My 2-Cents-Worth

A Page Out Of Yellowstone

My 2¢-Worth Book Review of Back of Beyond, by C.J. Box

(I try to park my butt outdoors for at least a little while every single day. But January and February in Minnesota can bring some bitterly cold spells where the weather just screams, “Stay inside and read!” When that happens, sometimes I actually listen. So, what do I read, you ask? Well, most likely it will be something outdoor related and probably straight from the fiction shelves. After all, every writer-wanna-be loves a good story! Keep your peepers moving to the next line below and you might even find out what I’m talking about …)

What do an alcoholic cop struggling with just 2-months off the sauce, a salty old retired trail guide, a dangerous drug dealer, a divorced dad, a nerdy-smart but extremely sarcastic 14-year old girl, and Yellowstone National Park have in common? “Back of Beyond”, the fast-paced mystery novel from C.J. Box will have you turning pages so quickly it won’t take you long to find out!

Personally, I haven’t been to Yellowstone Park (YET), but after reading this book, I caught myself scrolling through my phone, searching for photos I’d taken of the place. Box paints a picture in your mind that’s so vivid you almost feel like you’re right there with the main characters, snapping a selfie, coating your arms in bug spray or reaching for a dry pair of hiking socks.

The story follows unpredictable, hot-headed Montana detective Cody Hoyt as he searches for answers in the death of his AA sponsor. His rogue investigation takes him deep into the wilderness to track down a group of campers that just may be in danger from something other than the ferocious backcountry Grizzlies.

The well-paced plot follows almost as many twists and turns as the remote Yellowstone trails that Cody races down in hot pursuit of the campers. And the diverse group of characters are so well developed that you want to either feed them to the wolves or become Facebook friends with each and every one of them before the book reaches its thrilling conclusion.

The temperature may have been -25°F outside as I devoured the last paragraph of this novel, but as I finished, I reached for my National Parks guide book. I eagerly pulled it from the shelf, paging furiously to the Yellowstone section so I could start planning a trip into the back of beyond for myself.

In my book, this book gets a ….

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