Thursday, October 10, 2013


First Sentence: Lewis and Clark County Montana Sheriff’s Department Investigator Cassandra Dewell winced when a pair of headlights broke over a rise onto a long treeless bench in the foothills of the Big Belt Mountains north of Helena.

The first thing readers need to know is that this is definitely not a Joe Picket book. If you are expecting Joe’s Dudley-Do-Right morality, do not read this book. That said…

The elements of Box’ style which hold are very visual descriptions—occasionally more so than some might care for –and excellent dialogue being top among them.

As many of the characters in this book previously appeared in “Back of Beyond,” I greatly appreciated that Box summarizes the first story, providing the back story and relationships of the characters. The characterization of the two girls was very well done, even down to Danielle’s anthropomorphizing her car. The contrast of the two sisters is excellent; one being a survivor, the other a victim.

The protagonists, Cody Hoyt and Cassie Dewell, are as different from one another as could be. Cody, hardened by life and experience, believes in doing what is necessary to get the bad guys. Cassie is fairly new to the force and somewhat naïve; at least in the beginning.

This is a much darker story than we’re accustomed to from the Joe Pickett books. There are points where it’s ugly and very difficult to read. There is an unexpected twist which is so shocking, it’s hard to believe it happened. The story has an excellent reveal and climax, as well as a very, very good, albeit creepy ending. I applaud Mr. Box for taking this slightly risky step to the dark side. He is an author, I believe, who deserves much more credit and notice than he receives.

The Highway” was not a comfortable read, but it was a very, very good one. As an audiobook reader, Holter Graham did a very credible job, although it’s always a bit challenging having a man doing female dialogue. Even so, his voice did not take you out of, or get in the way of, the story.

THE HIGHWAY (Suspense/Pol Proc-Cody Hoyt/Cassie Dewel-Montana-Contemp) – VG+
Box, C.J. (Read by Holter Graham) – 2nd in series
A Macmillan Audiobook from St. Martin’s Press, 2013

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