Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date of Publication: August 3rd, 2021
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Format Read: Unedited ARC
For decades, people have been warned about the Cold Creek Highway. Hitchhikers have vanished along it over the years, and women have been known to have their cars break down… and never be seen again. When Hailey McBride decides to run away from an unbearable living situation, she thinks that her outdoor skills will help her disappear into the Cold Creek wilderness, and she counts on people thinking that she was the victim of the killer.
One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek to attend a memorial for the victims of the highway, but it might as well be one week for the amount of pain that Beth is still dealing with after her sister, Amber, was murdered the previous summer. Beth has quit university, is lying to her parents, and popping pills like Tic Tacs. Maybe this will finally bring her peace.
When she gets a job at a local diner where Amber once worked, she connects with people who knew her sister. Beth wants to find who killed her sister and put her own life back together, but as she gets closer to the truth, she learns that there is more than one person lying in Cold Creek.
No one ever wakes up thinking, I’m going to die on a dark road tonight, but that’s the point, isn’t it?Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens
I am a big fan of psychological thrillers. Now, I love books, period, but reading psychological thrillers give me a rush. I like the feeling that I get when reading them. I like the butterflies in my stomach, the anxiety built up during the book, and the feeling at the end of the book.
Dark Roads is the story of two girls connected by death. Hailey and Beth. After a shocking discovery that makes her home life unbearable, Hailey disappears into the wilderness surrounding the small town of Cold Creek. A year later, Beth shows up, hoping to find peace in the town where her sister last lived. But there is a greater force at stake. Can Beth and Hailey expose what has been going on in Cold Creek? Or will the town, and the highway, live up to its reputation?
The plotline for Dark Roads was fast-paced. The flow of the book was choppy, but I think the author wanted it that way. There was a slight lag in the middle of the book before Beth discovered Hailey and a tiny little at the end. The author addressed the main storylines/plotlines, but she did not resolve the main one about the killings on the highway. Again, I do believe that the author wanted it that way.
Hailey was the first main character introduced in Dark Roads. When the book starts, her father had died in a car crash, and she was living with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. Hailey isn’t comfortable there. She is more at home with her best friend Jonny, racing dirtbikes and stealing parts to keep the bikes running. She is not allowed to ride her bike or hitchhike home because of a serial killer operating on the highway of Cold Creek. Things come to a head that summer when her uncle, Vaughn, starts acting suspiciously, and Hailey does a little investigating. What Hailey finds out during her investigation sends her deep into the forest for a year. Honestly, I would have done the same thing. She was in the crosshairs of a serial killer, and the only way to get away was to disappear.
Beth had come to Cold Creek to try and make peace with her sister’s death. She was a freaking mess, popping pills and drinking vodka while doing her investigation into Amber’s death. I was sure, during points in the book, that she was going to die. I also questioned her getting involved with Jonny. I questioned almost everything she did in this book. But, she did solve her sister’s death, and she brought down someone with that (and I wasn’t surprised at who it was).
When Hailey and Beth came together, the book did pick up the pace. The switching between their viewpoints was almost frantic. I loved that Hailey was virtually a ghost and that she was informing Thompson (the other cop) about what was going on. Her chemistry with Beth was terrific too. She had an instant rapport with her that I loved.
The author did a fantastic job writing the mystery angle of Dark Roads. I had zero clues about who the killer was. I thought it was someone else until that scene with Beth in her car. The reveal took me by surprise. There was another twist to that storyline that I saw coming, but it still surprised me.
The author did a fantastic job writing the mystery angle of Dark Roads. I had zero clues about who the killer was. I thought it was someone else until that scene with Beth in her car. The reveal of who it took me by surprise. There was another twist to that storyline that I saw coming, but it still surprised me.
I want to mention the author’s note at the end of the book. There was an explanation about the actual criminal case that the Cold Creek Highway was based off. She also addressed that indigenous women were more likely to be killed, and the murders were not given priority. That explanation made sense, and I understood why she chose not to have the other murders in the book solved.
Dark Roads was a fast-paced psychological thriller. The storyline was well written, and the characters were compelling.
I would recommend Dark Roads to anyone over the age of 21. There is violence and language. There are several graphic scenes of a woman being tortured and beaten. There are a couple of explicit scenes of police brutality. There are drugs and alcohol. There are scenes of a person taking pictures of women/underage girls without their knowledge.