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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Terry on 08-09-12
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!
31 of 31 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 03-21-18
I already liked C J Box a lot. After listening to Back of Beyond, he's become one of my favourite crime writers. Very gripping plot, highly believable characters. But the best part was the wilderness setting, and the interaction between it and the humans and animals in the story. I felt I was there. Terrific! The narrator was great too.