C J Box

Corvus, £12.99 pbo

Released: 1st July 2010

Review: Adam Colclough


On a fishing trip in the North Idaho woods two children witness a brutal execution and are forced to flee for their lives pursued by the four men responsible for the killing. The bad news is that the killers are also ex LAPD officers and are helping the local sheriff lead the hunt for two children missing and believed dead. 

There is much about C J Box’s latest novel that is reminiscent of an old style western, the setting for a start and, more importantly, the themes of friendship and betrayal; the ties that bind people to the land and the pressures change places on a small community that are integral elements of its plot. It is also fair to say that Jess Rawlins, the old school rancher to whom the children turn for help, bears a more than passing resemblance to the character John Wayne played in countless films. 

This could make for an awkward and contrived clash of genres; in fact it works brilliantly and allows Box to approach ideas that might not be in the reach of a more conventional thriller. This is a book with a strong moral centre that makes its points about the conflict between big city corruption and the homespun values of small town America without beating the reader about the head. 

It is also a well constructed thriller that keeps the action going from first page to last, has well rounded characters and gives an authentic feeling of the gossipy nature of small town life. C J Box has done it again; given his growing body of fans another book they’ll want to come back to time and again.






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