Badlands by C.J. Box

A fast-paced, violent thriller set in North Dakota during the oil boom.  Big money has brought big problems to Grimstad, not the least of which is an influx of drugs and violence.  Detective Cassie Dewell barely starts her new job as deputy sheriff in this new “wild west” when the police department is faced with a fatal accident, a series of disappearances and a gruesome murder.  What neither the police nor the bad guys know is that a twelve-year-old boy witnessed the accident and picked up a mysterious bundle at the scene that is the cause of all the trouble.  C.J. Box leads readers on a thrilling ride with several storylines destined (or doomed?) to converge – all in the bitter cold of a North Dakota winter.   Contains graphic violence.  The pacing and characters hold the most appeal, though the setting is also palpable.  Cassie is a strong, capable, and brave law enforcer and this “standalone” seems ripe for a sequel.

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