Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens
Publication Date: August 3rd 2021 by St. Martin's Press & Macmillan Audio
Audio Book Length: 11 hrs 7 min
Narrator: Angela Dawe, Brittany Pressley, Isabella Star LaBlanc
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible | Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Hailey must move in with her Aunt Lana and her police officer husband, Vaughn when her father dies in a car accident. Vaughn is well known and widely disliked in the town of Cold Creek as he uses his position as a police officer to bully and control. Hailey had the barrier of her father before his death, but that protection goes away now that he’s gone. The problems between Hailey and Vaughn are immediate, and just like her I’d have been counting the days until I turned eighteen!
Vaughn infuriated me! I can’t stand it when men go into policing because they crave power over others, but Vaugh was worse. Every time Hailey thinks of a way around his rules, to grab some independence he’s there to screw things up. It soon becomes apparent that he’s not just a control freak, male chauvinist, but he’s a dangerous man. Anyone stepping in to help Hailey risks his rath as well, so she decides to disappear until she’s of legal age.
While this is playing out, the mystery of missing and murdered women on the Cold Creek Highway becomes the central focus when another local woman, Amber, is found murdered. It’s speculated that Hailey’s own disappearance might be at the hands of the Cold Creek murderer, as well.
The murder of her sister, Amber, hits Beth hard, derailing her life plans. She travels to Cold Creek to find some closure and ends up staying to find out what happened to Amber, putting Beth in danger. She’s overcome by grief and sort of directionless, and at this point isn’t super concerned about safety. I was more than a little worried for her. Thankfully, she’s got a couple of people looking out for her. I was happy there was a bit of romance for Beth even though this story is mainly a mystery/thriller.
I started Dark Roads on the way back from vacation, and I couldn’t stop the story when I got home! I was on the edge of my seat guessing about what would happen next and wondering how it’d all turn out. It was a nail biter at times! I wanted justice for all these poor women, and I wanted Hailey to prevail! I was pleased to be surprised at the identity of the killer, but also happy that it didn’t completely come out of left field.
I was excited to get an audio copy because I’m already a fan of the performers. I love both Angela Dawe and Brittany Pressley’s narration, and each performed a main role: Beth and Hailey respectively. Isabella Star LeBlanc is a new to me narrator, but she had a lovely voice. I think she performed the prologue and epilogue, each leaving a lasting impression. The audio version is a total recommend!
The acclaimed and beloved author of Still Missing is back with her most breathtaking thriller yet.
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…