Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel, the New York Times bestselling author of Back of Beyond and Breaking 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?
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Very disappointed. This has a good storyline but the author seemed to ramble from the history of one character to another. All the background wasn't necessary. Box usually has great writing, keeping the reader's attention. I found myself speed reading, looking for more meat to the story. Wanted to get it over with.
Riveting another great read
Enjoyed this book! C J Box delivers again
Not as good as the Pickett series.
The storyline is decent, but the protagonist is not very likable. Too much coincidence. The back-stories about the trucking culture and the oil business in the Bakken add texture, but really a hash of irritating personalities and events. The Pickett series is far better in story and evolution and characters. Another reviewer wondered if it was ghost-written , and it does have that different feel to it, although I suspect it is from the original author. Not his best.