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Blue heaven
C. J. Box
Adult Fiction BOX

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From Publishers' Weekly:

John Bedford Lloyd's rich, distinctive voice brings a strong sense of power to his reading of Box's first stand-alone thriller. In the rural Idaho town of Kootenai Bay, 12-year-old Annie Taylor and her younger brother, William, witness a brutal murder. Immediately the two find themselves being hunted by killers who will stop at nothing to ensure the children's silence. The two find refuge with an old rancher, Jess Rawlins, and recently retired police detective Eduardo Villatoro. Together, the two men make a desperate stand against the murderers despite being outnumbered and outgunned. Lloyd's crisp, laconic delivery easily handles a multitude of characters, accents and shifting points of view, creating just the right tone for the material and drawing the listener deep into the action of the story. He portrays his villains (a band of dirty ex-cops) with just the right amount of ruthless menace without going overboard, and he perfectly captures the essence of the aging rancher, imbuing him with the quiet strength and dignity of an iconic western hero. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's Minotaur hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 15). (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Two young kids witness a backwoods execution-style murder in their rural Idaho hamlet. Worse yet, the killers--four retired cops from Los Angeles--see the children and begin a dogged pursuit. Struggling rancher Jess Rawlins is surprised to find Annie and William hiding in his barn, but he's wise enough to believe their lurid tale. He also astutely recognizes the goodness of a stranger in town: Eduardo Villatoro, a retired detective, is determined to put one last unsolved case--a big one--to rest. Villatoro's case is the final nail in the coffin for these bad cops, and it's up to Jess and him to save the children. Readers will be anticipating the final shootout long before the bad guys catch on. Popular series author Box's (Free Fire) first venture into stand-alone territory is a quick, satisfying, and straightforward--if fairly transparent--read. It should appeal to readers looking for a contemporary Western with an infusion of thriller; Michael McGarrity's books come to mind. Recommended for larger popular collections. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 9/1/07.]--Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., Fairfield, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Annie Taylor
Age: 12
Witnesses a murder by a group of retired corrupt cops; takes refuge in Jess's barn.

William Taylor
Age: 10
Annie's younger brother; witnesses a murder by a group of retired corrupt cops; takes refuge in Jess's barn.

Jess Rawlins
Determined to protect Annie and William from the killers whose crime the children witnessed.

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