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Thursday, June 2, 2016

BADLANDS: A NOVEL (Cassie Dewell #3) by C.J. Box

Published in July of 2015

Cassie Dewell was the lead character in 2013's The Highway, a gritty novel with a truly creepy bad guy. Dewell is a young widow who lives with her wacky mother and her son. Dewell makes the move from Wyoming to North Dakota in this book. This is a good move by all accounts - there is a substantial raise, a promotion in rank and it lets Dewell get out of a bad work situation detailed in The Highway.
A fracking operation in North Dakota. Photo by Joshua Doubek.

Grimstad, North Dakota is in the center of the new oil boom. Thanks to "fracking",  it exploded from a little farm town to one of the fastest growing economic centers in the world. It has become the kind of town where anyone can get a job but no one can get a place to sleep and you have to wait for half an hour just to order at the local McDonald's.

The local sheriff has a problem. He knows that gangs are moving in to sell drugs and run prostitutes and he's pretty sure that one of his deputies is helping them. But, he can't be sure because he barely knows his police force. He's and old hand and so are a couple of his deputies but most of them have been hired from all over the country as the oil boom hit town.

On top of that, Dewell is involved in an ongoing investigation into the kidnappings, rapes and murders involving a long haul trucker from the last book. 

I thought this was a fascinating book. The reality of a modern oil boom town was simply fascinating. Cassie's ongoing pursuit of the Lizard King continues to add a sense of foreboding to the series.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Badlands: A Novel.

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