Short Review (A-Z Wednesday): Blue Heaven by C.J. Box

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A-Z Wednesday

This is a meme hosted at Reading at the Beach. To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week. Post:
    1~ a photo of the book

    2~ title and synopsis
    3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)

It's been some time since I took part in this meme, so I thought I'll recommend a book I read last year. The letter for this week is B. I chose Blue Heaven by C.J. Box, which I read in November 2009, and enjoyed quite a bit, though some things did bother me. I gave it 4 stars. Here's a synopsis, from the back of the book:

A twelve-year-old girl and her younger brother go on the run in the woods of North Idaho, pursued by four men they have just watched commit murder---four men who know exactly who William and Annie are, and who know exactly where their desperate mother is waiting for news of her children’s fate. Retired cops from Los Angeles, the killers easily persuade the inexperienced sheriff to let them lead the search for the missing children.
William and Annie’s unexpected savior comes in the form of an old-school rancher teetering on the brink of foreclosure. But as one man against four who will stop at nothing to silence their witnesses, Jess Rawlins needs allies, and he knows that one word to the wrong person could seal the fate of the children or their mother. In a town where most of the ranches like his have turned into acres of ranchettes populated by strangers, finding someone to trust won’t be easy.

Here's the review I posted on Goodreads:

This is the first CJ Box I read. I'm sure I will be picking up more. This was a good thriller. Good, not great, because some plot points just didn't satisfy me.

The book started really well and ended in exciting action. It never dragged. There were 2-3 sub-plots as well, and it was great to see all of them moving along.

I liked how Box demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of the characters rather than just mentioning them. I liked Newkirk's character the most, because this was a guy fighting to save himself from the soup he was in and fighting with his conscience. The act he committed in the next-to-last chapter possibly redeemed himself (not his crimes, of course).

Much as it was suspenseful, the last few chapters were disappointing. It looked like the book was hurried off to the ending and rushed. It was hardly satiating. The last chapter of all was very poorly written. It was all muddled just like the thoughts of the protagonist of that chapter (it definitely was in sync with the thoughts of that person) but it was confusing overall, because being the last chapter, it had to answer certain questions, but instead ended up puzzling me more.

The dialogue delivery could have been better, plus Monica's character wasn't so well written. I just didn't like this character, because she hardly seemed mature to me.

The main redeeming feature of this book, in spite of its problems, is that it created good suspense. I truly enjoyed reading this book, and would have given it 5 stars if not for the small weaknesses.


 To see what "B" books other bloggers chose, visit this link.

9 comments:

jlshall said...

Sounds like a pretty good thriller, even with the weak ending. I'll have to give it a look.

Here's my "B" book.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Fantastic review :)

Stephanie said...

This is an excellent review. You were very clear about the novel's strengths and weaknesses. It sounds like it was quite suspenseful and had great character development. It's a shame the ending seemed rushed.

I really like your new WOW books widget in the sidebar!

Sherrie said...

Hi!
Sounds like a great books. Intrigue, mystery, my kind of book. Have a great day!

Sherrie
Just Books

Vicki said...

Sounds like my kind of book! It's going on my Wish List!

Thanks for playing!

Nise' said...

This is my kind of book. I have not read this author. Will fit in with my States challenge as well.

Beth said...

Sounds like an intense story. Here is my "B" book.

Irene said...

Great review. Thanks for playing.

Aths said...

jlshall, it definitely was a good thriller!

Juju, thanks! :)

Stephanie, yeah, the book had a lot of promise, the ending should have held up! And thanks! :)

Sherrie, yep, it has all those elements! You would enjoy it!

Vicki, glad you like it!

Nise', that is a good idea - fitting it into the states challenge!

Beth, it was quite suspenseful and intense.

Irene, thanks!