C.J. Box: Badlands Highway uartet #3



C.J. Box ✓ 3 read

Is series Definitel It s hard to imagine a better written book Lean sentences Story first last and always Really really impressed with thisCassie Dewell who we met in Box s The Highway where she first battled the Lizard King the long haul trucker serial killer confronts him again She then leaves Helena Montana s sheriff s department for a fictional Grimstad note the play on words North Dakota which resembles oil booming ice cold Williston She lands smack i This was my first CJ Box novel it will NOT be my lastThe pace was great writing crisp and the characters well defined It s a hard cruel world in the new North Dakota where Oil Fracking has caused a boom in money drugs and murderThe new detective from Montana is in for a number of shocks while the boy with a bit of mental and speech disability has already seen and heard it all at a very young ageThe story follows the detective as she works her way through the evidence and the young boy as he continues to plan his dream escape down the Missouri River to the great Mississippi and beyondIf you like stories that involve the innocence of kids mixed up in the big old crazy adult world try this one You re bound to like KyleWatch out for violence dirty cops drug use and a very cold winter That s ust how North Dakota flows in these new days of the Bakken Oil Rush First Sentence Twelve year old Kyle Westergaard was halfway through his route delivering the Grimstad Tribune when he heard the high whine of car engines on the highway in the dark Det Cassie Dewell working with the FBI thinks they may finally have caught the Lizard King an independent long haul trucker a serial killer of prostitutes and the man partially responsible for the murder of her boss But do the they enough to hold him Leaving her former post behind Cassie has transferred to be the new deputy sheriff in Grimstad ND a town filled with oil money and drugs The sheriff suspects the town is about to be flooded with a shipment of meth that came into town is went missing A very vicious motorcycle gang is in town looking for them Can Cassie find them first And what is the role of a young boy on a bicycle The Lizard King is a through thread and an excellent unsettling one One need not have read previous books in order to catch the thread although one may be enticed so do to That s not a bad thing One thing that was interesting was to learn the difference between independent truckers and company drivers Box is very good at creating a sense of place by painting mental pictures December in North Carolina was brown and gray but not white Light rain fell from a close granite sky The hardwood trees were tall and skeletal and a thick brown carpet of leaves covered the forest floor Box presents an interesting and balanced picture of the positive impact from the economic impact of oil companies on previously small struggling communities while also focusing on the negative secondary results of money drugs guns and crime In this instance those negatives are very dark and very violent Cassie is an excellent protagonist smart strong intelligent yet not without her own issues You become involved with her and her life What is particularly nice is that in Sheriff Jon Kirkbride she has a supportive boss Kyle proves that no child should be underestimated or disregarded Badlands is exciting and gripping with an explosive plot twist One becomes completely involved in a story which provides a satisfying conclusion and a continuing thread to the next bookBADLANDS Pol Proc Det Cassie Dewell North Dakota Contemp ExBox CJ 3rd in seriesMinotaur Books July 2015. Itnesses a car accident and now has money and a lot of white powder in his possessionWith the temperature dropping to 30 below and a gang war heating up Cassie fears she might be in over her head but the key to it all will come in the most unlikely form an undersized boy on a bike who keeps showing up where he doesn’t belong.

Resilience in this tough situation where even the police can t be trusted is a wonder to behold His constantly biking around in 20 below zero weather never failed to put an edge of worry in my sympathy for his desperate straitsThe strength of the Pickett series lies in the unconventional Salvation: A Novel (Salvation Sequence) job for its crime investigator his dogged Dudley Do Right character willing to pursue underhanded means to achieveustice the outdoor settings of the action and themes relating to the rural environment of the mountain west and its exploitation Having a typical law enforcement officer for a protagonist takes away some of the uniueness for Box s work but having a woman as hero has some interesting challenges to make up for that loss Like Pickett and unlike so many other fictional detectives with tormented personalities Cassie is emotionally healthy has a playful mind and is easy to identify with I look forward to giving her a chance in any future reads unclear if this is a series I am not sure if I will backtrack to the pair of books set in Montana Back of Beyond and The Highway the latter of which has some backstory for Cassie A little difficult to rate a book when you start three novels into the series without realising there were two before the one you are readingThe blurb had me hooked but the actual story does not pan out as per the A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood, jacket I was expecting one thing and was delivered something entirely different It landed up being a good gangdrug war story with some memorable characters particularly KyleWill I go back and read the first two probably not Will I continue the series yes as I need to see how the Lizard King angle unfolds Since I read The Highway by Mr Box I have not been able to stop reading his books I can t get my hands on his books fast enough His latest one is a good one I thought however that it was a little bit of a change from his current books It was not as high pressure intensity with the action or the killer being as prominent Yet despite all of this I still liked this book a lot and read it uickly I was drawn to Kyle s storyline then I was Cassie While they are both tied together in the end I felt This is my third CJ Box book Having previously read Back of Beyond and The Highway and really enjoying them Badlands fell a little flat with meI don t particularly enjoy stories about druggang wars and so this was a negative for me from the start I was looking forward to continuing the story of the hunt for the Lizard King and in this respect the book starts off promisingly enough But we are soon diverted into the drug war by a shift of location for Deputy Cassie Dewell to Grimstad North Dakota where Cassie hasust been appointed Deputy Sherriff Grimstad was a nothing town until oil was discovered Now it is growing too fast for its infrastructure and problems are beginning to surface Drugs and prostitution abound There is a least one bad cop in the department whom Cassie has been tasked with uncovering And there is a twelve year old paperboy who Transnasal Endoscopic Skull Base and Brain Surgery just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and who picked up a package thrown out of an overturned car and took it homeThere are people looking for that package bad people who will stop at nothing to recover it And they certainly are not going to allow a twelve year old learning challenged boy to stand in their wayI loved Kyle s character He is a charming determined boy with a bad life but big dreams and is probably the highlight of this whole bookThis is not a bad book Itust didn t have the same sense of tension that I felt in the previous two Will I read the next book in th. En assigned as its deputy sheriffTwelve year old Kyle Westergaard is one of Grimstad's paperboys Even though Kyle has been written off as the “slow” kid he has dreams deeper than anyone can imagine – he wants to get out of town take care of his alcoholic mother and give them a better life While delivering newspapers he

