As regular readers have noticed, I hope, I am recommending a few books for Christmas, the theme being that they are all by writers whom I know. Book number one was The Christmas Wish, by Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen, which I wrote about here. Book number two was Jon Lauck’s The Lost Region, which I wrote about here.
Book number three is C.J. Box’s The Highway. Box–Chuck, to his friends–is one of the most popular thriller writers in America. His Joe Pickett series is wildly popular. The Highway isn’t a Pickett book, it is a stand-alone; actually, a sequel to a stand-alone. The Highway is the second novel featuring Cody Hoyt, an alcoholic cop who tends to take matters into his own hands. The first Cody Hoyt book is Back of Beyond, which takes place mostly on a horseback trek through Yellowstone Park. You really should read Back of Beyond first, but you don’t have to. The Highway can be read on its own. But Back of Beyond is awfully good, and I recommend starting with it.
The Highway is about a serial killer who is an over-the-road trucker. It is grim in spots, although never, Chuck insists, graphic. It features some great characters and some great scenes, and it takes astonishing twists. If, a quarter of the way through The Highway, you think you know what is going to happen, you will be wrong. The book may or may not shock you, but it will certainly surprise you. I probably have never jumped up off a couch and cheered while reading a book, but if I have, it was during a scene near the end of The Highway where, as I believe President Bush once put it, justice is brought to a villain. The scene is punctuated by one of the best lines ever.
So check it out, or better yet, check them both out: Back of Beyond and The Highway.