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The Highway: A Novel (Cody Hoyt / Cassie Dewell Novels, 2) Mass Market Paperback – December 15, 2020
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The inspiration for the new ABC series Big Sky.
“A violent, tension-packed, well-written thriller spiced with Box’s vivid portrayal of the Western landscape.” ― Associated Press
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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“Filled with believable characters and hard, realistic dialogue, Edgar winner Box’s perfectly paced novel offers a suspenseful story laced with more than a few shockingly unexpected plot twists.” ― Publishers Weekly (signature review)
“A nonstop, action-filled race against time. Rolling down the superhighway of suspense, this thriller will leave readers breathless.” ― Library Journal (starred review)
“Be warned: This is one scary novel.” ― Toronto Globe and Mail
“The Highway is the summer's most terrifying novel...Prepare to be scared.” ― Orlando Sentinel
“Get off the genre interstate and take The Highway.” ― Billings Gazette
About the Author
- Publisher : Minotaur Books (December 15, 2020)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250798027
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250798022
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.3 x 1.14 x 7.53 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #34,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Back of Beyond was my first CJ Box book. I really enjoyed it. I agree with some of the plot holes that others brought up. But, I didn't think that they were so bad that I couldn't continue that book. With The Highway there were a few odd things i noted while reading but nothing too bad. I didn't think my suspension of belief had to be too drastic to enjoy the book. There is a MJAOR plot twist that I didn't see coming. And since I thought this was a series I was thrown off guard and bothered by it. I was hoping to get into a series with several books. Clearly, the author wanted to go in a different direction (I would expand on what I mean but it would be a major spoiler).
I would read more CJ Box.
Teenager Danielle Sullivan and her younger sister Gracie are driving to Omaha for Thanksgiving dinner with their mother. But Danielle decides they should take a quick detour to Helena, Montana, and pay a visit to her boyfriend Justin. Danielle is feeling insecure because Justin has signaled that he wants to dump her. So what could go wrong? In a word, plenty.
The self-styled Lizard King is also on the same highway, chugging along at the wheel of his eighteen-wheeler truck. He calls himself that because of his ability to entice prostitutes hanging around truck stops, women called lot lizards, and get satisfaction from them while they are inside his truck’s cab. In several situations he has drugged them, taken them to distant locations, and engaged in some pretty grisly activities.
The stage is set when the sisters have a confrontation with the Lizard while both car and truck are barreling down the same highway. I won’t divulge the plot details here but, when the girls turn up missing, the police become involved. Investigator Cassie Dewell, the former partner of Police Investigator Cody Hoyt, gets him to conduct a search since Justin (Danielle’s boyfriend) is Cody’s son. (Cody Hoyt is the protagonist of another Box book called Back of Beyond.) Cody has just lost his police job and fallen off the wagon after a long period of sobriety. He’s probably not the best guy for this job but he takes it anyway and heads out on the highways.
Box’s writing style is top notch in this thriller and you will be pulled along easily on those same highways, chapter by chapter, until reaching the exciting end.
Top reviews from other countries
The main perpetrator in spite of being described as a meticulous planner and having plenty opportunity hadn’t relocated or done anything else to protect himself from being discovered after his secrecy was originally breached.
In spite of a lot of time being spent on the two victims before they met their fate, I didn’t find them very interesting.
Altogether this seemed very uneven. I may be being uncharitable but I couldn’t help thinking that the main character was a marketing concept purely created to be appealing to a target readership, and the perpetrator to be central to a series of books.
I’m going to try really hard to not give away any spoilers and yet still let you know how brilliant this book is. In terms of the writing the characters are wonderfully deep and full of character profiling. They spring from the page with realistic dialogue and believable actions. The build up of the characters Danielle and Gracie is skillfully done and seeing one play the hero or survivor and one more of a victim was a good contrast. The author also really plays with the different personalities of Cassie and Cody. We see Cassie come into her own as the good cop who though having to deal with the stresses of being a female officer in terms of sexism and the like – although not from Cody, grows strongly in confidence.
The action with the girls is continually intermixed with the life of a long-distance trucker who calls himself the Lizard King. Here we get insights into the life on the road and the traffic laws and the continuing hierarchy of the different truckers at the gas stations and the rules they live by. The writing has lots of different sub-plots that are intermixed well and flow well together. The descriptions are heady and the swapping between the girls, the Lizard king and the detectives story lines works well despite there being a lot to keep an eye out for.
I guess the only negative I can really come up with was there is definitely an unsavory tone to the book as a whole. The use of the truckers and girls they pick up and what happens next is disturbing and dark. There were quite a few horrific moments and this book definitely stayed with me and made an impact. For me, it’s a work of fiction and it’s important to remember that but there definitely was a very dark side to this book that surprised me a little. The only other complaint was some bits were overly repeated as if we couldn’t keep an eye on the plot twists which over time became tedious.
Overall though I thought this was a well crafted and created book. I thought the storyline was quite original (for me.) I know numerous readers would disagree with that looking at Goodreads and Amazon but I am yet to encounter a book that looks at this type of thriller plot. It also seems that those have read the first book in the series were a little angry. For me, reading the second only it didn’t affect me as much. Overall a solid although a little bit of a terrifying read.
Retain your enjoyment of C.J. Box books and don't read this one.