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Thriller set in North Dakota and Montana

6th September 2017

Paradise Valley by C J Box – thriller set in North Dakota and Montana.

C J Box is a first rate American crime writer. Most famous for his 18 book Joe Pickett series (set in Wyoming), but also the author of 6 stand alones. Paradise Valley is one of the stand alones. It is set to the north of the author’s native Wyoming in North Dakota and Montana – just south of the Canadian Border.

Thriller set in North Dakota and Montana

Cassie Dewell, the chief investigator for Bakken County police department, has been pursuing the ‘Lizard King’ for years. He is an independent coast to coast trucker with a penchant for picking up prostitutes (lizards) at truck stops – whom he then tortures and murders. He has no home and no base – he lives in his truck. She tempts him into a trap in a warehouse in Bakken County, but it all goes horribly wrong… The same day a friend of Cassie’s son – together with another kid – leave their homes for an adventure trip on a raft down the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. They are escaping North Dakota for good. A search is organised, but they seem to have disappeared without trace. Could the two events be connected in any way?

Following the clues, Cassie heads for Ekalaka, a small town in Montana – and then onwards into the northern part of Yellowstone National Park. There the story leads to a page turning and dramatic conclusion.

C J Box’s books are great thrillers with exciting story lines. They are well researched and well constructed. No wonder he sells in great volume and wins many an award. And, for TripFiction aficionados, they have a great deal to offer. They really bring small town America, and the locations in which they are set, to life. The places described in Paradise Valley are real (as, indeed, are all the settings in the Joe Pickett series). Look them up in Wikipedia, and you get a true sense of a slice of rural America. Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana are all thinly populated. The rugged countryside, and the wildlife in it, rule. It is a far cry from the great metropolises. One thing, though, I didn’t believe until I looked it up… There are hot sulphuric pools in Yellowstone – ideal for disposing of bodies! A tourist fell into one and died in 2016.

I would love to visit some of the places that C J Box describes. No wonder he has been appointed to the executive of the Wyoming Tourist Board! An acknowledgement from his home state of his outstanding contribution to its fortunes.

Tony for the TripFiction 

Do follow the author on Twitter, Facebook and via his website – and you can buy his book through TripFiction

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