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The Highway: A Novel Paperback – July 1, 2014

3.7 out of 5 stars 682 customer reviews
Book 17 of 19 in the A Joe Pickett Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Reviewing Back of Beyond (2011), we wrote that Box’s short-fused Montana cop, Cody Hoyt, had series potential. Well, he’s back, along with other characters from that book, for a creepy thriller about a serial killer whose job as a long-haul trucker provides the perfect cover for his crimes. Cody has just been fired for planting evidence, and it was his own partner, Cassandra Dewell, who caught him. But then teenagers Danielle and Gracie Sullivan—the same girls he helped rescue the last time out—are abducted en route to a Thanksgiving reunion with Cody’s son, Justin. Can Cody and Cassie work together to find the girls in time? Box’s Joe Pickett series has, over 13 installments, been nearly perfect. But his stand-alones have been a mixed bag, from the stellar Blue Heaven (2008) to the forgettable Three Weeks to Say Goodbye (2009). This one’s somewhere in the middle: Box handles his large cast of characters capably, but, despite the chilling and timely scenario, the usually sure-handed author never quite gets our hearts racing. --Keir Graff --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Filled with believable characters and hard, realistic dialogue, [this] perfectly paced novel offers a suspenseful story laced with more than a few shockingly unexpected plot twists.” ―Publishers Weekly Signature Review

“A violent, tension-packed, well-written thriller spiced with Box's vivid portrayal of the Western landscape that he loves.” ―Associated Press

“A nonstop, action-filled race against time. Rolling down the superhighway of suspense, this thriller will leave readers breathless.” ―Library Journal (starred review)

“Be warned: This is one scary novel.” ―Toronto Globe and Mail

The Highway is the summer's most terrifying novel...Prepare to be scared.” ―Orlalndo Sun Sentinal

“A fast-moving, edge-of-your-seat page-turner. I really couldn't put it down.” ―Criminal Element

“Get off the genre interstate and take The Highway.” ―Billings Gazette

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (July 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312546890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312546892
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (682 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

C. J. Box is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. The novels have been translated into 27 languages. Open Season, Blue Heaven, Nowhere To Run, and The Highway have been optioned for film and television. Over four million copies of his novels have been sold in the U.S. alone.

In 2015, Endangered debuted at #2 on the New York Times Bestseller List in March and Badlands debuted at #5 in August.

Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. In 2008, Box was awarded the "BIG WYO" Award from the state tourism industry. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. They have three daughters. He lives in Wyoming.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The bulk of the story in The Highway takes place with the span of just two days, so the action and suspense move quickly into high gear and stay there. But, the author also manages to fully develop some interesting, complicated, and in some cases, very scary, characters along the way.

I do not like books that are too gruesome. Once I started reading The Highway and realized what kind of a bad guy we were dealing with, I started worrying about what I was in for. Much to my relief, Box managed to walk a fine line between presenting enough detail to horrify me without pushing me over the edge to "I can't read any more of this."

I love a book with plot turns that surprise me, and The Highway did - twice. It also introduces a new character, Investigator Cassie Dewell of the Lewis and Clark County Montana Sheriff's Department, who I hope we will be seeing more of.

Some of the characters in The Highway were introduced in a previous book, Back of Beyond. However, there is absolutely no need to have read Back of Beyond in order to fully enjoy reading The Highway. I highly recommend this book to all fans of C.J. Box and to anyone who likes an action-packed suspenseful thriller.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A non-Joe Pickett novel that reprises the character of Cody Hoyt--the Montana cop from an earlier stand alone story. This one is about serial killers targeting prostitutes and female runaways and it is very violent. While the protagonist here is a woman, much of the work is given over to a criminally insane cross-country trucker who styles himself "The Lizard King", and his sick-in-the head partners. "The Highway" is written with C.J. Box's usual flair for a quick moving story line and strong good/bad characters, so longtime fans of the author will not be disappointed in that context. It does not feature the western landscape and interaction with nature that are a big part of the Pickett books.

In my case, I almost took an early exit from the "...Highway" because of its extreme victimization of women. At the outset, there is a detailed account of a stalking/killing that is stomach-turning. The author may have intended to bring a big problem (the random killing of prostitutes) to the surface and the book certainly serves that purpose; but many if not most of the female characters here are unintelligent, unpleasant, or otherwise life's victims of some kind or another. This includes the protagonist with respect to victimization. For me, the dark side often overwhelmed the action story. There are often murder and mayhem in the Joe Pickett series, but somehow they're in balance with the rest of the story.

So, overall, if sadism is not your thing, give this one a miss.
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Format: Hardcover
C J Box revives some characters from BACK OF BEYOND to populate this thriller of a mystery story. Once I realized that this is NOT the same style as my favorite Joe Picket books, I quickly got engrossed in this fast passed story that covers only a couple of hair raising days in a few people's lives. Evil travels the highways and I might just need to avoid highways for a few days until I get my breath back!

Cody Hoyt, ex-alcoholic policeman, has bypassed the law again, for all the right reasons, but bypass them he did. This has given his purely politically minded boss just the excuse he needed to fire Cody. Unfortunately, Cody's new rookie partner, Cassie Dowell, was sent to spy on Cody to provide the evidence of his wrongdoing. As a single mom, she felt obliged to follow through, but she also felt terrible doing this to a man she truly respects for his record of closed cases.

As Cody and Cassie moan their situations in a local bar, Cody breaks his sobriety. But a couple hours later, Cody's son, Justin, calls to tell his Dad that Justin's girlfriend and her sister have gone missing while they were traveling the highways to Justine's house for Thanksgiving. Cody leaves to check out the situation, even though he no longer has "cop status". Cassie, on her own time, mans the computer to seek information. After a few hours, communications for Cody stops also, and Cassie goes on the search for answers. Troubles they will find, as pure evil shows it's ugly face.

This is definitely a darker story than other C J Box books, but the thrills and "issues" are definitely shining through in this story also.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Highway, C.J. Box's latest novel is nothing more than average and certainly less of a mystery than we know he can write. In this book Box brings back flawed lawman Cody Hoyt from his recent novel Back of Beyond, and this time he's searching for two missing sisters who were on their way to see Cody's son Justin. The real crux of the story is not "who did it" or "why", since we already know all that, but rather will Cody and his partner find these two missing sisters before the bad guys abuse or kill them.

I reviewed this book as a standalone and I have not read the preceding book, Back of Beyond. On that basis, character development was weak, even for the main character (not Cody). Action was predictable but not necessarily realistic or true-to-life. No attempt was made to use Montana's natural beauty or weather extremes to any practical effect nor to entertain or enlighten the reader. Unfortunately for me, the time spent inside the killer's mind was disturbing and done in a way that did not make the book compelling, enjoyable or very suspenseful.

My recommendation is to skip this Box book and wait for Box to bring back Joe Pickett or read Back to Beyond before reading this book. In looking at some of the other reviews, those who read Back of Beyond first seemed to enjoy this book more than I did. Maybe there is something to that.
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