“A twelve-year-old girl and her younger brother are on the run in the Idaho woods, pursued by four men they have just watched commit murder―four men who know exactly who William and Annie are. And where their mother lives.
Retired policemen from Los Angeles, the killers easily persuade the local sheriff to let them lead the search for the missing children. Now there’s nowhere left for William and Annie to hide…and no one they can trust. Until they meet Jess Rawlins.
Rawlins, an old-school rancher, knows trouble when he sees it. He is only one against four men who will stop at nothing to silence their witnesses. But in this thrilling mystery novel from C.J. Box, these ex-cops don’t know just how far Rawlins will go to protect William and Annie…and see that justice is done.” – Amazon Summary
Idaho seems to be its own character in Blue Heaven. It is mentioned constantly throughout the story – the mountains overlooking the town, the wilderness and the ranchers and hunters who make their livelihoods among it, the tough country folk who always have a gun at the ready and are slightly suspicious of outsiders. The main thing about Idaho that drew all the retired cops there, including the 4 killers, is the land and giant houses they could have for much cheaper than they could find anywhere else. Idaho was known as Blue Heaven to retiring cops because of the cheap land, peace, and isolation the country provides. For the 4 ex-cops that are after Annie and William, it was mainly the isolation they sought. They were hiding away, reveling in their illegally gained comfy life style. A single bump in their newly smooth-sailing life turns into blow after blow until it all explodes in their faces.
The story switches narratives between Annie and William, the cops, Jess Rawlins, Annie and William’s mother, the local banker, and another ex-cop from California who traced certain stolen $100 bills by their serial numbers to Idaho from a robbery/murder that occurred years before in California. All their stories meld together – some in more ways than you initially expect. Personally, the sections covering the 4 killer cops had me rolling my eyes A LOT. Obviously, their sections are necessary for the plot – I just really disliked those dudes (as I’m sure the author intended).
Usually the crime books I read are nonfiction and action books have supernatural elements, so this was a little different than what I normally read. It had my full attention though! The characters, especially the kids, the mom, and Jess Rawlins, were extremely likeable and you easily root for them. Plus, after every chapter I wanted to know what happened next. It was quite and engaging read! And if you are into crime thrillers, this would definitely be up your alley!