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  • Mandy McHugh

Dark Roads, Chevy Stevens: A Review

I wasn't familiar with Chevy Stevens before I saw this book, but after reading Dark Roads, this certainly won't be my last read. I was thrilled to be approved for the title and quickly dove in.

Cold Creek has been plagued by a serial killer for years. Young girls go missing, and their bodies are discovered days later. Memorials dot the dark highway, and as Hailey struggles to deal with the sudden death of her father, she finds her uncle--the sergeant of Cold Creek known as the Iceman to everyone in town--is displaying increasingly strange behavior toward her. When things reach a boiling point, she plans her escape. A year after her disappearance, Beth comes to Cold Creek to honor the victims of the serial killer--her sister, Amber, among them. Determined to get to the bottom of her sister's murder, Beth takes a job at the diner where Amber worked and forms connections with the townspeople--a decision that will prove monumental in more ways than one. I LOVED this book. Hailey's voice is everything I want in a narrator. Honest and clever, she uses her strengths to her advantage in order to save herself from a precarious situation. There's no superhero to rescue her. There's nothing to protect her from the danger. She relies on herself and does her best to be one step ahead. Her support system was endearing, and I loved Jonny and Amber. Their dialogue and chemistry added layers to the tension and, really, the heartbreaking reality in which they find themselves. I can't say enough good things about Wolf. He's a Very Good Boy who deserves all the steaks. Beth, too, had a compelling narrative voice that drove the plot and suspense. I liked that neither Hailey or Beth made the best decisions one hundred percent of the time. Their trial-and-error personalities made them feel more authentic. I flew through this book. I couldn't put it down, and when I had to, I was thinking about what I'd just read until I could pick it up again. There is violence and sexual assault, but it's not gratuitous. We're not shown the horrors of the crime without reason, and I appreciated that Stevens chose to highlight the victims' voices. She showed characters raw and struggling with grief, depression, PTSD, and addiction. This isn't a clean-cut story of resilience, but rather a mountain of trials and tribulations that emphasize how strength can be defined in a number of ways. 10/10 recommend this one. Overall, Dark Roads is a gritty, fast-paced, terrifying examination of the girls who go missing and the ones who are left behind. I'd recommend to anyone who loves dark thrillers, strong female protagonists, or survival narratives. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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