*STARRED* Review.

After the events of 2014’s The Highway, Cassie Dewell leaves behind dark memories of Montana, the death of her partner, and the escape of the mass murderer known as the Lizard King, to take a new job as a special investigator in the Grimstad, ND, police department. Thanks to hydraulic fracture drilling, or fracking, Grimstad has been transformed into an oil boomtown with the social problems of any large city. Cassie is quickly embroiled in the investigation of a car crash, drugs, a gang war, and corrupt police officers. It is her job to determine how all these are tied together and what part a 12-year-old special-needs boy named Kyle plays in the tangled story. Cassie’s keen observations, nerves of steel, and Kyle’s bravery solve the mystery and bring a new beginning for both Cassie and Kyle. As for the Lizard King, the hunt continues. Keep an eye open out there. VERDICT Fracking brings new energy to the surface, and Box does the same with another intriguing character whom Joe Pickett fans will want to know better. Suspenseful—you can’t put it down. [See Prepub Alert, 2/2/15; 250,000-copy printing; library marketing.]

—Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Colls., Mt. Carmel