Back of Beyond: Book summary and reviews of Back of Beyond by C.J. Box

Back of Beyond

A Novel

By C.J. Box

Back of Beyond
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

Cody Hoyt, while a brilliant cop, is an alcoholic struggling with two months of sobriety when his mentor and AA sponsor Hank Winters is found burned to death in a remote mountain cabin. At first it looks like the suicide of a man who's fallen off the wagon, but Cody knows Hank better than that. Sober for fourteen years, Hank took pride in his hard-won sobriety and never hesitated to drop whatever he was doing to talk Cody off a ledge. When Cody takes a closer look at the scene of his friend's death, it becomes apparent that foul play is at hand. After years of bad behavior with his department, he's in no position to be investigating a homicide, but this man was a friend and Cody's determined to find his killer.

When clues found at the scene link the murderer to an outfitter leading tourists on a multi-day wilderness horseback trip into the remote corners of Yellowstone National Park - a pack trip that includes his son Justin - Cody is desperate to get on their trail and stop the killer before the group heads into the wild. Among the tourists is fourteen-year-old Gracie Sullivan, an awkward but intelligent loner who begins to suspect that someone in their party is dangerous.

In a fatal cat and mouse game, where it becomes apparent the murderer is somehow aware of Cody's every move, Cody treks into the wilderness to stop a killer hell bent on ruining the only thing in his life he cares about.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Once again, Box provides the complete suspense package: unobtrusively slick detection, buckets of surprises and mounting thrills, all amid his trademark settings in the majestic high country." - Kirkus Reviews

"As Box has shown in his Joe Pickett series, he knows life and death in the backcountry like few other writers today." - Library Journal

"...[P]adding and some improbable plot twists tend to undercut the suspense, but Box's many fans won't mind a bit." - Publishers Weekly

"The plot is a bit more tangled than in his standout stand-alone, Blue Heaven (2008), and the role played by Cody's distrustful partner, Larry, doesn't quite work as well as it could. But it's still terrifically entertaining stuff that comes together with a bang in the end." - Booklist

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Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Louise J
Back of Beyond
I found ‘Back of Beyond’ to be a little too slow in the beginning but really picked up once we hit Yellowstone Park. Overall, it was a fairly good book but I wouldn’t read it again.

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Author Information

C.J. Box Author Biography

C. J. Box is the author of over ten novels including the award-winning Joe Pickett series. He’s the winner of the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and an Edgar Award and L.A. Times Book Prize finalist. Box was named 2007 Writer of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. His short stories have been featured in America’s Best Mystery Stories 2006 and limited-edition printings. The novels have been national bestsellers and have been translated into 13 languages.

Blue Heaven, a stand-alone thriller, was published by St. Martins Press in January, 2008 and was on the New York Times Bestseller list for four weeks and was optioned for film. Blood Trail, the eighth Joe Pickett novel, was published...

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