Dark Roads

A Novel

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Pub Date 03 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 17 Aug 2021


“Chevy Stevens is a brilliant and unique talent and Dark Roads is an instant classic. My hat’s off to her.” — C. J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Long Range

"My favorite Chevy Stevens book since Still Missing...The suspense builds with every page, and the ending is a complete shocker."—Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of The Wife Between Us

"Aptly named, Dark Roads is deep, dark, and unsettling. From the opening page, it’s clear you’re in the hands of a master storyteller...With brilliant characterizations, tight plotting, and a setting bound to give you chills, this is Stevens's finest book to date. A tour de force mystery you do not want to miss."—J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Her Dark Lies

"Chevy Stevens is back and better than ever...Dark Roads is a chilling, pulse-pounding thriller that also tugs at the heartstrings. It's everything you've come to love from a master of the psych thriller genre!"— Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Mrs.

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…

“Chevy Stevens is a brilliant and unique talent and Dark Roads is an instant classic. My hat’s off to her.” — C. J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Long Range

"My favorite Chevy Stevens...

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Featured Reviews

Review originally published on https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/ on 12/3/20.

Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

Over the past year or so, I’ve wondered at random times, “What is Chevy Stevens up to, and when will she release a new book?” As a fan, you can imagine my delight when I saw that DARK ROADS was announced as her upcoming novel...and the result of her work is compelling.

Cold Creek Highway has been well known for decades. There have been countless warnings: Don’t hitchhike, don’t drive on the highway at night, and do your absolute best to avoid it altogether. Why? Because hitchhikers have disappeared and cars have broken down, and there are many women whose dead bodies were found near the highway...or never found at all.

Hailey McBride is well aware of the dangers of Cold Creek Highway, having been a resident of Cold Creek for all of her life. After her father dies, she ends up in a dreadful living situation. One thing leads to another, and she feels that her only way out is to disappear and use her outdoor skills to survive. She doesn’t predict that the town will think she is a victim of the serial killer hunting the highway. She also doesn’t predict the dangers she will land in.

Beth Chevalier visits Cold Creek to attend the annual memorial for the highway victims. She has a personal investment, as her sister was murdered a year ago. With her mind held captive with grief, she stays in town and gets to know the citizens, hoping to find out who killed her sister. Through the dark roads of the highway and the woods, she soon finds that nothing is as it seems, and not everybody should be trusted at first glance.

I have to say that this book didn’t go in the direction I thought it would. I was expecting a scary story with lots of creepy moments involving a serial killer. My brief disappointment didn’t last for long. Although not scary in the literal sense, this is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller that rarely gave me time to relax and breathe. It’s almost a survivalist story where tons of woodsy, outdoor elements come into play with the characters. It’s certainly never boring.

On top of that, there are 2.5 moments (from what I gathered) that are meant to surprise. I guessed 1.5 of them beforehand, but ALL of them are executed flawlessly. It’s also very atmospheric. I had no problem picturing everything in my mind, and I think that’s one of an author’s greatest attributes. It’s so hard to do it well, but Chevy Stevens succeeds.

All in all, while the story detours from truly frightening, it makes a right turn in the woods and captivates with intensity and intrigue. Oh, and there’s a canine costar to boot...who may very well be my favorite character.

The author’s note is also worth a read, as she was inspired by the Highway of Tears, a real situation with murdered or missing women in Northern British Columbia.

3.5 stars.

Sincere thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me an ARC. All opinions are my own.

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Based on a true story of women being killed on a road. A family tragedy and a young girl goes to live with her aunt and uncle. The uncle is a corrupt cop. A quick read. And one that I didn’t guess who the killer was.

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Chevy Stevens is one of those authors that really knows how to write an excellent, fast paced.thrilling read. This one was no exception! Absolutely a must read for fans of Chevy Stevens’s work. This book is one that will hook you from page one and keep your attention until the very last page! Lots of twisty turns, thrills, chills, and shocks! Mind blowing fun. Clear your schedule prior to starting, and do not start before bed, as it’s one you will not want to stop once you start! Highly, highly recommend!

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When St. Martin’s....[a publishing company that treats their readers with respect ... never pushy... yet ‘kindly’ suggests and reminds early-arc-readers of a book that we might like]....sent me an email about Chevy Steven’s new novel....
I said to myself, “Okay, why not?”.

