Author: Chevy Stevens
Publication Date: August 3, 2021
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Obtained: publisher via Netgalley
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Bottom Line: Thriller with horror vibes
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Summary: 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… ~amazon.com
Review: I have been waiting for this new Chevy Stevens book for a few years and Dark Roads did not disappoint. If you've read her books before you know she doesn't shy away from dark or sensitive subject matters in her novels but this one might be her darkest yet. Hailey is an orphan since her dad died leaving her to live with her aunt, cousin and Uncle. Her Uncle is a local Sheriff that gives her the creeps but she can't quite pinpoint why. Hailey keeps to herself except for her best friend Johnny who she's known since they were little kids. It's Johnny who she turns to when she stumbles upon something about her Uncle.
As Hailey disappears into the night, she still is striving to find a way to get her Uncle arrested because she knows he's guilty but of what she isn't 100% sure; she just wants someone to investigate him. Then she finds the body of Amber and she is torn up and goes even deeper into hiding.
Enter Amber sister, Beth, a year later to figure out what happened to her sister on the side of that road. Little does she know that her questions will put her in harms way when she least expects it. Beth is dealing with her own issues of being the older, more responsible sister to her parents and is coming unraveled. She's drinking too much and staying at a lake by herself.
Dark Roads definitely has the feel of a psychological thriller with a bit of horror thrown in but it's not just there for sensationalism. Ms. Stevens highlights how woman are preyed upon, are victims and yet can be the heroes of their stories as well. The town and the woods of Cold Creek are as much a character of the novel as any human. It goes to show you that setting is key to a novel's vibe.
If you haven't ready Chevy Stevens, I highly recommend either this one or any of her other backlist novels.