The Bitterroots

Author: C.J. Box

Former police officer Cassie Dewell is trying to start over with her own private investigation firm. Guilty about not seeing her son and exhausted by the nights on stakeout, Cassie is nonetheless managing...until an old friend calls in a favor: she wants Cassie to help exonerate a man accused of assaulting a young girl from an influential family.

Against her own better judgment, Cassie agrees. But out in the Big Sky Country of Montana, twisted family loyalty runs as deep as the ties to the land, and there's always something more to the story. As Cassie attempts to uncover the truth, she must fight against the ghosts of her own past that threaten to pull her back under.

The Bitterroots (Cassie Dewell #4)

The Washington Post:

You suspect right away that the Montana forest fire on the first page of C.J. Box’s fourth Cassie Dewell mystery isn’t just there for the atmospherics. It turns out, though, that the frightening blaze is not the novel’s Chekhovian gun. That role unexpectedly goes to ex-cop-now-PI Dewell’s 14-year-old son, Ben, who is in the throes of his first teen crush. Sweet, sulky Ben is the center of Dewell’s life — her soldier husband Jim died in Afghanistan — and it’s rough on both Ben and his mom when she leaves Bozeman, Mont., to investigate what looks like a phony sexual assault charge in a county known to be controlled by a ruthless ranching family. Dewell barely survives the brutal Kleinsasser clan, but she gets help from a feminist law firm, a compromised cop with a conscience and an abused ranch employee out for revenge. Likable, canny, persistent, messy-haired and slightly dumpy Dewell is also fortified — bless her heart — by Hostess chocolate-covered doughnuts.

Publishers Weekly (starred review):

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.

Kirkus (starred review):

Cassie, an ex-cop single mother, isn't one to back down, especially since she wonders why anyone would take all the trouble to stop an investigation of a case that was as rock-solid as this one's supposed to be.An appealing new heroine, a fast-moving plot, and a memorably nightmarish family make this one of Box's best.

Booklist (starred review):

Corrupt towns are a staple of both crime fiction and westerns, as are twisted families ruled by evil patriarchs. Here, Box entwines those tropes with a harrowing subplot involving Cassie’s son, Ben, and fashions a snare that will render readers utterly immobilized until they’ve closed the book. Game warden Joe Pickett may be Box’s main man, but Cassie is equally compelling, and readers will be delighted to have her back. Not content with merely ruling Wyoming, Box has become the dominant mystery/thriller author of the mountain West—and deservedly so.

The Real Book Spy:

Though the crime thriller genre is full of talented writers, nobody does it quite like C.J. Box, who remains one of the elite storytellers alive today. As his fans have come to expect, The Bitterroots has plenty of twists and turns, as Box again shows his ability to keep readers guessing right up until the very end...From the moment she was first introduced to readers in The Highway (2013), Cassie Dewell has been a fan favorite, and Box has developed her brilliantly over the course of four novels, turning her into one of the best female protagonists the genre has to offer...Expertly plotted and filled with nonstop suspense, The Bitterroots is another stunner from C.J. Box, and a clear favorite for top crime thriller of the year.