Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen

Author: Tess Gerritsen
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Series: Rizzoli & Isles #8
Format: Paperback
Genre: Mystery | Suspense

Back Cover Blurb

A spur-of-the-moment ski trip becomes a bone-chilling nightmare when a wrong turn leaves Boston medical examiner Maura Isles marooned—far from home and help—in the snowbound Wyoming mountains.

Seeking shelter from the cold, she and her traveling companions stumble upon Kingdom Come—a remote village of identical houses that seems to have become a ghost town overnight. But the abandoned hamlet has dark secrets to tell, and Maura’s party may not be as alone as they think.

Days later, word reaches Boston homicide cop Jane Rizzoli that Maura’s charred remains have been found at the scene of a car crash. But the shocking news leaves Jane with too many questions, and only one way to get answers. Determined to dig up the truth, she heads for the frozen desolation of Kingdom Come, where gruesome discoveries lie buried, and a ruthless enemy watches and waits.

What I Thought

I was stymied on my first attempt to read this Gerritsen ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ first outing by the 16-year jump in chapters that start the novel. Followed by the very unsympathetic characters Maura finds herself in company with when the story finally does start. Fortunately, believing I wasn’t in the mood to read this one, I set it aside and came back to it a few weeks later, when, with nothing better to read, I finally plunged in, and then? Found I couldn’t put the damn thing down.

After those initial chapters, and ploughing on through the rather limp and unlikely romance of Isles and priest, Daniel Brophy, we actually get to the gist of the story: What Maura finds when she stumbles—snow-bound—with companions in tow, into the eerily deserted make-shift village of, Kingdom Come.

This is a somewhat simple look into the goings-on of secluded polygamist enclaves ruled (usually) by an over-bearing and charismatic leader. Masked as a murder-mystery, we skim what lies beneath, and only glimpse what might be, as Doctor Maura Isles, and her expendable companions, fight for their very existence in a frozen storm-locked remote village. And those hellbent on keeping the secrets hidden beneath the winter snow, from being revealed to the world beyond.

The best part of the story comes in the last third of the novel when Maura, on the run from her unseen enemy, is aided in her struggle to survive by a young man, Rat, and his dog, Bear. )and what great names they are at that).

There is, of course, the Jane Rizzoli side of the story, with Jane and (a surprise for me) her husband—I watched season 1 of the TV series, which is why I bought the book—set out to find out what’s happened to the missing Maura, not believing for a second she’s dead. That half/side of the storytelling is, for the most part, okay, but seemed a little formulaic and I would have liked to have seen more. But then, I might have been spoiled with the witty banter I’ve enjoyed between the two leads, on the TV series.

Not to be put off, this does have its moments and, again, for the most part, is a decent read. If nothing better, give it a go, otherwise, what the TV show.

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