Thriller: Blue Heaven, by C.J. Box

Blue Heaven

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blue Heaven. Kootenai Bay, the place in Idaho where retired LAPD cops go to retire. Two local kids, Annie and William, decide to go fishing, taking the gear of their mom’s boyfriend to a local stream. On route, they witness a cold-blooded murder, and in one fateful moment, one of the shooters sees them. The chase is on. The kids manage to evade their pursuers, and a local rancher, whose own family fell apart years ago, becomes their protector.

Blue Heaven resurrects many of America’s cinematic icons, among them John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Rancher Jess Rawlins, wants to do what’s right, and he wants to figure out what that might be on his own. He’s assisted, unknowingly, along the way by detective Villatoro from Santa Anita, CA, who can’t bring himself to retire until he discovers who committed a brilliant robbery at his town’s race track. Separately, Villatoro and Rawlins zero in on the truth, coming from two very disparate directions, and the fate of the two children hangs in the balance from start to finish.

What follows is a riveting, suspense filled, cat and mouse game, in which the antagonists have the upper hand right through the final chapters. The countryside is dark and the bad guys lethal, and the 400 pages of this novel fly by, its conclusion never foregone.

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