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Back of Beyond [Paperback]

C. J. Box
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

1 Jan 2012
"Twilight falls on a cold, wet spring day in the mountains of Montana. A cabin smolders in the forest. In the remains of the kitchen, a table set for two; next door, the remains of a single body. Alerted by hikers, Detective Cody Hoyt is called to the scene. While a brilliant cop, Cody is also an alcoholic struggling with two months of sobriety and it doesn't help that the body in the cabin is his AA sponsor Hank Winters. It looks like the suicide of a man who's fallen off the wagon, but Cody knows Hank better than that. He's convinced its foul play. But after years of bad behavior directly related to his drinking, Cody has few friends left in the department. And when he shoots and wounds the county coroner in a botched stakeout he is suspended from duty. But Hank was one of the few friends Cody had left and he's determined to find his killer, badge or no badge. Who was at Hank's cabin? Data pulled from Hank's fire-damaged hard drive leads Cody to a website running wilderness adventures deep into the most remote parts of Yellowstone National Park. Their big trip of the year has just left - a two-week horseback journey into the wild. The very same trip that Cody's estranged teenage son, Justin, has signed up for. Cody has no choice but to trek deep into the wild himself in pursuit of his son and the truth about Hank. In America's greatest wilderness, Cody is on his own, he's out of time, he's in too deep, he's in the Back of Beyond."

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (1 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848872976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848872974
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'One of the most talented thriller writers at work today' Daily Express 'One of today's solid-gold, A-list, must-read writers.' Lee Child 'Writing genius on a par with James Lee Burke' Library Journal 'Box is one of the best' Tess Gerritsen 'CJ Box is at the top of his game' Michael Connelly 'A provocative suspense novel that has you rooting for the characters every step of the way' Harlan Coben

About the Author

C. J. Box is the winner of an Anthony Award, the Prix Calibre .38, the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award and the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Novel. His novels are US bestsellers and have been translated into 21 languages. Box lives with his family outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go beyond the backcountry 9 Aug 2011
Cody Hoyt is a troubled cop, at the edge of control, with the threats of alcohol abuse and violence only ever a step away.

When he receives word that his friend and AA mentor has been burnt alive in a fire Hoyt goes to the scene. First impressions are of an accident, but Cody Hoyt realises that not everything is how it seems, and sets to work investigating his friends murder.

A recovered computer hard-drive from the scene leads Cody on the trail of the murderer and to a backcountry outfitter and a trip into Yellowstone National Park. Can Cody stop the killer before he strikes again, and perhaps his next victim is Cody's son who is on the same backcountry trip with his stepdad.

C. J. Box starts this one out at what seems like a perceptively slow pace, but the initial investigation rapidly leads to a rattling pace that sees the story expand and lay out a great narrative, in one of the most stunning locations on the planet. Box doesn't stint on using the backdrop as a part of the tale, using wolves, bears and hot springs as part of the story.

The tale can be tricky to follow if you're not paying attention, and if you're planning to work out the who, what, why before the end you'll need to be playing close attention.

