Friday, October 14, 2016

Adirondack Murder Mystery Satisfying, But Not Remarkable

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for A Cold and Lonely Place, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from its predecessor, Learning to Swim.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Troy Chance, a freelance journalist in Lake Placid, New York, is shooting photos of the construction of an ice palace on Lake Saranac when she gets the shock of her life.  Encased in the ice is the body of a man she knows.  A 25-year-old itinerant, Tobin Winslow was an enigma, a man who kept his past hidden from his acquaintances in the small Adirondack town.  Assigned to write an in-depth feature about Winslow, Troy starts digging into the man's life and the mystery of his untimely death.  The more she uncovers, the clearer the message becomes—someone is determined to stop Troy's unofficial investigation.  Can Troy figure out what really happened to Tobin or will her corpse be the next to turn up under the ice? 

A Cold and Lonely Place, Susan J. Henry's second book starring Troy Chance, is a compelling mystery with a few twists I didn't see coming.  Troy is a likable enough heroine, she's just not a very exciting one.  A little romance or family drama would go a long way toward making her a more complex, intriguing character.  The novel's plot is, likewise, a bit too straightforward—I would have enjoyed more suspense, more tension, more nuance.  Overall, then, the novel is satisfying, but not remarkable.  

(Readalikes:  Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and references to the consumption of illegal drugs

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of A Cold and Lonely Place from the generous folks at Crown Publishing Group (a division of Penguin Random House).  Thank you!

4 comments:

  1. Well, that's depressing. Characters definitely need depth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, there needs to be more going on in their lives than just the main plot ... no one's life is that narrowly focused!

      Delete
  2. I read this book and the first one, Learning to Swim. I actually enjoyed them both very much, because I felt like they were "moody & atmospheric" reads for me, and sometimes I feel like that type of story. (I lived for awhile a few hours drive from Lake Placid and had stopped there for lunch when driving north one time. We got to see the outside of the stadium where some Olympic events were held).

    I agree it wasn't earth-shattering, but I did like both and would continue with her series :) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point -- the books are very moody and atmospheric. I've never been to that part of New York, but Henry's descriptions did make it come to life. I was just disappointed that there wasn't more depth to stories and characters in these novels. Glad you enjoyed them!

      Delete

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin