The Highway Review
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Unabridged Audiobook: 8 CDs (10 hours)
Read by Holter Graham

When you’re hitting the road on a long road trip, audiobooks often make a great way to pass the endless miles. But long-distance listeners might get more horrors than expected from author C. J. Box’s chilling road trip thriller, The Highway.

The story begins as teenage sisters Danielle and Grace Sullivan take a detour in their Thanksgiving travels to visit Danielle’s long-distance boyfriend, Justin. At some point during their drive through a remote part of Montana, though, the girls seem to simply vanish from the road.

Justin’s father, former police investigator Cody Hoyt isn’t really in any condition to search for a couple of missing girls. He’s just lost his job, and he’d rather lose himself in a bottle than jump into an investigation. But with the help of his former partner, Cassie Dewell, he sets out to find the girls before it’s too late.

Throughout its deadly journey, The Highway takes one disturbing turn after another. And as Cody and Cassie search for answers, the clues point to a string of murders and disappearances that seem to have been connected to long-haul truck drivers. It’s a horrifying possibility—especially if you happen to be on a long road trip, frequenting truck stops during your travels. One thing is certain: you’ll definitely be wary of truckers for a while after listening to this haunting thriller.

Meanwhile, though readers meet at least one of the offenders—a man who calls himself the Lizard King—early in the novel, it doesn’t take away from the story’s surprises. The investigation itself may not be especially shocking—since the details of the girls’ disappearance are spelled out from the beginning—but there are still plenty of surprises in store. One, in fact, is so unexpected (and such a bold move for the author to make) that I ended up rewinding and replaying a few minutes of the story—because I was positive that I hadn’t heard it correctly the first time.

The story is also populated with interesting characters—from the sinister Lizard King to sensible Grace Sullivan to rookie investigator Dewell. Cassie, especially, gives the story depth—a by-the-book young cop who becomes smarter and more cynical after her hardened veteran partner shows her how the system works. Throughout the story, then, she becomes more layered and complex as a character—so much so, in fact, that you’ll hope to see more of her in future novels.

As road trip entertainment, The Highway is an engaging—and chilling—choice. Narrator Holter Graham gives the story plenty of energy and emotion—instead of simply droning on—and the dark and twisting story will hold your attention through long hours on the road. Be warned, though, that listening to it will make you look at some of your fellow road warriors in a terrifying new light.

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