Title: Dark Roads
Author: Chevy Stevens
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Content Warnings: sexual harassment, sexual assault, corrupt law enforcement, addiction
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…
This book had a lot going on between the highway killer, Hailey’s abusive uncle, wilderness survival, multiple narrators, and a romantic subplot, so I had a hard time seeing where this story was going.
There was a bit too much focus on survival skills that just didn’t interest me. I was not a fan of the romance; it just caused unnecessary drama. But while the ages and maturity levels of the main characters made most of this book almost feel like a YA thriller, it took a VERY dark and adult turn when the killer was revealed.
I was not completely satisfied with the way all the pieces came together and were explained at the end, but the story built to some very thrilling, twisty moments that gave me that heart racing feeling I crave from a thriller.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC.