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The Highway (Cassie Dewell #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  5,360 Ratings  ·  763 Reviews
Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel, the New York Times bestselling author of Back of Beyond and Breaking Point and the creator of the Joe Pickett series is back.

"If CJ Box isn't already on your list, put him there." – USA Today

When two sisters set out across a remote stretch of Montana road to visit their friend, little do they know it will be the last time anyone mi
ebook, 400 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Minotaur Books
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Carla I agree. It made no sense to me. Now, I have no interest in reading anything more from this author. Who's next? The next series character?
Alexandra Cole I read Back of Beyond first, then went back and read the first two books in the series after that. I highly suggest reading all three in a row over a…moreI read Back of Beyond first, then went back and read the first two books in the series after that. I highly suggest reading all three in a row over a few days. Such awesome reads!(less)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 09, 2013 Cairi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
Now I can understand why people have been recommending I read C J Box!

Even though I started with #2 in the Cody Hoyt series, it is perfectly able to be read as a stand alone.

The writing is tense, the plot taut and tight. There is no mucking around, just solid, breath-holding storyline.

Two girls and their car simply vanish after detouring from their planned road trip to see their father for Thanksgiving.

When his son reports the girls missing, former Police Investigator Cody Hoyt heads for their l
Sep 12, 2015 Carolyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller

The Lizard King is a loathsome creature, a long haul truck driver who preys on young women, mostly prostitutes ('Lizards') picked up at truckstops. Once drugged and kidnapped, he is free to do whatever he wants with them, in his truck or back home in a specially equipped room. Since he's always careful to abduct women from the many different places he drives, he has managed to remain undetected.

Cody Hoyt, recently sacked from his job as a police investigator, is concerned when his son's girlfrie
I understand that CJ Box is a popular writer, but after reading his latest book, The Highway, I am left with two questions: Does he always people his books with such unlikeable characters? And, are all his books as misogynistic as The Highway?

In the beginning, the reader is introduced to the repulsive Lizard King, a long haul trucker who preys on truck stop prostitutes, as he sits in a parking lot scoping out his next victim. The reader immediately grasps that this man is sick and twisted; he li
Aug 18, 2013 Diane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone has an off-day and CJ Box must have had a number of them when he wrote this clunker. I usually really enjoy his writing, including the entire Joe Pickett series and the lead-in to this book, Back of Beyond, and was looking forward to the continued adventures of Cody Hoyt. Thanks to a very bad decision on the author's part midway through this book, that's not going to happen.

The premise of the book was distasteful and unoriginal--a psychopathic long-haul trucker and his accomplices who p
Jul 21, 2013 Msusieq rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
C J Box writes great mysteries set in the Rocky Mountain west but this was not among his better works. Back of Beyond, his first Cody Hoyt novel, was a great read and my expectations of The Highway were for another so I was disappointed in this second. I kept waiting for a twist or turn to grab me but that didn't happen. With one exception, I felt that the events of The Highway, unlike C J Box's other works, book were predictable and and not particularly interesting. I can't be any more specific ...more
Don Gorman
The last C.J. Box story I read, Breaking Point, a Joe Pickett story was really good. Great intrigue, strong subplots all kinds of stuff. This book is a total reversal. I can't believe how weak it is. This reads like a bad screenplay. Ugly stuff, no character development, totally predictable plot. There is an element of excitement here or I would not have even given it two stars but I was really disappointed by this effort. I will read the next Joe Pickett book with my fingers crossed. If it ends ...more
First Sentence: Lewis and Clark County Montana Sheriff’s Department Investigator Cassandra Dewell winced when a pair of headlights broke over a rise onto a long treeless bench in the foothills of the Big Belt Mountains north of Helena.

The first thing readers need to know is that this is definitely not a Joe Picket book. If you are expecting Joe’s Dudley-Do-Right morality, do not read this book. That said…

The elements of Box’ style which hold are very visual descriptions—occasionally more so tha
Sep 14, 2013 Monnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Truth is, I'm wavering between 3-1/2 stars and 4, but since the former isn't possible here - and I am wavering - I'll stick with 4. But I'll also say up front that if you're one whose taste doesn't run toward gruesome and gory, you might want to pass on this one.

This is the second book featuring seriously flawed Montana police investigator Cody Hoyt (the first, Back of Beyond, was published in 2011, and while I gave it 5 stars, quite a few readers didn't agree; the average at the time of this wr
Barbara Mitchell
I've read one of C. J. Box's novels in the Joe Pickett series, so I selected this stand-alone novel expecting a good read. It is that, but I must admit it scared the heck out of me. I couldn't wait for the end because I couldn't take much more.

