Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen

Ice Cold (Rizzoli & Isles, Book #8)
by Tess Gerritsen
Release Date: June 29, 2010
2010 Center Point Publishing
Hardcover Edition; 322 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-60285-843-5
ASIN: B0036S4C5C
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Suspense
Source: From the TBR pile

4 / 5 Stars

In Wyoming for a medical conference, Boston medical examiner Maura Isles joins a group of friends on a spur-of-the-moment ski trip. But when their SUV stalls on a snow-choked mountain road, they’re stranded with no help in sight.

As night falls, the group seeks refuge from the blizzard in the remote village of Kingdom Come, where twelve eerily identical houses stand dark and abandoned. Something terrible has happened in Kingdom Come: Meals sit untouched on tables, cars are still parked in garages. The town’s previous residents seem to have vanished into thin air, but footprints in the snow betray the presence of someone who still lurks in the cold darkness—someone who is watching Maura and her friends.

My Thoughts
Ice Cold is the eight novel in the Rizzoli & Isles series and while perhaps not the best in this series, it was still gripping and riveting and I pretty much finished it in one sitting.  There is something compulsive about Ms. Gerritsen's writing and I always have difficulty putting her novels down; I have learned over the years to be careful when I read them or I really regret it in the morning.  I just can't handle those late nights like I used to and having to work on four hours sleep doesn't cut it anymore.

One of the things I have always enjoyed about these novels is the interesting bits of information I have picked up through the forensics evidence, forensic pathology, human dissection, human anatomy, toxicology reports, and other procedural reports that make up a lot of these novels.  I tend to be a bit of a trivia collector and as I studied anatomy, physiology, biology, kinesiology and so on in school, I always tend to find the information rather fascinating.  The plot in Ice Cold was a bit different than some of Ms. Gerritsen's other novels as Maura finds herself stranded with four other people in rural Wyoming on a wintry night and finds an isolated community that has vanished into thin air.  The setting was one of those where there was no heat, no electricity, no people, everyone gone without a trace, dead animals left behind, that I almost expected Jason to jump out at them with a chainsaw and go "Boo!" And I sort of set myself up for the countdown to see who was going to bite it first, yet when it did happen, it didn't happen the way that I expected, for which I was grateful as I didn't want the typical horror story genre jumping into Ms. Gerritsen's novels. While I did figure out who was responsible for the whole mess and mystery, I did not guess the reason nor did I guess the means which was kind of nice.  There were quite a few twists and turns along the way and I rather enjoy having things shaken up where I have to rethink my theories as information turns up.  I do have to admit that I was kind of hoping that the amputation would not have to happen as the way the author describes things, I was sure it would not be an easy thing to read.  It made my blood run cold to think about it!!

As for the characters, as always I enjoyed the deepening bonds between the main characters and definitely liked learning more about them.  Maura was definitely out of her element in this novel and it was nice to see her have to survive in an environment in which she was not in control of either herself or nature to see how she would react.  I have always wanted to see a more reckless Maura and hopefully we'll see more of this in her personality in the following books, although after this adventure she may never want to leave Boston again.  The author definitely has a way of showing the emotions and strengths and weaknesses in her characters, both through dialogue and description. I, for one, was not sure what I thought about her relationship with Daniel, and it came to a head in this novel; I am glad though, that the path to the decision was not made easily or lightly and Ms. Gerritsen didn't mince words or descriptions as Maura struggled with her decision with her relationship.  It was definitely nice to see all of the characters outside of their usual haunts though, as they were working with people with whom they were unfamiliar, in a world in which they were unfamiliar, and were unsure who to trust and who to believe.  It was quite interesting to see their reactions in such an environment and I would be interested to see it again.

Ice Cold caught me in its icy grip right from the beginning of the novel and I pretty much read it in one sitting.  Suspenseful and mysterious, I found the plot to be quite interesting, and was quite glad the author didn't succumb to popular movie temptations as this could so easily have gone awry; luckily, the novel stayed away from the stereotypical expectations and with many twists and turns, the outcome turned out to be quite different from what I expected. Compelling and disturbing, both in the plot and in its characters, Ice Cold tackles the issues of cults, relationships, friendships, loneliness, and revenge, but it also makes you wonder how well you really know about those people with whom you share your everyday life.   I am now looking forward to tackling The Silent Girl and Last to Die, books 9 and 10 respectively.


  1. Ohhhh your almost caught up, great stuff. I have only read the 1st two, loved Surgeon and not the 2nd but will continue, hoping at least one a year. How insane does that sound, 10 more years, lol, ok that is laughable.

    I have heard some are hit or miss though.

    1. I definitely have like some more than others, that is for sure. This one I enjoyed as the premise was somewhat different and I sort of like the "being stuck in a cabin" idea, pretty much since I was eight years old. I am always hesitant about reading series anyways, as you never know if the following books are going to be let-downs.

  2. This one is one of my least favorites from her. The SUrgeon will always be my favorite, but she's a good story teller for sure so I don't mind!