Author: Chevy Stevens
Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 3, 2021
Source: St. Martin's Press
Book Rating: 9/10
The acclaimed and beloved author of Still Missing is back with her most breathtaking thriller yet.
The Cold Creek Highway stretches close to five hundred miles through British Columbia’s rugged wilderness to the west coast. Isolated and vast, it has become a prime hunting ground for predators. For decades, young women traveling the road have gone missing. Motorists and hitchhikers, those passing through or living in one of the small towns scattered along the region, have fallen prey time and again. And no killer or abductor who has stalked the highway has ever been brought to justice.
Hailey McBride calls Cold Creek home. Her father taught her to respect nature, how to live and survive off the land, and to never travel the highway alone. Now he’s gone, leaving her a teenage orphan in the care of her aunt whose police officer husband uses his badge as a means to bully and control Hailey. Overwhelmed by grief and forbidden to work, socialize, or date, Hailey vanishes into the mountainous terrain, hoping everyone will believe she’s left town. Rumors spread that she was taken by the highway killer—who’s claimed another victim over the summer.
One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek, where her sister Amber lived—and where she was murdered. Estranged from her parents and seeking closure, Beth takes a waitressing job at the local diner, just as Amber did, desperate to understand what happened to her and why. But Beth’s search for answers puts a target on her back—and threatens to reveal the truth behind Hailey’s disappearance…
Unsettling, twisty, and intricate!
Dark Roads is a tortuous, disturbing mystery that introduces us to Beth Chevalier as she heads to Cold Creek, British Columbia, to investigate the horrific murder of her younger sister, Amber, after her body is found brutalized on the side of Cold Creek Highway, a lonely stretch of road where multiple women have suspiciously disappeared, including local Hailey McBride, over the past several decades.
The writing is brisk and sharp. The characters are tormented, vulnerable, and scarred. And the plot told from alternating POVs and using a back-and-forth style is an eerie whodunit full of twists, turns, lies, deception, familial drama, depravity, violence, and murder.
I can honestly say I have yet to read a novel by Stevens that I didn’t really enjoy, and Dark Roads is no exception. It’s a taut, tense, gripping tale that packs a real punch and is a spine-chilling reminder, especially for those of us who grew up hearing about this real-life crime this tale is loosely based on, that evil can often live comfortably amongst us, merely hidden behind masks of normality.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.