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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Paradise Valley

I'm still on blogger hiatus while I move, but I'm posting reviews for my NetGalley books that release during the summer. I'm not responding to comments, but feel free to leave your opinion if you want, and myself and others will read it. 
***** 

Paradise Valley by C.J. Box
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 25th 2017 by St. Martin's Press 
received from publisher through NetGalley for a fair and honest review 
my rating: 5/5


 from blurb:
"She almost caught him once. Now, he’s back. For three years, Investigator Cassie Dewell has been on a hunt for a serial killer known as the Lizard King whose hunting grounds are the highways and truck stops where runaways and prostitutes are most likely to vanish. Cassie almost caught him...once.

Working for the Bakken County, North Dakota sheriff's department, Cassie has set what she believes is the perfect trap and she has lured him and his truck to a depot. But the plan goes horribly wrong, and the blame falls on Cassie. Disgraced, she loses her job and investigation into her role is put into motion.

At the same time, Kyle Westergaard, a troubled kid whom Cassie has taken under her wing, has disappeared after telling people that he’s going off on a long-planned adventure. Kyle's grandmother begs Cassie to find him and, with nothing else to do, Cassie agrees—all the while hunting the truck driver..."

genres:
mystery, suspense, thriller, police procedural 

part of a series? 
Yes, and I've read them all! This is book #3 of the Cassie Dewell series and book #4 of the Highway series, not connected to his Joe Pickett series, which I admit I've never read but now I do want to! There is an overlap because there was a different MC in book #1 of the Highway Quartet, Back of Beyond (Cody Hoyt).  I loved that book, and that's the one that got me hooked on the series. He also is in The Highway (#2) with Cassie Dewell, then she takes over the series in Badlands #3 and this one.

This book could be a stand-alone if you missed the others because Mr. Box fills in the reader with quite a bit of backstory in the first few chapters. However this book revisits a setting from the first book, and the understanding is better if you've followed along with all of them. It seems from the ending that this series could continue on (?)- called The Highway Quartet, and that's 4- but.... I hope so, because Cassie is a believable federal investigator; she's not conventionally attractive and with personality flaws and a dysfunctional family life.

cover: 
pleasing to the eye, and does fit in with a scene in the story

if this was a movie...: 
...it would be definitely rated R- mature audiences only due to the main plot idea (a long-distance trucker serial killer of prostitutes) and depiction of violence,  necessary to the plot-- not gratuitous.

my thoughts: 
I've never read Mr. Box before I stumbled on this series, though of course I'm familiar with his long-running Joe Pickett series! I intend on picking up book #1 in that series this summer because I'm very satisfied with the quality of the author's writing style-- his ability to set the scene, make the characters and the dialogue believable, and to keep the reader invested in the plot. He writes a story that kept me glued to the pages and staying up past bedtime!

recommended for:
fans of C.J. Box & fans of exciting mystery/suspense stories, and realistic police procedurals

not recommended for:
readers who don't enjoy mature themes, described violence, or have a trigger for sexual attacks (on women). All this is necessary for the plot and though somewhat dark and gritty, the story-- and series-- is actually enjoyable if you like thrill rides in your book!

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