The story is about a long-haul trucker who preys on young women, calling himself the Lizard King. This guy is scary because he's such a thorough planner and so inhuman. Most of his victims are the prostitutes called "lot lizards" who work truck stops, simp
Virginia Campbell
Giving a whole new meaning to "road kill", author C.J. Box picks up the threads of the story line and characters of a previous work, "Back of Beyond", and weaves them into a terrifying tapestry in "The Highway". Two teenaged sisters traveling on their own between divorced, distracted parents disappear when the oldest sister takes a detour to visit her boyfriend. Danielle Sullivan is eighteen and thinks she is a world unto herself, and the rest of humanity spins in her orbit. Her long-suffering y ...more
Aug 08, 2013 Kirstin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first encountered the writing of CJ Box when he came to our bookstore to sign his previous book Breaking Point. When I realized it was about a WY game warden named Joe Pickett, I was not very interested. Guns and trucks, hunting and horses, boots and Stetsons aren't really my thing.  But before I knew it, I was sucked into the mystery and stayed up way too late to find out what happened. Then I realized that I enjoyed CJ Box's writing and his characters. Sometime in the last 6 months, I've rea ...more
Karen Hall
After I finished this book I felt like I needed a shower. The issue of sex slavery in long haul trucking is an interesting one, but this book left me feeling like I'd mostly been privy to very unsavory male fantasies: young women, probably virgins, captured and held (in their underwear, of course) for whatever kind of sex a guy can imagine and for as long as he wants.

I've really enjoyed other C. J. Box books, but this one crossed a line for me. The chief investigator in this book, Cassie Dewell
Jun 27, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a co-worker and fellow reader tell me to check out Mr. Box. I heard of him but had not read anything of his work. She told me to read this book. She read it in the hardback format. I kind of forgot about it as I had many other books on my shelf to currently read. It was not until the paperback copy was released that I remembered my friend telling me about this book. So I decided to pick up a copy and check out what Mr. Box was all about.

Mr. Box made me think of a favorite author of mine M
Nov 17, 2013 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Never thought I'd be rating a CJ Box book a two, but I just wasn't enthralled by this one - in fact I was somewhat repelled. I enjoyed Back of Beyond (Hoyt #1) and assumed Hoyt would grow with the books. By one-third of the way through this one I actually put it down and wasn't going to finish, but decided today since I loved Box's other books so much I should give it a chance.

I think my problem is that in all of the Pickett novels, there is a greater issue (wind, minerals, etc) although of cou
Aug 20, 2015 Barb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the first Cody Hoyt novel from CJ Box--an interesting character with an interesting way of doing things outside the standard Joe Pickett (another good character) morals. But this novel really just turned my stomach. If that was what the author was going for then mission accomplished. There was also a major plot twist that had me shouting 'Noooo!'. I'm not sure of what the point introduce another character? Leave the audience stunned so they would skim over the horrible ...more
John Bohnert
Nov 29, 2016 John Bohnert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This is the first novel by C.J. Box that I've ever read.
This book really blew me away. I just couldn't stop reading.
I plan to read other novels by this author. He can really write.
Karyn Niedert
I always hate to give any book less than a three, because if I was able to finish it how bad could it be, right? "The Highway" involves two young sisters driving from Montana to their father's house in Omaha for Thanksgiving. Enter bad man who kidnaps them, good guy that tries to save them, better woman that tries to save tham, blah blah blah...

Here's the problem. C.J. Box spoonfed me the whole story. He didn't think I was bright enough to keep up with the twists and turns so he repeated himself
Oct 11, 2014 Mel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on a drive from ID to MN. Ironically, I drove on many of the roads mentioned in this book. Including Yellowstone and the Beartooth Highway the very day I started to listen to this book. A bit of background: the Beartooth highway drives up to 11,000' and officially closes by 10.14 of every year. EVERY YEAR, if not earlier. This book takes place in November. The road is fraught with tight hairpin turns. This book mentions characters driving on this road in NOVEMBER and a SE ...more
Rex Fuller
Aug 08, 2013 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only a small portion of this, the second Cody Hoyt novel, comes at you from Cody’s point of view. Joe Pickett tells the vast majority of the stories in his series. Here, you mainly listen to serial killers, Gracie, a kidnapped young girl, and Cody’s partner, Cassie Dewell, as well as Cody. Making those voices natural and credible as separate identities while keeping them readable—and the story flowing—requires immense skill. C. J. Box has it. Events jump out like the sudden bark of a jackhammer. ...more
David Highton
Jun 15, 2017 David Highton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book in the Highway Quartet, the third to feature rule-breaking cop Cody Hoyt and the first to feature newly promoted investigator Cassie Dewey. This dark story of abduction, horrific abuse and murder features seven of the characters from Back of Beyond, including Hoyt, in an entirely different storyline
How many times have you heard DO NOT get in a stranger’s vehicle? If The Highway by author C. J. Box doesn’t prove the dangers of that action, nothing will! Teen sisters, Danielle and Gracie Sullivan, in an act of parental defiance, take a road trip to see Danielle’s boyfriend, Justin (Deputy Sheriff Cody Hoyt’s son), but they never arrive. On a lonely stretch of highway, their car breaks down and the trucker that stops to “help” them becomes their biggest nightmare. Known as the Lizard King, th ...more
Minty McBunny
This would have been a 4 or 4.5 star book if not for one thing.

