Back of Beyond By C.J. Box

Reviewed by: 
Mary Anne

Cody Hoyt is a cop who is struggling with his new-found sobriety when his close friend and sponsor is found dead in a burned out cabin. Although it looks like a suicide, Cody has reason to believe it is murder. This begins Cody’s pursuit of a killer. Clues at the scene point to an outfitter’s business that leads groups on adventure trips in the back country of Yellowstone National Park. Although Cody has been in trouble with his department for going rogue, and is told not to pursue it, he ignores this edict and digs into the case.

The outfitter has just taken a group on a trip to the most remote part of Yellowstone and cannot be reached. When Cody finds out from his ex-wife that his son Justin is on the trip with his new stepdad, the stakes grow higher. He has to find the group before the killer takes action.


The tension increases as the action shifts back and forth from the people on the trip to Cody in pursuit. He drafts a retired outfitter to help him and they chase the group on horseback through Yellowstone, as members of the group begin to disappear one by one and the adventure trip starts to unravel. The wilderness yields many surprises as Cody sees more and more evidence of violence ahead of him. The tension builds as things come to a head.


C.J. Box is well known for his award-winning Joe Pickett series, about a Wyoming game warden. Back of Beyond is a stand-alone thriller with well-developed characters and a master of suspense in charge, who is at his best writing a thriller that takes place in the great outdoors.

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