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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go beyond the backcountry
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...
Published on 9 Aug 2011 by tontowilliams

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trying too hard
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...
Published on 25 Aug 2011 by A. F. Prestwich


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go beyond the backcountry, 9 Aug 2011
This review is from: Back of Beyond (Hardcover)
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Adventure, 27 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Back of Beyond (Hardcover)
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 "jacandian" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Back of Beyond (Hardcover)
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
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This review is from: Back of Beyond (Hardcover)
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
By 
A. F. Prestwich (West Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Back of Beyond (Hardcover)
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
By 
Derek Massey "Bibliophile" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Back of Beyond (Paperback)
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 (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Back of Beyond (Hardcover)
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. The investigative details are well done. Although there is a major coincidence, it is necessary to trigger the action. There was some very good suspense even if I felt it went a bit over the top toward the end.

"Back of Beyond" is the beginning of a series I'd really like to see develop.

BACK OF BEYOND (Pol Proc-Cody Hoyt-Montana-Cont) - G+
Box, C.J. - 1st of series
Minotaur Books, 2011, ARC - Hardcover ISBN: 978-1848872981
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, 3 Nov 2011
By 
Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Back of Beyond (Hardcover)
C.J. Box's latest mystery thriller is set in an area the writer knows well--Wyoming and Yellowstone Park. As always, the landscape is very skillfully evoked and also well populated with a good mix of well-developed characters: unscrupulous and sometimes murderous criminals, innocent victims, wild animals and a flawed, but strong protagonist. Much of the action takes place on the wilderness trails of Yellowstone Park and the action includes the deaths of several folks enjoying a nature pack trip where the usual dangers only amount to the occasional encounter with a grizzly. This time its different, with a mass killer mounted on the next horse in line.

"Back of Beyond" has been well reviewed already so I'll conclude by adding my agreement with those who have called it an engrossing mystery story with the killer well masked by the author far into the book. It also delivers a satisfying ending, even with a few loose ends hanging upon reflection. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great story teller, 12 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Back of Beyond (Kindle Edition)
I have read all of C J Box's books
I am now bereft..I Iove Joe Nate and now Cody
The richness of the characters and how C J describes the environment is amazing
Lots of twists and turns ..I haven't worked out any plot yet...and I am generally good
I so want to visit Yellowstone national park now thanks to C J
Please write another novel soon!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 July 2014
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D. Gough (Wales , UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Back of Beyond (Kindle Edition)
A very good author.
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Back of Beyond by C. J. Box (Paperback - 1 Jan 2012)
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