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Back of Beyond Audiobook

Back of Beyond

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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

4.2 (900 )
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4.4 (777 )
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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 Member Since 2017

    TBear72

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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!

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis 10-31-11
    Dennis 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

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Guthrie 01-30-12
    S. Guthrie 01-30-12
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    "I would recommend"

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

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stephen 03-04-13
    stephen 03-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Draeger SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US 04-03-15
    Ken Draeger SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US 04-03-15 Member Since 2017

    I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    5 of 5 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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 06-17-17
    Lia Sutton, Australia 06-17-17 Member Since 2009

    I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Thriller"

    What I liked best about "Back of Beyond" was the combination of the murder/mystery component with pure action and suspense. The novel's setting in the wilderness of the Yellowstone National Park (or "Hell-o-stone" as Gracie called it) both fascinated me and gave me goosebumps - I will never be able to browse adventure websites with the same innocent abandon after reading what this group of unsuspecting tourists had to go through.

    Cody Hoyt, the novel's protagonist, is not your normal idea of a hero. Coming from a long line of "white trash" (his words, not mine), with a failed marriage behind him, he has recently returned to Montana after getting kicked out of the Denver police force. But rather than learn from his previous mistakes, he is doing his best to burn his bridges in Montana, as well as pickling his liver with binge drinking. But despite his failings, I could not dislike Cody and found his loyalty and dogged search for justice endearing and sincere. In spite of his obvious character flaws, he will fight for justice at all cost, especially if it involves people he loves and respects. So when his AA sponsor, who Cody looked up to, gets killed in mysterious circumstances, Cody dismisses the preferred theory of suicidal death and sets out to hunt down the killer. On the wagon, Cody is a good detective - and with the help of his partner Larry he is able to connect the dots which link his friend's death to a tourist wilderness adventure about to embark on the "back of beyond", the wilderness of the Yellowstone National Park. When Cody finds out that his own son is booked to go on the trip, he knows he has no time to lose ....

    At this point, the novel's narrative alternates perspective between Cody's investigation / manhunt, and the viewpoint of Gracie Sullivan, a teenage girl booked to go on the wilderness adventure with her older sister and her father. Gracie is a wonderfully refreshing character, who really made the story flow. As the reader gets swept away by her wide eyed wonder about the nature wonderland around her, as well as her terror of the events soon unfolding, the book turns from an ok thriller into a page turner. And whilst the ending wasn't as mind blowing as it could have been, it certainly had an interesting twist and a fairly satisfactory ending - notwithstanding the mounting body count.

    Box's intimate knowledge of the wilderness is evident in his evocative descriptions of the Yellowstone National Park (I really wanted to go there - minus the villains of course). I lived through every minute of the ill-fated wilderness tour, counting my blessings that none of my camping trips has ever ended up quite as bad as that. With an ending which allows for a feeling of hope for Cody, I am hoping to see more of this unlikely hero in future novels. Back of Beyond is a thrilling adventure mystery - highly recommended to anyone who is looking for something a little bit different.

    Holter Graham was excellent with the delivery of the story

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Sweeney 03-28-16
    S. Sweeney 03-28-16

    readinginbed

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very hard to care about Cody"
    Would you try another book from C. J. Box and/or Holter Graham?

    Not likely.


    What could C. J. Box have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The main character, though described in the blurb as a "brilliant cop," largely behaves like a fool and a misanthrope. Nothing he does says "brilliant cop"--and in fact, his reputation to the contrary preceded him to this job. He is self-described, and by others, as an a**hole, and he certainly is that, and it isn't in any kind of sympathetic, endearing or understandable way. He is insulting and aggressive toward people--friends, coworkers, strangers alike--and, though having been relieved of his badge, somehow magically accomplishes investigation work by announcing he's on police business (even undercover business). The AA/alcoholic thread seems nearly superfluous; the character has few if any sincere misgivings about past or current behaviors, doesn't appear to attend AA meetings, doesn't seem to have any friends in recovery, and exhibits no desire to turn his life around. He's just a jerk, the kind you encounter sober and think, man, I'm glad I never had to be around him when he was drinking, 'cause it must have been bad.


    What aspect of Holter Graham’s performance would you have changed?

    At one point I was going to fault the narration unfairly, until I realized that the narrator was doing the best he could with very unexciting material. To his credit, the articulation and enunciation were clear--I didn't miss a word.


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

    Not a good use of a credit or the time.


    Any additional comments?

    I cut my teeth on John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series, and the alcoholic-cop-with-morals-and-regrets, Dave Robicheaux, in James Lee Burke's series (both series available on Audible.) The latter, especially, is an extraordinarily tough act to follow. I'm afraid this book just isn't in this league. Way too much implausibility, too much wheel-spinning, and way too many information dumps through dialogue or musings of the characters. The "got your cow permit?" running gag would have been slightly amusing once, but not over and over.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn 06-11-15
    Marilyn 06-11-15
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    "Great book from first page to last!"

    You should read this book if you like mysteries--and modern westerns. I love Mr. Box's Joe Pickett series and I will be looking forward to more like this one about Cody Hoyt. This book kept me guessing till he tied all the loose ends together at the end. Good story and characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 08-06-13
    Linda 08-06-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Loved it!"

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


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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