cover image Bitterroots


C.J. Box. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-05105-9

In this outstanding novel from Edgar winner Box, erstwhile police officer Cassie Dewell, last seen in 2017’s Paradise Valley, has rebooted her career and become a PI in Montana. A single mother, Cassie sometimes has to take work where she finds it, but her alarm bells go off when attorney Rachel Mitchell offers her a dubious assignment: investigating the arrest of millionaire Blake Kleinsasser, who has been charged with raping his 15-year-old niece, Franny Porché. The black sheep of his wealthy ranching family, Blake admits he was too drunk that night to remember whether he attacked Franny. Thus, gathering evidence that could clear Blake will be a huge challenge. How huge Cassie only gradually learns, as she canvasses the law enforcement of Lochsa County as well as the Kleinsasser family members. Local resistance soon escalates into serious peril when Cassie is arrested and thrown in jail on a trumped-up charge. Vividly etched characters and a realistic plot lift this outing, and the well-done Montana setting is a plus. Box remains at the top of his game. 300,000-copy announced first printing; author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary (Aug.)