An estimated forty women have been killed or gone missing on the The Highway of Tears in British Columbia, Canada. Stevens' book takes place in a fictionalized town and on a fictionalized highway.
Hailey is a young woman in Cold Creek. Her father has died and she now lives with her aunt, whose new husband is a cop in town. If you want frightening and downright evil look no further than Sergeant Vaughan. Stevens has created such a creepy character in him. My skin crawled as I read his scenes.
I liked Hailey right away, her love of nature, her friend Jonny and her feisty nature. But why oh why, did she not tell her aunt, the RCMP or someone about Vaughan! So, yeah you guessed it - something bad happens - and she goes on the run. (Gentle readers, this is a good time to mention that there are numerous trigger situations in this book.)
The second half of the book is recounted in Beth's voice. She's the sister of another young woman that went missing. I didn't like her as much as Hailey, who is younger, but more mature. It was while reading Beth's pov that I wondered if Dark Roads had been written as a YA novel. I found Beth's actions, reactions and emotions to be quite juvenile. And the rapidity of her relationship with Hailey's best friend Jonny seemed a bit unbelievable to me. There is a fourth character that I adored - Wolf the dog. Loved him and his huffing.
The third half of the book alternates between Hailey and Beth as the tension and the danger ramps up. The pragmatic reader in me questioned some of Vaughan's actions and the fact that he keeps getting away with stuff. But it most certainly adds to the suspense. Stevens throws in a nice twist at the end alongside some truly nail biting scenes.
The prologue and epilogue were thoughtful and respectful to those who have gone missing and/or been found.
Dark Roads did keep turning pages, eager to see what would happen next. And just hoping that justice prevails in the end.