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.)
“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.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Terrifically entertaining stuff that comes together with a bang in the end...” Booklist
“...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
“...a taut tale...that hooks you.” USA Today
“If Box isn't already on your list, put him there.” Toronto Globe and Mail
“...a riveting, unforgettable work...beautifully written and wonderfully told.” Bookreporter.com
“...perceptive...well-rounded...smooth, muscular writing keeps the tension rising.” Financial Times
“Grade A...page-flying suspense with superior character portrayal...a great adventure.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
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.]
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.