My childhood close friend, absolutely loved “Still Missing”. I was a holdout...but read it ‘hoping’ to love it because she did. I didn’t love it....yet we’re still close friends 50 years later.
So....knowing this was an early - gifted read ( thanks again, St. Martin’s)...I mostly wanted to read it ‘for’ my friend, Lisi....(maybe I could give her a copy)....and maybe — just maybe - a second go around with Chevy Stevens might be great. My expectations were low — to neutral.
Well, surprise, surprise...this WAS GREAT.

So, it was quite amazing at my surprise at just how ‘much’ I enjoyed this book.
I went in blind; I didn’t even read the blurb....I simply knew the ‘name’ *Chevy Stevens*— her popularity - and my dislike of “Still Missing”- and my book-chatter-desire to chat with my friend, Lisi, later about it.

So....my first quick thoughts: I haven’t read other reviews yet but for those who absolutely loved “Still Missing”....”Dark Roads”....is NOT THAT BOOK...not one iota.
Readers may enjoy both books...but they ARE VERY DIFFERENT.
Or? Some of us that appreciate literary writing, scenes in nature, might like it more. ( as I did).
Those readers looking for a gripping - blood & guts scary as hell - frightening story might be disappointed.
“Dark Roads” was plus for me. I prefer this type of book, this type of story, this type of writing… That was not only ‘thriller’ driven.

I didn’t always think of this book as a psychological thriller— ( it is)... but there were other aspects I appreciated and enjoyed, equally as much.
I was thoroughly impressed with some gorgeous literary writing > really gorgeous sentences ....atmospheric....with wonderful scenes describing feelings of why the most beautiful things in nature are often the most dangerous at times.

I especially enjoyed the intimacy of Hailey McBride’s voice, her resilience, resourcefulness, awareness, and presence to the new life she found her life in.
I ached her her, rooted for her. I also trusted her intelligence, intuition, and her courageous capabilities.
Her inner voice allowed for deeper closeness and empathy.
“Why were you driving so fast on that logging road, Dad? You knew it was dangerous. We had plans. You and me against the world. That’s what you said.
Losing Mom to cancer was supposed to be the worst thing I ever had to go through, but now you’re gone too, and I don’t know how I’m going to make it. Why didn’t you get the will changed? How could you leave me with him?”—[uncle Vaughn]

Some readers might enjoy the suspenseful crime mystery most —trying to put the missing pieces together ....I wanted to know too....(but I didn’t even try to guess the conclusion)....I was enjoying the characters —their multi-personality traits—the dialogue, and the woods themselves.

When Hailey’s Dad hunted, he always thanked the land, using a First Nations prayer.
Hailey made one up of her own.
Clutching the elk necklace that her Dad gave her, she held it up to the sky she said,
“Thank you for the river. Thank you for this great mountain. Thank you for this bounty”.

“There wasn’t much of anything that Dad didn’t think could be fixed by spending time in the woods”

We meet Hailey’s felicitous furry feather companion name *Wolf*, a tail-wagger bowwow bitzer.
Hailey and Wolf were out in those woods. Hailey screamed .....
“Wolf!”....”No!” “Come”!
“Wolf danced back. The cougar swatted at him again. Hissing. My finger fumbled on the trigger. I focused, Wolf was in my shot. I raised the rifle to the sky and let off a round”.
“The cougar backed off a few feet—Wolf was still barking and baiting it. I let off another shot. The cougar took a hard left and leapt through the woods toward the river. Wolf followed”.
“They we’re gone, crashing through the thick ferns and bushes, the tangle of underbrush. Branches closed after them. I raced toward where I last seen Wolf, scrambling over rocks and through shrubs and that tour at my hair, my clothes, my skin. Panting, I broke out of the words and found myself standing high above the river. I scanned the trees, trying to hear Wolf over the rushing falls. Where was he? Then I saw a flash of black and spotted him in the distance”.
“He was chasing the cougar across an old fir tree hanging over the water”.
Hailey ran after Wolf
Wolf got hurt, but was going to be okay.
As for Hailey..... and other young women we meet in this novel, missing and or murdered....we really are not sure until the end.

Part II begins with the voice of a a new character, Beth Chevalier.

The author tells us ( we feel her ruthless compassion)....that this entire story (a relocated location), was inspired by from the national crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in British Columbia.
“The Highway of Tears” refers to a 724 km length of Yellowhead highway. Many cases today remain unsolved.

Thank you Netgalley, St. Martin’s Publising, ....and Kudos to Chevy Stevens > whose book is a rich mixture of adventure, tragedy, and sagacious humanity.

