Annie (12) and William (10) are mighty upset with her mother letting her new boyfriend stay overnight when they take his fishing vest to go fishing. They didn't know what they were going to witness when they eavesdrop on some strangers in the woods, when all of them draw a weapon and shot a man, when all of them chase them because their presence wasn't unnoticed.
They find shelter in a barn on one of the oldest, still existing ranches, owned by now loner Jess Rawlins. The kids know, one of the killer is one of their mother's many boyfriends and he's waiting for them at their home right now.
With nowhere to go they don't have a choice and desperately lay their fate into Jess Rawlins hands.
Unsure what to believe and what to do, but clearly seeing the far in two children's eyes, Jess decides to snoop around in town, maybe try to figure out what's going on and why the sheriff put all the investigation work into the hands of four retired ex-police officers from the LAPD.
At the same time a retired cop enters town searching for clues in an old file, the only one he hasn't been able to solve. The one that's nagging at him for years. The Santa Anita Racetrack - file.
Quite a fast paced, thoughtful thriller which I couldn't put down. The character of Jess Rawlins is such appealing and full of substance. I have to admit having trouble to imagine his real age with a son a little older than the kids mother. He's the kind of novel character everyone would wish the best and recognizes as a real hero in the book. One that sticks to you after closing the book.
I always welcome authors stepping out of series writing and this first stand alone novel by C. J. Box is something every mystery/thriller reader will enjoy.
After being disapointed that their mother's boy friend did not pick them up to go fishing like he promised, 12 year old Annie decides she'll take her little brother, 10 year old William, herself even though neither knows anything about fishing. On their way to the creek, they witness a murder and are seen by the men. The children take off on the run and the story just gets better and better. I loved the characters and the story is fast pace. A great mystery!
This is the 8th Novel by C J Box. The first seven all chronichled the adventures of Joe Pickett, a Wyoming Forest Ranger whio seemed to goet into some new and exciting situation in every book. All three star offerings, with maybe one four (Winterkill). This book is a stand-alone work which takes place in northern Idaho, and has an entirely different cast of characters. The plot is ingenious and the action sequences are gripping. Like all Box's books, it is well written and entertaining. I actually enjoyed the book more than the last seven - maybe I was getting a little tired of Joe Pickett, whose attitudes and responses to situations had become a somewhat predictable. A very good read, and it was possible to get involved with the charachters, and care about what happened to them.
So glad to see C.J. Box get away from his normal series and write a stand alone novel. "Blue Heaven" is a fast-paced thriller that may not be "literary" but certainly entertaining. It was for me a pleasant diversion from the Joe Pickett series which is good but somewhat repetitive. My only criticism would be that the ending hit a sour note; not sure what Box was going for but he was off the mark.
The start of this book took a while for the setup of the main characters. I am used to reading all of the CJ Box books with Joe Pickett, family, and friends. So this being a stand alone book it took me a while to get used to the characters. The main character Jess Rawlins as you would expect is solid, he is an older cowboy/rancher in Idaho living on his land passed down by his grandfather. His life is about to take a huge turn as if he didn't already have problems, the main one being him trying to hold onto his land. Soon enter some transplants and dirty cops that retired in Idaho from LA. I won't give the story line away, but it envolves him protecting two kids that live locally and saw something they shouldn't have. Midway through the book it becomes typical of a CJ Box book, you simply can't put it down, and the suspense ratchets up with lots of twists and turns. A nice change of pace from his Joe Pickett series, but if you like that series, it's almost a guarantee you will love this one too!!
Excellent thriller involving a bright young girl who has to protect her single mother and young brother from a town of Thugs. As witness' to a brutal murder these youngsters become prey to a team of retired law enforcers who have corrupted an entire town.
Exciting from the beginning and tense until they find help from a scary stranger