Monday, August 30, 2021

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Dark Roads
Chevy Stevens
Published August 3, 2021 by St. Martin's Press

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…

4 Stars

The cover and the blurb for Dark Roads pulled me in, but Chevy Stevens writing kept me engaged through out. I'd listened to a true crime podcast on the highway Dark Roads' plot draws from and when I recognized the similarities I knew I'd be into this book. That podcast has never left my mind, so many unsolved crimes, so I loved that Chevy Stevens gave us a novel that solved a few for us. With three parts and a few different perspectives, Dark Roads is a dramatic, suspenseful tale of the lost souls of Cold Creek Highway and the locals who live in fear of it.

Hailey McBride is a Cold Creek local, she's grown up knowing the tales of the missing, of the found bodies with no killer to pin it on, the rules of the highway. She's spent forever avoiding certain death by a trucker or some other serial killer, but Hailey didn't know Officer Vaughn might be who she really needed to fear. In the care of her Aunt and Vaughn, Hailey is kept from her friends, from the outside world, and with her father on her mind, Hailey snoops and discovers a horrible truth about Vaughn. Hailey must go into survival mode, hoping to trick the town and the dirty cop into believing she has disappeared. In Part Two, we meet Beth, the sister of one of the missing girls. She's unreliable, a recent addict, a former perfectionist, and desperate for the truth. She makes incredibly dumb choices, but it is through her actions that the town begins to wake up, to pay attention. It is through Beth that Hailey's plan begins to play out.

With an eerily realistic storyline, relatable characters, and a mystery you want to solve, Dark Roads is a fascinating and gripping suspense from Chevy Stevens. It does start out a bit slow, repetitive, but it picks up and becomes the kind of page-turning thriller I love.

1 comment

  1. Great review Carlene. I love Chevy Chase's writing and thought this book was well written. I also liked the reasoning behind it.


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