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A very good psychological thriller with a surprise ending. Many women have gone missing along a country highway Amber who has left her parents home moves to a small town near the highway and obtained a job at a truck stop on the highway. Amber starts up a relationship with Hailey, but soon Amber goes missing. Hailey’s father has recently died and she has been forced to live with her aunt and husband, Vaughn, who she does not like. Hailey is suspects Vaughn is up to no good and sneaks into his office. She finds pictures on his computer that make her think he is the killer. Hailey decides to run away and with the help of Jonny, her lifelong friend, escapes to the woods. Beth, Amber’s sister, moves to the town to find answers to her sister’s death. She ends up working at the same restaurant that her sister worked at. Hailey tells Jonny about her suspicions and they both try to find evidence against him. The author believably links Beth to Jonny, and eventually to Hailey. There is suspense throughout the novel with you anxious to read the next chapter. The author has both Hailey and Beth narrating different chapters. The only thing I found confusing was that the author didn’t separate different timeframes by putting in a divider ( a couple of spaces) with in the chapter. That’s why I’m giving it a 4.5 rather than a 5 stars. The characters are well developed and interesting. Overall it was a very good suspenseful story.

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Where do I even begin with this book? I’ve been a fan of Chevy Stevens from the very beginning. The depth in her characters never ceases to amaze me, and I am continually amazed by the twists she puts into her thrillers. I was thrilled to receive this ARC from NetGalley, but after reading the first chapter I knew that I was in for more than I had even hope for with this one! The creep factor was definitely raised in this one, and yet it was all very believable. Always know where you are heading, and always be prepared... these are just the tip of the iceberg. Bravo for this epic read, and then there’s Wolf. Wolf is what we all need in life.

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Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's press for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this novel, Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens.

This book sucked me in from the prologue and held me tight until long after I finished reading the Epilogue.

I became deeply invested in Hailey and her dog, Wolf as the story progresses. Beth, the secondary main character, did not appear until halfway through the book but I soon became deeply invested in her as well.

This book has everything you need to be creeped out: a mysterious highway where women are taken, some of their bodies are found later, others are never found; a creepy police officer and the deep, spooky woods.

This book will keep you reading until long past when you should have gone to bed since you will want to find out what happens.

This is only my second book by Chevy Stevens but i will definitely be going back to read her other books..

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I read my first Chevy Stevens book about three years ago and ended up reading the rest of them within a short amount of time. I was super excited to see that she had a new book coming out this year and it did not disappoint!
I started this book in the afternoon and ended up staying up until 2 a.m. to finish it. This story was gritty, atmospheric, and suspenseful. The setting being primarily woods, back roads, and trails made it perfectly creepy. The twist wasn’t shocking, but rather I read it with a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach because I saw it coming and didn’t want to believe it. In my opinion, that can be just as good as a big shock when it’s done the right way, and it definitely was. The ending was great and tied everything up just right.

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Oh my!! What a book. I just knew I had it all figured out, but boy was I wrong. I absolutely love books that take that unimaginable twist.
This is the first book I’ve read from this author, but I will be checking into some more.

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I received an advanced copy of this book from netgalley for my honest review!

An awesome story! It's a on the edge of your seat, turn the page faster, hair raising thriller!!! Just when you think you have the story figured out and you think you know who the killer is.... BAM.!!!!! The story takes a different direction and you're mind blown.. absolutely speechless because NO WAY did you see THAT ONE coming!!! You won't be able to stop reading this book!!! Its definitely one to share and discuss with your friends!!!
AWESOME job to the author!!!

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This book had me guessing until the reveal. I didn't see it coming. Really tough to decide who to trust in town. I would be a victim. I was surprised to hear it was based on a real highway.
I liked the different viewpoints in which the story is told. It was interesting to see how family members are affected. Beth was so determined. Hailey was relentless. I recommend this one.
Thank you, Netgalley for this opportunity to read this.

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Every novel publish Chevy Stevens novel is golden, and Dark Roads is no exception. Dark Roads' characters are fleshed out and made you feel, whether you loved or hated them, which is a hallmark of a Chevy Stevens novel. Dark Roads isn't just a thriller, but a tribute to those murdered or missing.

