The Bitterroots

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Another book read in the Great C.J. Box Catchup Project. This one's from 2019. (I own the next two, and maybe I can get those read before another one comes out…) This one is an entry in what Amazon calls the "Cody Hoyt/Cassie Dewell" series, despite the fact that Cody has long since shuffled off this mortal coil. The latest season of the TV series "Big Sky" was (very) loosely based on this book.

Which finds Cassie working as a private investigator. She's still kind of a cop at heart, though, so she's kind of reluctant to take on the job she's offered by a defense lawyer: check out the evidence against accused rapist, Blake Kleinsasser, who's rotting away in a Lochsa County Montana jail awaiting trial. The case seems kind of open-and-shut, with a convincing statement from the young girl victim (who, in an extra bit of sordidness, is also a Kleinsasser). And there's DNA. But Cassie is dogged and meticulous, and a number of little details just don't check out. It turns out the Kleinsasser Klan has its corrupting influence all through Lochsa County, and there just might be very good reasons why they want Blake to be out of the picture. As Cassie digs, she finds herself in increasing amounts of peril.

Meanwhile, Cassie's young son, Ben, is left alone with Cassie's hippie mother. They don't see eye to eye on anything, including diet. And Ben's having trouble fitting in at his Bozeman high school, but he finds a new girl, Erin, to be perhaps a kindred spirit.

I wouldn't be reading these Box books if I didn't think they were consistently great. This is no exception.

"Big Sky" is kind of a disappointment in comparison, by the way; I assume C.J. took the money and let the producers do what they wanted. Apparently there's a Joe Pickett series in the offing, and maybe that will be better. I hope it winds up on some service that I can access without shelling out yet another subscription fee.