Blue Heaven

Author: 
C.J. Box
Blue Heaven is a fast-paced thriller by C.J. Box and is a stand-alone from his Joe Pickett series. Annie and William, a 12 and 10 year-old sister and brother, leave their house to go fishing after a fight with their Mom over her low-life boyfriend. Sadly for them, they witness four men murder someone and are spotted by one of the killers.  Their nightmare begins.
 
The two, led by a determined and strong Annie, evade the killers and find refuge at a loner ranchers' home.  The rancher, Jess Rawlins, is having his own problems and he provides a safe haven for them and also wants to find out who the killers are. It turns out that the men are retired cops from L.A. who are bound together by a large robbery they pulled off in L.A. and not even two children are safe from them.
 
This is a suspenseful and fast paced-mystery and it reminds me of the classic movie Night of the Hunter.  It has a great setting and Annie and Jess are well developed characters and the bad guys are really bad.

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