Box has been making a series of sorts out of his stand-alones. Following the death of Cody Hoyt in The
Highway (2013), Hoyt’s partner, Cassie Dewell, now takes center stage as the new chief investigator in
Grimstad, North Dakota, in the heart of the Bakken shale oil fields. Though she’s still trying to catch the
Lizard King, the truck-driving serial killer, she’s instantly plunged into a whole new set of troubles as rival
gangs clash and body parts are strewn all over town in the dead of winter. Caught in the middle is Kyle
Westergaard, a 12-year-old born with fetal alcohol syndrome, who sees and knows more than anyone
would ever suspect. Box’s brilliant choice of setting is both timely and the perfect frozen hellscape for his
story; the modern-day boomtown’s runaway inflation, “man camps,” and pent-up masculine energy
hearken back to lawless days on the western frontier. And although he’s placed kids in danger in other
books, this could be the most effective of his thrillers since his Edgar-winning Blue Heaven (2008). The
temperature on the northern plains may fall to 40 below, but the engine of this thriller races red hot,
providing plenty of warmth to keep readers going all night.
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The publisher is banking big on this one by printing a quarter of a
million copies—double that of The Highway. If Box isn’t a household name yet, he will be.
— Keir Graff