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Chevy Stevens can definitely weave a dark, creepy story. It made me scared to turn off the light after I was done reading. After reading this book you will never drive down a dark country road again without feeling like someone is out there watching you! I loved that Hailey was such a strong, young female character who stood up to people she knew were wrong. Cold Creek was a small town where young girls were mysteriously disappearing. This made the whole town paranoid. People wondered if they were abducted off the dark isolated highway by a trucker or maybe even someone that lived in town. Vaughn, the town police sergeant, was acting strangely and seemed to be following Hailey and her friends but said he was only trying to keep everyone safe. As another girl disappears and a body turns up the whole town is looking for answers. Who is taking these girls and why? No one knew who to trust and how to keep their loved ones safe. The ending was definitely a surprise that I didn't see coming. I would love to read more about these characters.

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Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.

Chevy Stevens is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read all her books and enjoyed them all. I think this one is my favorite!

Part thriller, part adventure, a book that caused me serious anxiety (but in a good way) and strong female characters I fell in love with. I didn’t want to put it down and leave them hanging, I felt so invested. Saying that, I think the character Wolf is the one who will stay with me.

And excellent story with an ending that satisfied. But, maybe someday we will meet these characters again?

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Chevy Stevens has done it again!!!! What an amazing storyteller. Cancel your plans for the day and read this book instead. I inhaled it in one sitting.

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Sooo many things about this book!! I love her books and was so excited to get this one from Netgalley. It was one of the best books I have read!! So many different twists and turns, family drama, secrets and lies, true friendship and a totally different twist that I did not see coming. This is a must read!!!!

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I have enjoyed all of Chevy Stevens' novel, but I think DARK ROADS is her best. Hailey and Beth are both rich characters and i could easily identify with both of them. But Stevens' ability to build tension is what made this such a great read. I actually felt uncomfortable reading the book at times because of my fear of what was to come. Just terrific!

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This book was too creepy to read at night and so creepy that I could not put it down! When Hailey loses her dad she has no options but to move in with her aunt and her husband, Vaughn, who is on the town’s police force. He is just inappropriate enough with her that she starts looking into his life. When she finds pictures and videos of girls on his computer, she makes a plan to leave. There’s a serial killer in the area that has been active recently. Where is Hailey? Has she fallen into the hands of the killer or is she stalking one herself! This was my guest read by this author and won’t be my last! I loved the gutsy characters and pace of the writing. Kudos!

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Chevy Steven’s never disappoints!! I loved this book and did NOT see the ending coming at all! I really enjoyed the different character perspectives and the multiple issues addressed in the plot.

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Absolutely friggin amazing! I couldn’t put this book down and devoured it two days after I got it. Two only because of the big Texas snowstorm that took out my power. This is another show stopping book. Prepare to clear your calendar to read it straight through. Wow!

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Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martins Press for this ARC of Dark Roads.

I’ve been waiting and waiting for something new from Chevy as I’ve read and loved everything she has written. I was so delighted to be offered this ARC before publication this summer.

Disappointed, I was not. The book begins with a teen named Hailey going off the grid with a stray dog she named Wolf to exit out of a bad living situation with her aunt and uncle. I hung on every word about how to survive in the woods in the snow and in the heat. How to have two places to hide, and all the necessary tools to survive.

Then another woman, Beth, comes to town to participate in the memorial that included her sister who had been murdered there in the town of Cold Creek. Other women had been killed there and nobody knew who had been the killer.

Various other characters take on minor rolls until the end – Jonny who helps Hailey out when she needs it, the police, the people who work at the diner, etc.

Stevens is a master at the thriller game. She knows how to plot, how to throw the reader off, and how to make the guilty the least suspected of all. I urge you to read this, pre order so you’ll have it in your hands before anyone else.

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Wow. My initial thought after finishing this book was that was one hell of a story.

I would describe it as it’s Where the Crawdads Sing meets The Lovely Bones.

I was hooked from the prologue. We’re launched straight into the haunting story of one of the highway killer’s victims. From there it doesn’t slow down for a second. There are all of these easily lovable and hate-able characters that form a tight knit community where everyone knows everything about you. One of my favorite parts, there is a dog that is just perfection. All of the characters are well written, you’ll feel like you know them.
The mystery will keep you on your toes. In fact, there are several mysteries within the larger mystery; some I didn’t even see coming.

In short, Dark Roads just has so much to offer. A broad cast of characters, first love, survival, an amazing dog, mystery, and twists. Chevy Stevens did an awesome job creating a world you can completely immerse yourself in for a few days. There were moments that had me on the edge of my seat. I did NOT see the ending coming.
Excellent writing, highly recommend.

Thank you NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!

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