Cover image for Badlands / C.J. Box.
Badlands / C.J. Box.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin Paperbacks, 2016.

Physical Description:
369 pages ; 19 cm.
"Twelve-year-old Kyle Westergaard lives with his single mother in a small North Dakota town that was once just a stopover on the way to The Badlands but has recently boomed and become the heart of the Bakken Oil Field. Even though Kyle has been written off by everyone as "slow" and "learning disabled," he has dreams and deeper thoughts than anyone can imagine. He wants to get out of town, take care of his mother, and give them a better life. While delivering newspapers, he witnesses a car accident where a mysterious bundle flies out and he thinks his fortunes might have changed. The bundle is filled with money and packets of white powder. His mother's boyfriend, T-Lock, tells him it is worth hundreds of thousands and Kyle shouldn't tell anyone. He, T-Lock, will handle it for all of them. Cassie Dewell (The Highway) is the new deputy sheriff in town and the only female in the department. In this newly rich town where men outnumber women twenty-to-one, the police need all the help they can get. With oil comes money. With money comes drugs. With drugs comes violent gangs wanting to corner the market and infiltrate the cops. When the temperature drops to 30 below and a gang war heats up, Cassie realizes she may be in over her head. She becomes the target of someone who is leaving body parts where she is most likely to find them. As she is propelled on a collision course with a murderous enemy, she finds that the key to it all might come in the most unlikely form: an undersized twelve-year-old boy on a bike who keeps showing up where he doesn't belong. Badlands is a masterpiece of suspense, detailing family dynamics and small-town politics in a time and place like no other"-- Provided by publisher.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
BOX Paperback Adult Paperback Mystery / Suspense Fiction

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In C.J. Box's Badlands , the town of Grimstad used to be a place people came from but were never headed to. Now it's the oil capital of North Dakota. With oil comes money, with money comes drugs, and with drugs come the dirtiest criminals Grimstad's new deputy sheriff Cassie Dewell has ever encountered. . .

Twelve-year-old Kyle Westergaard dreams of getting out of Grimstad and leading a better life. Even though Kyle has been written off as a "slow" kid, he has dreams deeper than anyone can imagine. One day, while delivering newspapers, he witnesses a car accident and takes a mysterious bundle from the scene. Suddenly he's in possession of a lot of money--and packets of white powder--and Kyle can't help but wonder whether his luck has changed...for better or for worse.

"Suspenseful--you can't put it down.''-- Library Journal

When the temperature drops to 30 below and a gang war heats up, it's up to Cassie to help restore law and order. But is she in over her head? As she is propelled on a collision course with a murderous enemy, she finds that the key to it all might come in the most unlikely form: a boy on a bike named Kyle. He keeps showing up where he doesn't belong. And he seems to know something that Cassie does not about what lies beneath the surface of this small and troubled town...

"The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read."-- Kirkus Reviews

Author Notes

C. J. Box writes short stories and novels including the short story collection Shots Fired and the Joe Pickett series. His first stand-alone novel, Blue Heaven, won an Edgar Award for Best Novel of 2008. He has also received the Anthony Award, French Prix Calibre 38, Macavity Award, Gumshoe Award, and Barry Award. He co-owns an international tourism marketing firm with his wife. In 2008, he was awarded the "BIG WYO" Award from the Wyoming tourism industry. His titles often make the best seller list including Paradise Valley in 2017.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Edgar-winner Box's superior thriller carries some characters and themes over from his two previous standalones, The Highway and Back of Beyond, as investigator Cassie Dewell relocates to North Dakota's boomtown oil fields. In the subzero prairie, the little town of Grimstad is bursting with thousands of roughnecks, its infrastructure and law enforcement system are almost overwhelmed, and ruthless drug dealers are flocking to a wide-open new frontier. Cassie arrives just as a series of brutal murders signals a war between drug gangs-although the missing duffle bag the criminals are searching for has accidentally wound up in the hands of a special-needs paperboy, 12-year-old Kyle Westergaard. Kyle just wants a stable home life, but his possession of the bag full of drugs and money sets off more violent deaths. The story's brisk action is broken into alternating sections as Cassie and Kyle try to figure out what's going on and what they must do. The vulnerable boy's plight gives emotional heft to the criminal investigation, balancing cynicism with warm empathy. 250,000 first printing; author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

As tens of thousands of oil workers flood the rural prairie communities of western North Dakota, crime follows the money. Unhappy with her job in Montana, detective Cassie Dewell departs to become chief investigator at the Bakken County, ND, sheriff's office. She is temporarily sidetracked from pursuing the Lizard King, a serial killer last seen in the series launch, The Highway, when body parts of a known drug dealer show up all over town. Other people have vanished as well, and a handicapped 12-year-old may hold the key to solving the mysteries, including corruption in the sheriff's department itself. Box, a master at describing Western landscapes and personalities, is at his best with this thriller. The listener can almost smell the flares and hear the machinery rumble. Narrator January LaVoy delivers a well-paced performance, enjoyable despite several regional mispronunciations. Verdict This book can stand alone, but listeners will certainly want to return to the first book to follow Cassie, as compelling and determined a character as Box's Joe Pickett.-Janet Martin, Southern Pines P.L., NC © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.