Thursday, May 30, 2013

Julie's Review: A Cold and Lonely Place

Summary: Freelance writer Troy Chance is snapping photos of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace when the ice-cutting machine machine falls silent. Encased in the ice is the shadowy outline of a body--a man she knows. One of her roommates falls under suspicion, and the media descends. Troy's assigned to write an in-depth feature on the dead man, who, it turns out, was the privileged son of a wealthy Connecticut family who had been playing at a blue collar life in this Adirondack village. And the deeper Troy digs into his life and mysterious death, the murkier things become. After the victim's sister comes to town and a string of disturbing incidents unfold, it's clear someone doesn't want the investigation to continue. Troy doesn't know who to trust, and what she ultimately finds out threatens to shatter the serenity of these mountain towns. She must decide which family secrets should be exposed, what truths should remain hidden, and how far her own loyalty can reach. A Cold and Lonely Place, the sequel to Learning to Swim, follows Troy on a powerful emotional journey as she discovers the damage left by long-hidden secrets, and catches a glimpse of what might have been.

Review: A Cold and Lonely Place is a slow, methodical mystery. I don't mean slow as in boring but as a well thought out plot. Ms. Henry has an very engaging way of pulling you in and keeping you engaged while unraveling the who, what and whys of Tobin's life.

Since I haven't read the first Troy Chance novel, I enjoyed getting to know her through this story. She has a very easy way about her. I liked how she tried not to let her loyalty get in her way of finding the facts in the story. As an outsider though, I did feel at times that she was perhaps getting too close to the victims girlfriend and his sister. I was very afraid that something was going to happen in the story to put those relationships at risk. Moreover, there were times that Troy was putting herself in danger.

I liked how throughout the novel Troy admits to having judged the victim based on limited information and through writing her articles about him discovered who he was. I enjoyed the interactions between the characters in the novel. The mystery drove the story but the characters definitely supported it and made me care about it. All of the characters were so well written that you felt that you knew them. I love books that can do that to me. I also loved how Ms. Henry painted the Adirondack areas. There were times when reading this book when I felt cold. I love atmospheric novels that can do that.

I will definitely be reading the first Troy Chance novel, Learning to Swim at some point. Plus I look forward to the next novel in the series.

 Final Take: 4/5



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