C.J. Box is an award-winning thriller writer in the U.S. often compared to Michael Connelly for his terrific plots, muscular writing and unlikely heroes.
His publisher has been giving him a huge push here all year, bringing out a book a month in an effort to raise his profile in the UK which deserves to happen.
He is best known for his Joe Pickett series but this one is a brand-new stand-alone thriller which may just clinch it for him.
It has all the Box trademarks: wild Midwest terrain (he is a native of Wyoming); a flawed but honest hero (recovering alcoholic Detective Cody Hoyt); and an exciting plot which throws up moral dilemmas. Here, Cody finds his AA sponsor burned to death in his wilderness cabin.
Hoyt’s superiors want to write it off as suicide, but Cody knows Hank too well and finally finds links in his friend’s hard drive to a website running wilderness adventures in remote parts of Yellowstone National Park.
Their trip of the year has just set out - the same trip that Cody’s teenage son has signed up for. Cody is convinced the killer is among the participants and has no choice but to chase them into the wilds. My favourite type of Agatha Christie-type scenario then ensues where the possible candidates are paraded in front of us and picked off one by one.
By Carla Mckay