Two vehicles race along the icy highway outside Grimstad North Dakota oil capital of the new Wild West One car is forced off the road where it flips overturning several times trapping the driver The second car drives off as a police patrol vehicle appears followed by a second which calls in a single vehicle accidentThe scene is witnessed by I enjoyed reading this library book and I am counting it for North Dakota in my US state challenge This book is of a thriller than a mystery in that the bad guys are revealed early on The suspense builds as they start killing people while they look for a missing bag of drugs worth over a million dollars The key to the missing drugs is a 12 year old boy who is mentally challenged due to fetal alcohol syndrome This book 2 in the Cassie Dewell series but it read ok as a stand alone Cassie is a single mother widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan She has uit her Souvenirs de dbauches job in Montana to take a betterob in N Dakota She is now the Chief Investigator for the Bakken County ND Sheriff s Dept The Sheriff warns her that there could be corrupt deputies in his department and she must only report to him This book takes place during a bitter N Dakota winter where temperatures drop to minus 20 or 30 overnight and don t get above freezing32F in the daytime A good book to read in the hot summer I read it in 3 days finding it hard to put down about half way throughI thought the characters were believable and the plot moved along briskly I liked the ending There is a plot line that sets up book 3 in the series I plan to read of this series Outstanding crime fiction in the Arctic winter weather of Grimstad North Dakota Grimstad is ground zero in an explosive oil boom and as it s new Chief Investigator Cassie Dewell get s busy investigating crooked deputies and a missing shipment of meth by the MS 13 gang Author C J Box builds the third installment of The Highway uartet into a modern fast moving western thriller with richly drawn characters in a world of compellingly entertaining prose you ll long remember It s now on to the 4th book in the Highway uartet Paradise Valley Joe Picket who I liked this a lot but time will tell if Detective Cassie Dewell proves as engaging a character as Box s Joe Pickett as the hero of the author s terrific series of 15 books featuring a Wyoming game warden An overweight single mother with an aging kibitzing mother Cassie leaves her position in Helena Montana for a post with the sheriff s department in an oil boom town over the line into North Dakota The sleepy town has undergone recent gone unprecedented growth and now is the site of a gang war over the drug business with police corruption an inevitable factor given the money at play Cassie barely gets a chance to move before a series of brutal murders begins and it s a catch up ballgame that kept me on the edge throughout I love the way her mind works in reading the clues and the brave cat and mouse game she plays to trap her dangerous adversariesFrom the beginning we spend a lot of time in the mind of a 12 year old boy Kyle who collects a package of drugs and money that fell out of a fatal car crash he witnesses on his paper route He is a loner tagged by everyone as a retard but his main problem appears to be a speech defect than intellectual challenges He hopes the money can help save his mother who is struggling with poverty drug and alcohol abuse and looking for love in all the wrong places Her greedy boyfriend interferes with his plans and brings the wolves to their door with a scheme to profit from the windfall Kyle s resourcefulness and. Grimstad North Dakota – a place people used to be from but were never headed to – has struck oil As pipelines snake across the prairie oil flows out and men and money flow in And with them comes crime North Dakota’s new oil capital has a serious law and order problem and newly ualified detective Cassie Dewell has ust be.

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Joe Pickett