I'm willing to buy that a detective or police officer would be in danger from a homicidal maniac more than once in their lives. I enjoy a good police series for that very reason. Occasionally, like in Denise Mina's Garnethill trilogy, I am willing to believe that a non-crime-fighting character might, due to certain lifestyle choices or personality traits, come up against a killer more than once.

But the average person living an avera
Tim Basuino
Mar 15, 2015 Tim Basuino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let’s see… we have a long route trucker with a sexual fetish, a cop who gets suspended because he plays outside the law, an attractive teenage girl who is clueless but has a more with-it if not as attractive younger sister, a female cop trying to prove her way, and a cop who uses his power to everyone else’s detriment. How many clichés did I just describe?

Be that as it may, “The Highway” is a quick read in spite of the lack of original characters. I will say that one of the characters who gets k
C J Box is one of my favorite authors. I have read all of the books in his Joe Pickett series (except his latest #17) and enjoyed them all. Not so for his second book featuring Cody Hoyt. After reading "Back of Beyond", his first Cody Hoyt novel, I had great expectations for "The Highway" and future novels featuring Cody Hoyt. I was extremely disappointed and can't say more without including spoilers. I just hated "The Highway" as it was mostly disgusting.
Steve Chaput
I wish I could say that I enjoyed the book more than I did, as I know Box is a very popular writer. For some reason the story just didn't click with me.

Cody Hoyt, is a police investigator, and the subject of several of Box's novels. In this one he is suspected of placing evidence at a crime scene in order to point the finger at a certain individual. The person who discovers this is his former partner, Cassie. While Cody is dealing with his new period of unemployment a serial-killer known as The
Theresa de Valence
Jul 08, 2016 Theresa de Valence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is #3 Cody Hoyt and #1 Cassie Dewell, but it’s the first C.J. Box I’ve read.

C.J. Box’s THE HIGHWAY ©2013 is a thriller about a serial killer on the highways in the mid-west US. At first I feared the story would be fem-jep and torture porn, but it turns out that C.J. Box is a gifted writer and, without travelling that path, he had my imagination anticipating the worst. Obviously a serial killer does appalling things to his victims and we fear for the safety of a couple of young women, but th
So here's my deal with C.J. Box, as he's honed his craft and added more and more heart-pound-inducing stories to his series(es?) and standalones: he is such a good story teller that I just let go of the "" reaction to some nonsensical developments and happily, politely, discreetly brush loose ends and open questions under the metaphorical carpet -- and just enjoy the ride. My ratings, alas, are genre-specific, so although I'm rating this one a 5, that by no means equates it w ...more
Some spoiler-ish stuff, but I will try and speak in generalities.

If you like disgusting bad guys that are dispicable and pure evil, come right this way! If you are looking for politically correct bad guys that are respectful, hold doors for ladies, help get puppies out of trees then DO NOT ENTER! It appears that many of the low ratings for this book are because these bad guys are too mean and extreme - but I love how disgusting they are and how much more it makes you want them to get their come
Oct 05, 2013 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely not a Joe Pickett story, but I had to read it, since it takes place "in the neighborhood" more or less. It was fun placing events in locations I might be familiar with, although the book might not be completely accurate. Still, I found it a suspenseful must-keep-reading kind of story, although there are a few shocks and disappointments along the way. I didn't realize there was an earlier Cody Hoyt book, I'll have to go back and read that.
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Edgar Award-winning author C.J. Box is the author of nineteen novels including the Joe Pickett series. He's also won the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, and the Barry Award. His short stories have been featured in America's Best Mystery Stories of 2006 and limited-edition printings. 2008 novel BLOOD TRAIL was nominated for the International IMPAC Dub ...more
More about C.J. Box...

Other Books in the Series

Cassie Dewell (3 books)
  • Badlands (A Highway Quartet Novel #3)
  • Paradise Valley (Cassie Dewell, #3)

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