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Friday, June 18, 2010

Reviewing Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen

While on a medical conference trip in Wyoming, Maura Isles, a medical examiner from Boston, meets up with an old friend from med school. On the spur of the moment, she joins him, his daughter and two other friends on a ski trip. On the way to the ski lodge, they take a wrong turn and end up stuck on a little used road in the mountains just as a blizzard begins. On foot, they find a small road and follow it to a snug little village, nestled in a valley, high among the peaks. Named Kingdom Come, the twelve identical little houses are cold and empty, places set at the table, with congealed food on the stoves, cars in the garage, as if the residents have merely stepped outside for a moment and will be right back. One of the group is badly injured in an accident and when Maura’s friend disappears on his attempt to get help, she has no choice but to brave the elements herself.

Soon after, Jane Rizzoli, a Boston homicide detective and good friend of Maura is stunned by the news that Maura’s charred body has been found in the mountains of Wyoming. Jane is compelled to discover how Maura died, and her investigation uncovers the secrets of Kingdom Come and the powerful and charismatic leader behind the group.

Ice Cold is Tess Gerritsen’s eighth book in the Rizzoli and Isles series. Again…huh? Who knew? I mean, I love Tess Gerritsen, and I’ve read at least half of her novels, and a couple of the Rizzoli and Isles books. But when I looked her up on my favorite website, fantasticfiction, I found out I had missed five of the series. Oh great, even more books to add to the ever expanding teetering tower of books to be read. (Alliteration can be fun.) It sort of defeats the purpose of reading a book from the stack if I end up adding five more when I finish it. I figure the last two books I’ve read have actually added nineteen more books to the pile. Sigh..I’m going to have to live to be 150 and keep my eyesight to get all these books read that I want to read.

But, I digress. (Shocker, huh?)

With a new tv show based on the Rizzoli/Isles books, coming on the heels of Ice Cold’s publication, I was skeptical about this book. It seems to me that some authors frequently stop writing novels when they find a bit of success on screen. (i.e. John Grisham, whose books The Firm and A Time to Kill were terrific, and then he cranks out screenplays pretending to be novels in The Pelican Brief and The Client.)

Oops, I digress again.

Focusing here, as I said before I rudely interrupted myself, I was skeptical. Luckily for us readers, Gerritsen hasn’t decided it would be easier to adapt her book to the screen if she simple wrote it that way from the beginning. Ice Cold is a good read, timely and with enough attention to detail to give the reader the certainty that the author has researched her subject. The author succeeded in surprising me in the “whodunit” portion of the book, which is something I always appreciate. This book will work fine as a stand-alone novel and new readers won’t have any problem getting up to speed with the characters. The author manages to let us know the back-stories in a few succinct lines, and doesn’t waste our time with long drawn out histories.

I really liked how the author isn’t the least bit squeamish about offing characters. I find it a bit annoying when, at the end of the book, people who really shouldn’t have survived are still alive and kicking, sometimes with the most fantastical explanation as to how they survived. Realism sometimes demands that the author know when the cute puppy, or the kid, or the hero/heroine really can’t survive this one. (Going for obscure references here, because I don’t want to write a spoiler.) I’m sure it gives the writer a twinge to see to someone’s demise, especially when convention would require said person/critters survival, but it’s good to see an author with enough intestinal fortitude to croak when necessary.

Would I recommend? Absolutely. If you like the genre, and I do, Ice Cold is a good read. Now..on to the rest of the pile……

My rating:

(Review copy provided by LibraryThings Early Reviewer Program)


CJ said...

Is that the new series with the two women leads - looks like one is a cop the other an ME? I've been thinking about checking it out.

The book does sound interesting.


bermudaonion said...

Glad you enjoyed this one. I've read one Gerritsen book and it was pretty good.

Mystica said...

I read my first book of this author a few days ago (Still Missing). this also looks good. Thanks for highlighting.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming Maura isn't dead? Tell me if she is!