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Verdict This disappointing sequel to Henry’s Agatha Award–winning Learning To Swim weakens as the story line progresses, with too little conflict and too many “good guys” among the characters. Lacking the suspense found in her previous novel, this may be too innocuous for most mystery fans although the book’s strong sense of place may attract some readers. [See Prepub Alert, 8/20/12.]—Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Posted June 1, 2013
Writer delves into a mysterious death and reveals fascinating characters and families in an adirondack town. The people and their emotions ring true in this well-written novel.
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Posted January 26, 2014
Posted December 16, 2013
I’ve always liked mysteries involving journalists because they’re instinctive investigators without having the professional label of a private or police detective. The first Troy Chance book has been on my TBRR (To Be Read Radar) for quite a while and I was delighted to get a chance to read this one. My excitement was not misplaced.
First, let me mention one of my favorite fictional climates—cold. I say fictional because I hate cold in real life. Central Virginia gets cold enough, thank you, and I’ll never move further north. Visit, yes, but never move. I suppose my liking of it in books is because I can enjoy the ambience without the agony but it’s also because it can put the characters in such climatic peril that you wouldn’t find in, say, my town. So, I’m drawn to books like A Cold and Lonely Place because I’m immediately pulled in by knowing the cold is certainly going to play a part. In this case, as in a few others I’ve liked, the cold is itself a character.
I also like Ms. Henry‘s style in throwing the reader into the story from the get-go. On the very first page of Chapter 1, we know something is terribly wrong and the tension rarely lets up from then till the end. Troy has to walk a fine line between natural bias in favor of her housemate and the straightforward, honest study of the man found in the ice. She can’t allow agendas, hers or anyone else’s, to get in the way.
Unfortunately, Troy’s in-depth investigation leads her into the crosshairs of someone who wants her to stop before she digs too far, learning things that are meant to be kept secret. Along the way, the young man, Tobin, is revealed to be a very different person behind the playboy facade and she’ll also learn much about herself and the choices she has to make. Friendship, loyalty, truth—all will be tested.
I did a fair amount of shivering while I read A Cold and Lonely Place and it wasn’t just because of the deep-winter Adirondacks. Ms. Henry caused a few shivers, too, with the literally bonechilling mystery of the dead man in the ice and with all the emotions she evoked while Troy and other people all around her faced things that sometimes are better left hidden. To say that this is a haunting story is to only scratch the surface and I am now a fan of Sara J. Henry.
Posted October 21, 2013
Sanarac Lake in the Adirondacks is a place where snow and ice accommodate many winter sports, and tourists who just want a fun winter retreat. It's a place so cold that cars drive over frozen lakes in the winter, and tears freeze on you face before they can fall off. Troy Chance is a freelance journalist who lives in her home with numerous roommates who do their own thing, and that suits her just fine!
Troy is sent to cover the set up of the Winter Carnival, where an Ice Palace is being built from carved out slabs of ice from the lake. As she's snapping pictures, see finds herself looking into the frozen face of, Tobin, one of her roommate's boyfriends. Did he die by accident, suicide, or murder? The local newspaper editor wants Troy to write a series of articles on Tobin's life. Troy had not liked Tobin before his death, and she wasn't exactly sure how she felt about him as she learned about his childhood, family, and recent friends. But for sure, she learned a great deal about traumas, kindnesses, and more about this run away playboy than she could have imagined.
Not being overly fond of media reporting in general, I found this book fascinating as much for the journalistic investigating and reports, as I did for the mystery. Both good and bad sides of reporting facts and interpretations of facts really developed the mystery for me. I especially appreciated Troy's take on her decision making---"Sometimes letting the truth out let's people heal, and sometimes it makes things worse. And you couldn't really know which, until you did it, and sometimes only later."
This is Troy's second adventure. Though not necessary to read the first before this one, there are references to LEARNING TO SWIM in this book that would be spoilers if you choose to read the first book later----and the first book was an excellent multi-award winner that I would highly recommend reading first. Sara Henry captures character and atmosphere excellently. Even in my warm house, I felt frosted while reading these books. I was also surprised to find myself in some of the same dilemmas as Troy in deciding how I might report a situation. Definitely more than just your average mystery!
Posted July 3, 2013
Posted March 9, 2013
This was a good book. It just didn't make me want to keep reading on and on. Had an interesting plot. Just sometimes rambling. Good way to spend and hour.
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Posted March 25, 2013
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Posted August 5, 2013
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