C. J. Box is probably best known for his Joe Pickett series, but this stand alone (although Hoyt has appeared before), is just as good as any of the Pickett series, and well worth a read this summer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Adventure 27 Sep 2011
By MarkW
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The slow understated start to this book very effectively sets the scene for the rest of the book, establishing the main character Cody Hoyt and his relationship with colleagues and family. Detective Cody investigates the circumstances of a body found in a burnt cabin. As his investigation develops the pace quickens, and tension mounts as the story splits into two strands, the continued investigation by Cody, and the assorted group of people including his son travelling on horseback into the lesser travelled parts of Yellowstone park. The characters in the group are interesting and well developed and there is little clue as to what they have gotten into. All in all this makes a fantastic read with exciting conclusion as the strands converge in the depths of Yellowstone. My only criticisms would be on the plausability of some aspects of the plot, and as another reviewer points out the exposure of the final villain - which does not actually seem to actually expose him! But still a really enjoyable read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good solid adventure 23 Sep 2011
By I. B. Pitbladdo VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is my fourth C J Box story and for me he has become an automatic buy. I still have several Joe Picket stories to read and I am confident that they will be to the same high standard as the authors other work.
Back of beyond is a fast paced refreshingly different thriller with a flawed hero (aren't we all?).
What I like about the author is that his stories are a bit different from the usual in that he takes the murder and mayhem out of the big cities like Boston or L.A. and lets it loose in the wide open spaces, forests and mountains of Montana.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 21 Sep 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well, I found this book extremely exciting and interesting.
More to the point, I don't often feel that a 370 page thriller is too short! I had to stop several times to do something else to string out my enjoyment of the deftly handled plots.
After the final shoot-out, I did feel that the loose strands of the story were dealt with in rather a hurry - there's quite a comical moment when the hero asks if those listening have heard enough, when actually really the only person speaking is himself! Maybe the author was being hassled to deliver the manuscript?
No matter. This is a very enjoyable page-turner. I think one secret of its success may be that CJB creates a number of attractive likeable characters (whatever their incidental faults) with the result that you do care. I haven't read any of his other books yet, but in that regard he reminds me of the great Michael Connelly.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trying too hard 25 Aug 2011
C.J.Box is a good writer and his publisher has been pushing him considerably in the last year. However, whether he is pushing a stockpile of the books I do not know but if he is pressuring Box to write, it shows. I think that the writing is still good but by the time we hit Yellowstone Park the author is starting to lose his way and by the end there is an element of "who cares". Personally I think Joe Pickett is a better character, with Cody Hoyt you have to wonder how anyone could possibly take him seriously as a cop. C.J. needs to get back on form as I think he was trying too hard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid read 13 April 2012
Having read most of Box's Joe Pickett novels and both his other stand-alone titles, I've found him to be a consistently good author, with original plots, believable characters and a wonderful sense of the region they're set in: Wyoming and Montana. Though I've unfortunately never visited, these have to be the next best thing. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good change of direction for Box. 5 Nov 2011
By L. J. Roberts TOP 500 REVIEWER
First Sentence: The night before Cody Hoyt shot the county coroner, he was driving without a purpose in his county Ford Expedition as he often did these days.

Cody Hoyt was a brilliant cop. But that was before he was thrown out for breaking the rules and being an alcoholic. By tiny steps, he is trying to work back to his own life, as those of his ex-wife and son. He has now been sober for two months. The murder of his AA sponsor and friend risk his sobriety and, even more, the safety of his life and his sons'.

From the opening sentence one is intrigued by the protagonist. He is not an admirable character; in fact he's more anti-hero, than hero. Having lived with one however, Cody is a classic alcoholic and son of an alcoholic. Unfortunately the son, Justin, seems almost too good. Gracie, sister to Danielle who considers herself to be Justin's girlfriend, is a character one can't help but like. The relationships have the ring of truth--Walt, Cody's ex-wife's fiance who is trying to form a bond with her, and Cody's son Justin; Ted, who doesn't know quite what to do with his own two teenage girls, Gracie and Danielle, who have the classic relationship of siblings who know just how to push each other's buttons. The complexity of today's relationships is very well depicted.

Box has an excellent ear for dialogue. Even at a gruesome crime scene, there is realistic banter. He has an eye for detail that becomes almost too much, when it comes to crimes scenes, yet provides an appropriate feeling of revulsion for what has happened.

This is not Box's best book, but I loved seeing him branch beyond the almost too moral character in his other series. There were some problems with the premise, but I was never tempted to stop reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Average read a sample purchase when first downloaded on my iPad.
Published 7 days ago by Jim Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very good author.
Published 9 days ago by D. Gough
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly good
A reasonably good read at a great price, ideal for my kindle, easy to buy and delivered instantly to my kindle, what's not to like!
Published 1 month ago by Westendboy
3.0 out of 5 stars good read
This is a very American book and whether you like it will depend on whether you like larger than life characters full of pioneering spirit and get up and go. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gordon Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept me interested
This book kept me interested and kept me guessing until quite near the end. Would recommend if you don't mind gore!
Published 1 month ago by Nurse Wendy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Another good tale from this master of suspense. He describes the territory well and his characters come to life in his capable hands. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Penny Chippindale
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
Enjoyable read, well written and attention getting.Very good author. Would recommend and plan on reading more from him.Good from Start to Finish. Read more
Published 3 months ago by George P. Jenkins
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty standard
This was the first book I read by C.J. Box. It was a fairly standard crime thriller with a cop protagonist who doesn't play by the rules, only set in Yellowstone Park. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Francine Pefko
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Read
As good as ever CJ Box continues to write stories that you find hard to put down once you have started to read, It is interesting to follow Joe Picket as his family gets older. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ian Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars Very exciting.
A good read from beginning to end. I am a C J Box fan as seen from previous reviews. Not sure why his books are not in the same cost place as Baldacci and Childs.
Published 3 months ago by torharris
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