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Cody Hoyt Books In Order

Publication Order of Cody Hoyt Books

Back of Beyond (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Highway (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The name ‘Cody Hoyt’ refers to a series of mystery suspense novels written by C.J. Box. Cody Hoyt is also the name of the series protagonist.

+The Story

The Cody Hoyt books are often overshadowed by Joe Pickett, C.J. Box’s most popular series. However, fans of Joe Pickett often look favorably upon Cody Hoyt while people that have never heard of C.J. Box are normally convinced by the quality of the Cody Hoyt series to give the Joe Pickett series a chance.

Because Box is most commonly known for the Pickett series, it should not be so surprising to learn that Cody Hoyt is frequently compared to Joe Pickett. With most other authors of mystery suspense fiction, you would expect such comparisons to draw criticisms because of the similarities that tend to emerge between the protagonists of authors that have been in the business for a long time.

However, when it comes to Hoyt and Pickett, people spend more time talking about how starkly different they are from each other than they do about the few similarities that exist between them.

Cody Hoyt is first introduced to readers in ‘Back of Beyond’, the first novel in the series. By this point in time, Hoyt’s life has gone down the toilet and he is struggling to keep what’s left of his existence together.

For the most part, Cody Hoyt is a good cop. In fact, he is downright brilliant, and no one would ever dispute that fact. The lad has a knack for putting clues together and catching killers.

However, Hoyt is also a bit of a mess. Alcohol has always been his biggest weakness, and for a long time, he simply gave into it. The result was that he eventually lost his marriage. His wife married a much better man and Hoyt found that he didn’t get nearly as much time to see his son.

If that wasn’t bad enough, his investigative work began to suffer, not to mention his reputation. By the time the Cody Hoyt series begins, Hoyt is barely hanging on. He’s managed to stay sober but only by the thinnest of margins.

His work is his only salvation. When Hoyt is working a case, he has the capacity to lose himself in the minutiae of his work, and that normally helps him keep his addiction in check. However, that tactic doesn’t always work because Hoyt’s alcoholism means he isn’t always his supervisor’s first choice for a detective to deploy to a case.

The Cody Hoyt series is spent exploring Hoyt’s journey as he gambles his way through life, making mistakes, seeking redemption and doing his part to keep his community safe. Each book introduces a new antagonist to readers, typically a murderer that Hoyt must chase and catch.

While each book has one or two murders at its center, there is always a bigger scheme at play, some sort of conspiracy that Hoyt must unravel to keep more innocent lives from being harmed.

When Hoyt isn’t chasing bad guys, he’s struggling to get his life together. But the detective can not help but sabotage himself. Unlike Joe Pickett, Hoyt isn’t exactly a straight arrow.

There’s nothing he won’t do to get justice, and that includes breaking the law. Hoyt is bad-tempered, arrogant, and self-loathing. He smokes a little too much and his dedication to his job borders on the extreme.

But Hoyt isn’t all bad. He still loves his wife and he adores his son. He just doesn’t know how to get his life together to a point where he can positively influence them. The Cody Hoyt books normally have a very slow build up during which the author ratchets up the tension before finally breaking the dam and allowing his story to sprint towards the finish line at an unrelenting pace.

The author has been commended for his bone-chilling villains and complicated heroes. C.J. Box makes an effort to balance the crime and mystery of each Cody Hoyt novel with the personal drama of his characters.

The supporting cast includes Hoyt’s son, his girlfriend, her sister and the rookie cop that is charged with partnering up with Hoyt.

+The Author
C.J. Box was born in 1958 in Wyoming. A former student of the University of Denver from where he studied Mass Communications, Box experimented with a lot of careers, from working on a ranch to fishing and even dabbling in journalism with a newspaper and a radio station.

Box finally settled on the tourism and marketing business. His novels have won him numerous accolades, this including a Macavity and Gumshoe Award.

+Back of Beyond
Cody is for all intent and purpose a smart cop. But he isn’t necessarily a good one. You can blame that on his alcoholism. The bottle has driven him to make one too many foolish decisions.

But after two months, Cody thought he was finally making progress. All that changed when his AA sponsor was burned to death in a cabin. Everyone was quick to rule the death a suicide, certain that Hank Winters had fallen off the wagon and decided to end it all.

But Cody didn’t believe it. He knew how hard Hank had fought to maintain his sobriety and there was no way he would throw all that hard work out the window. A closer look reveals that foul play was indeed involved in Hank’s death, a discovery that pushes Cody to the edge as he begins to hunt down the people who took his friend’s life.

+The Highway
Things are not looking good for Cody Hoyt. Not only did he lose his job but he fell back into his addiction. He would have loved nothing better than to disappear into the bottle.

But when his son asks him for help, Cody Hoyt cannot help but get involved. His son’s girlfriend and her sister are missing. And when Hoyt looks into their disappearance, he realizes that they are not the first girls to vanish in that particular area.

Compelled by his former partner Cassie to investigate, Cody finds clues which convince him that there is a vicious killer on the lose, one that will require all the intelligence Cody has to catch.

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