 More than 1 year ago
This novel will definitely grab your attention and hold on to it from the very first page! It is somewhat different from the Joe Pickett novels I love so much. (But, hey! Who doesn't love Joe Pickett and the gorgeous outdoor imagery and character interplay of that series once you read them!) This is more intense in the psychology of the protagonists and more of a who-done-it I would say. It definitely is very dark in places, but not as severe as I thought it might be after reading some of the reviews that I read here on B&N. However, if I had teenaged daughters I would definitely sit them down for a long safety lecture after reading this! This was a great read and you won't want to put it down until you know the outcome. I reserve five stars for the best of the best, (like the Joe Pickett novels!), but this is a really very good read with some great character development! You won't be disappointed! You might want to keep your dog close by though! Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read from C.J. and I was impressed. The plot was twisted, but it held my attention. The character development was great and you'll find yourself hating quite a few based on their attitudes and actions. Definitely a must read... but beware, you may start looking at other drivers differently.
Larryb52 More than 1 year ago
this is a depraved book that I read and sorry that I did I would warn anyone thinking about getting it to leave it off your list, just not worth the read worst Box book yet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did enjoy this book but not nearly as much as I have enjoyed C J Box books in the past. I think I will stick with Joe Pickett unless I wait longer for many more reviews. I would in hindsight have skipped over this one, as his books are pretty costly. I usually feel they are well worth the cost, as he does write very well, but not in this case.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book. Did not care for the ending, though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I saw the return of Cody Hoyt, I thought, "Oh, a new series by C.J. Box!" Not too far in, however, I realized this was not to be. There was a lot of suspense waiting to see what fate would befall the Sullivan girls. The villains are pure evil, and makes one wonder whom to trust. I recommend this for Box fans, but when you finish you will sure be missing Joe Picket! For my next book, I chose a lighter read, a mental palate cleanser.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First book i've read by C.J. Box....and half way through I purchased several more.....love this book.....made me feel like I was right there....the killer was one sick twisted person and you felt like you were in the truck with him......Highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very good book u won't be sorry if u purchase. Have never been disappointed with any of his books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in two days! It was hard to put it down but I had to because I have a full time job and two toddler boys! It's very dark and thrilling and THAT is why you can't put it down. You just want to know what will happen next. Can't wait to read more of C.J. BOX!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really loved this book! Read it in two days and can't wait for the sequel. Kept me so involved that I didn't want to put it down.
cy-12_34 More than 1 year ago
A thoroughly engrossing story with a little bit of horror thrown in. CJ Box knows how to weave a suspenseful story that keeps you guessing and very involved. I have read many CJ Box stories and enjoyed them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
you will never what to drive the by roades alone in the dark again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just not up to his normal standards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again, C. J. Box at his best. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not for the feint of heart! C.J. Box writes a thriller with a little something extra! Not pleased to have Cody Hoyt no longer a part of his stories!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book.  Darker than his usual but an effective and gripping story....I listened to it while driving across Florida and every time I passed an 18 wheeler I got a chill up my spine...excellent
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never been so scared reading a book yet I couldn't put it down. Every time I thought help was on the way well I can't say but the author knows! Oh Oh my heavens what a book. Once in a while very far and few between you read a book like this. Knock down must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down until I finished it. There is always a surprise ending to his books. Now when I travel, I will think of this story as we drive along interstate highways. His books are always good.
nowhiz More than 1 year ago
Leave it to Box to come up with an irresistable story line. The characters are real and the action is rivetting. We lose an old friend but make a new one. I can't wait for the next installment in this series. At least I hope Box isn't through with these characters because there are more stories screaming to be told from the beginning on the highway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moved slowly thru 300 pages. Like other reviewers said, not enough action.