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Back of Beyond | [C. J. Box]

Back of Beyond

Cody Hoyt, while a brilliant cop, is an alcoholic struggling with two months of sobriety when his mentor and AA sponsor Hank Winters is found burned to death in a remote mountain cabin. At first it looks like the suicide of a man who’s fallen off the wagon, but Cody knows Hank better than that....
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Publisher's Summary

The Edgar® Award-winning and New York Times best-selling author delivers a thriller about a troubled cop trying to save his son from a killer in Yellowstone.

Cody Hoyt, while a brilliant cop, is an alcoholic struggling with two months of sobriety when his mentor and AA sponsor Hank Winters is found burned to death in a remote mountain cabin. At first, it looks like the suicide of a man who’s fallen off the wagon, but Cody knows Hank better than that. Sober for 14 years, Hank took pride in his hard-won sobriety and never hesitated to drop whatever he was doing to talk Cody off a ledge. When Cody takes a closer look at the scene of his friend’s death, it becomes apparent that foul play is at hand. After years of bad behavior with his department, he’s in no position to be investigating a homicide, but this man was a friend and Cody’s determined to find his killer.

When clues found at the scene link the murderer to an outfitter leading tourists on a multi-day wilderness horseback trip into the remote corners of Yellowstone National Park—a pack trip that includes his son Justin—Cody is desperate to get on their trail and stop the killer before the group heads into the wild. Among the tourists is 14-year-old Gracie Sullivan, an awkward but intelligent loner who begins to suspect that someone in their party is dangerous. In a fatal cat-and-mouse game, where it becomes apparent the murderer is somehow aware of Cody’s every move, Cody treks into the wilderness to stop a killer hell bent on ruining the only thing in his life he cares about.

©2011 C.J. Box (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

“Box, a best-selling mystery writer and Wyoming native, crafts a taut tale, but it’s his details about the untamed flora and fauna – two-legged as well as four – that inhabit the wildness out West that hooks you.” (USA Today)

“Narrator Holter Graham’s renditions of the book’s characters are effective and distinct – and his portrayal of Bull Mitchell, the gruff but lovable retired trail guide, is particularly memorable…Graham’s crisp and steady narration makes for a fun ride.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Holter Graham’s crisp, clean narration reliably differentiates Cody’s cigarette-stained gruffness from the raised Canadian accents of the upper Midwest locals and admirably captures the regionalisms of other characters.” (Library Journal, starred review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (354 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Terry Prescott, AZ, United States 08-09-12
    Terry Prescott, AZ, United States 08-09-12

    TBear72

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cody Hoyt is GREAT!"
    Where does Back of Beyond rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 10%!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It might just be because I grew up in Montana, spent many summers in Yellowstone National Park and am a recovering drunk (23 years sober), but I loved the Hoyt character. Every part of his struggle rang true to me. I grew up with so many guys like him and I still know a bunch of families where it is not uncommon to have Cops & Criminals in the same clan. The references to sending guys to Deer Lodge (where the MT State Prison used to be) really hits home. I worked a couple of summers on a small ranch that bordered the Deer Lodge Prison ranch and spent many an hour riding those fences that separated the free from the chained. Hoyt's attempts to "DO RIGHT BY HIS BOY" really touches a nerve-many of my old pals used to joke that a strong marriage was the one that survived till the ten year high school reunion. Hoyt's demons are real to me and resonate with the struggles of many I know. I cannot read any Montana story of a lost soul, like Hoyt, struggling to find himself-without thinking of "A River Runs Through It" and Mr. Box is very close to the mastery of that gut-busting & heart-rending tale. Even his description of Townsend and Canyon Ferry (where my dad & little Sister share a cabin) struck true!
    Mr. Box has obviously actually traversed much the Big Sky Country and has captured, with his keen ear, a good portion of the unique and quirky dialogue of the native locals!
    I was especially impressed with the reverent treatment of the AA Sponsor's relationship to the newly sober->Mr. Box had that (to my mind & experience) EXACTLY RIGHT and since that is the fulcrum that catapults the plot forward, (Hoyt could not go off on this quest without the wrong done to his sponsor) and lends the entire tale a sense of both believability and justice!

    My only regret was that I wasn't listening to this story as I drove from Missoula to the Three Forks and the Gateway...


    What about Holter Graham’s performance did you like?

    The oral interpretation of the suffering and the struggles of Hoyt life and action was very moving and the tone, pacing and gruffness of the character really shone though!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES...one of the great things about driving across Montana is that it is at least 10 hours North to South and at least 14 hours East to West (obeying the posted limits). so the ideal way to hear this book would be to start at Logan Pass on the Going to the Sun Highway (in Glacier) and drive down to Yellowstone! Which I intend to do with my wife when we retire!


    Any additional comments?

