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BLUE HEAVEN by C.J. Box Kirkus Star


by C.J. Box

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-36570-7
Publisher: Minotaur

All hell breaks loose in Kootenai Bay, Idaho, after two children on a fishing trip witness an execution in this stand-alone from the chronicler of Game Warden Joe Pickett (Free Fire, 2007, etc.).

“Blue Heaven” is what members of the LAPD call North Idaho when they retire here. The place has spectacular natural beauty and a tight community full of concerned neighbors who come running when Monica Taylor’s son and daughter disappear. As ex-detective Eduardo Villatoro realizes, the place also has in circulation a suspicious number of $100 bills from a robbery at the Santa Anita Racetrack that left an armored car driver dead eight years ago. Even though he’s retired, Villatoro can’t let go of the case. But his arrival coincides with the massive hunt that’s been staged for Annie and William Taylor, and he can’t get anywhere with ineffectual Sheriff Ed Carey, who’s farmed out the search to four retired L.A. cops. Even worse, these cops, the last people in the world who should be guarding the henhouse, have framed an innocent man for kidnapping the children and all but imprisoned Monica in her own home. The family’s only hope is an aging rancher who can barely hold onto his spread and the banker who refuses to foreclose on him.

Dropping the whodunit element that’s always been the weakest part of Pickett’s cases, Box alternates violence with surprising tenderness in a suspenseful tour de force.