    The plot in the story is great! It is a mystery within a mystery and has a both a great hook and a great twist! But again I think the Hoyt character makes this story & I hope Mr. Box brings him back again & again!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 10-31-11
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 10-31-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Great piece of work"

    Right from the start I want to state - I am a C.J. Box fan. That said, I am an even bigger fan after reading this book. The lead hero is built from some very human parts, and rises from his own ashes in a way that makes you feel good about the world. This is Box's 3rd stand alone book and I think it is as good or better than the others. Box can write, he develops interesting characters and puts them together in great scenery with a perfect amount of suspense and tension. I really liked this book and would recommend it highly

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stephen Kerrville, Texas United States 03-04-13
    stephen Kerrville, Texas United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Enjoyable"
    What made the experience of listening to Back of Beyond the most enjoyable?

    Being a huge fan of "Blue Heaven" - which is one of my all-time favorites - Back of Beyond didn't quite measure up to the pace and emotion of Blue Heaven. That being said, it definitely kept my interest, had some twist and turns, had likable and sustainable characters, and was solid to the end with an enjoyable payoff.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The setting, the plausible plot, and the honesty and transparency of the main character, Cody.


    Which character – as performed by Holter Graham – was your favorite?

    Definitely, Cody. No doubt that the person I was listening to was Cody in body, soul and spirit. Holter Graham nailed it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There was not a particular moment, just the common thread of Cody's inability to mince words or suppress the truth (even when it was not beneficial to Cody's circumstances).


    Any additional comments?

    Some books are great, others are simply good solid entertainment that take you on a journey (in this case a suspenseful one) that in the end leave you satisfied. Back of Beyond is a good listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Guthrie 01-30-12
    S. Guthrie 01-30-12 Member Since 2010
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    "I would recommend"

    Kept me in suspense and didn't want to put it down. I recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel Raleigh, NC, United States 12-24-14
    Mel Raleigh, NC, United States 12-24-14 Member Since 2011

    Baby Boomer in Raleigh NC. Faves include James Lee Burke, CJ Box, Baldacci, Flynn, Child, DeMille, Crais, Connolly, Thor, Coes, L'amour. Average two books/week.

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    "Cody is not Joe"

    Cody Hoyt is NOT Joe Pickett. The setting is Montana / Yellowstone but Cody doesn't have the solid likable character of CJ's awesome Joe Pickett.... plus there is no "Nate" in this either.

    If one is unfamiliar with CJ Box, definitely go with a Joe PIckett first and read them IN ORDER.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 08-06-13
    Linda 08-06-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved it!"

    Great story. Images of back country were awesome and tremendously reminiscent of great times long past.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickie Oakley andalusia, al 07-25-13
    Vickie Oakley andalusia, al 07-25-13 Member Since 2011

    book keeper

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    "A good story, but......"
    What would have made Back of Beyond better?

    This book would have been so much better if profane language had not been used so much.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The description of the alcoholic Cody. An alcoholic cares about no one but themselves and the author's description of the alcoholic Cody is dead on.


    What didn’t you like about Holter Graham’s performance?

    I have no complaints about Graham's performance.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    One of sadness.


    Any additional comments?

    I am not certain if I will purchase anymore of this author's books because of the language he chooses to write in.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie 05-24-15
    Bonnie 05-24-15 Member Since 2011
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    "You'll be edge of your chair while yelling IDIOTS"

    C.J. Box hits it again with the beginning of this new series whose protagonist is Montana Detective Cody Hoyt who is an admitted alcoholic and now an AA member.

    C.J. can paint a picture with words and he does it again in this novel that takes place in Yellowstone. Even if you have not visited there you will know its beauty and treachery. Add teenagers along with all of their attitudes to the mix, plus a killer and you have one huge nail biter of a novel. Not only are you on the edge of your chair but you want to throttle someone or just yell “IDIOT” out loud…

    Great read and start to a new series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Draeger SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US 04-03-15
    Ken Draeger SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US 04-03-15 Member Since 2015

    I'm an avid listener who is always in search of another good listen. And I'm willing to share my thoughts with an occasional review.

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    "Character Conscious Writer With A Good Yarn"
    What made the experience of listening to Back of Beyond the most enjoyable?

    CJ manages to keep you interested in the characters as well as the plot. Some are likable... others not so much. I found myself hoping these same characters would show up in follow on novels.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gracie is a precocious teen who gets pushed around by her older sister, but she clearly knows how to think for herself. Cody's son Justin could easily play a major role in his dad's life as their years together pass.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm looking forward to reading my second book by CJ, but I haven't chosen just yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 01-15-15
    Linda 01-15-15 Member Since 2011

    Once I discovered audio books I've never gone back! I listen everyday while I garden, cook, work around the house, and at bed time.

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    "Good read"

    I like CJ Box. This was a new character for me, took a while to warm up to the main character and the story line. I'm interested enough to continue

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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