Dry Ice

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Psychopath Michael McClelland escapes from a mental hospital to exact revenge against those responsible for his confinement, including psychologist Alan Gregory and his family. McClelland has the upper hand-secrets from Alan's past that set a diabolical game in motion.

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Dry Ice

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Psychopath Michael McClelland escapes from a mental hospital to exact revenge against those responsible for his confinement, including psychologist Alan Gregory and his family. McClelland has the upper hand-secrets from Alan's past that set a diabolical game in motion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Guaranteed to keep readers glued to their seats." -Denver Post  "A_Hitchcockian nightmare." -Publishers Weekly  "White [ranks] with our century's top-notch thriller writers." -Denver Post
Publishers Weekly

Contemporary cerebral thrillers don't get much better than bestseller White's 15th novel (after Kill Me), which deftly combines complex characterization and intricate plotting. White's debut novel, Privileged Information, introduced Boulder, Colo., psychologist Alan Gregory and the clever but deadly Michael McClelland, a former meteorologist turned killer, whose rampage almost cost Gregory and his wife, Lauren, their lives. In this sequel, while Lauren, a local prosecutor, is absorbed in a sensitive grand jury probe that represents her best chance to demonstrate that she can function despite her MS, Gregory learns that McClelland has escaped from custody and has devised a devious, multilayered revenge scheme against everyone he holds responsible for his incarceration. Almost overnight, Gregory finds his routine existence turned into a Hitchcockian nightmare. Suspected of several murders, he can trust no one. Both established fans and those just now discovering the author's gifts will be turning pages late into the night. (Mar.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Psychologist Alan Gregory has a secret, and one of his former patients, a deranged killer, is taunting him with it. Michael McClelland—who made his first appearance in Privileged Information(1991)—has escaped a mental institution and is coming after Gregory's friends and family, including his wife, a deputy district attorney suffering from multiple sclerosis. Gregory becomes a suspect in a series of crimes ranging from the murder of a new patient on a neighbor's property to the disappearance of a star witness in his wife's current grand jury case. It soon becomes apparent that McClelland is not the only one trying to set the doctor up for a fall. But why? And what is the secret Gregory has never even shared with his own wife? New York Timesbest-selling author White (Kill Me) combines a tight storytelling style with a psychologist's eye, offering up plenty of twists. One caveat—readers new to the Alan Gregory novels may find themselves confused or distracted by the many references to past events, secondary characters, and parallel plot lines. An essential purchase for libraries owning previous titles in the series; optional for other collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ11/1/06.]
—Rebecca Vnuk
Paul Gray
Absorbing, intellectually challenging….A startlingly provocative novel….Like Henry James before him, Fowles has created rarified creatures free enough to take on the toughest question that life offers: how to live?
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
Daniel Martin is an old fashioned novel in the sense that one can enter and live in it….Mr. Fowles is up to something that is extremely important to him, and this alone is a source of considerable tension and excitement.
New York Times
John Gardner
A masterpiece of symbolically charged realism….Fowles is the only writer in English who has the power, range, knowledge, and wisdom of a Tolstoy or James.
Saturday Review
Kirkus Reviews
Yet another of Dr. Alan Gregory's ex-patients goes off the rails, threatening the Boulder psychologist, his wife and his best friend with exposure of their darkest secrets. Years ago, after meteorologist Michael McClelland raped and murdered his sister, Alan Gregory (Kill Me, 2006, etc.) testified in a hearing that sent McClelland to a psychiatric ward at Colorado State Hospital instead of the big house. Now McClelland's escaped at just the time things are starting to go seriously wrong in his old therapist's life. He's already estranged from his wife, MS-stricken deputy DA Lauren Crowder, because of her resistance to his pleas that they have another child and her involvement in the hunt for a missing witness she can't talk about. Their relationship turns frigid when the witness's handbag turns up in Alan's office and a police search ordered by his old buddy Det. Sam Purdy reveals blood on his shoe. The blood, Alan knows, is innocuous enough: It comes from his new patient Kol Cruz's nosebleed. Actually, he doesn't know squat. Cruz has disappeared, leaving behind a string of whoppers. McClelland has obviously staked out Alan's house. The cops offer Lauren protection from whoever might have killed her witness, but they obviously don't believe a word Alan says. At length, the trails of the two patients, past and present, cross in a way that makes it painfully clear, as Sam points out, that if Alan really is innocent of the spiraling web of criminal conspiracy, somebody's gone to an awful lot of trouble to make him the patsy. It would be unfair to reveal any of the surprises White detonates down the road with all the craft and patience of a suicide bomber. In a masterful stroke, he evenmanages to wring additional shock and suspense out of McClelland's surrender to the authorities. Not even an anticlimactic ending can wreck Alan's 15th, and finest, case.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451221001
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Series: Alan Gregory Series, #15
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 364,334
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen White
Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen novels, including Kill Me and Dry Ice. He lives in Colorado.
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    1. Hometown:
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 20, 1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Long Island, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., UC Berkeley, 1972; M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1975; Ph.D., 1979
    2. Website:

Reading Group Guide

New York Times bestselling author Stephen White brings back his popular character, psychologist Alan Gregory, to take on the sociopathic killer from White’s first novel—who, many years later, has walked away from a mental hospital, hungry for revenge.

It has been years since the mayhem was unleashed in Privileged Information. Now Michael McClelland, the brilliant, determined killer introduced in White’s first novel, has left the Colorado State Mental Hospital—and he’s coming after Alan Gregory’s family. The timing couldn’t be deadlier; like a cornered animal, Alan is in a deeply vulnerable state, facing severe doubts about his professional life, his marriage, and his own psyche. And McClelland holds the most powerful weapons of all: secrets from Alan’s past. Secrets Alan thought he had successfully buried years ago. Secrets not even his wife knows. Time is running out as Alan scrambles to outwit his nemesis while confronting each of his worst nightmares. His becomes a captivating psychological journey into the events that forever change us, and the relentless drumbeat of the past. Faithful readers of the series and newcomers alike will be mesmerized by this searing view into the revered doctor’s heart—with a haunting conclusion that will secure Dry Ice’s place as the most memorable of White’s novels.


Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of thirteen previous novels, including The Best Revenge and Missing Persons.


  • What are some examples of the secrets the characters in Dry Ice keep from one another? What purpose do these secrets serve in the novel?
  • Is it significant that the book’s first scene is that of a cemetery worker digging a grave?
  • Discuss Alan and Laura’s marriage. What is at the root of the strain between them?
  • When Sam Purdy comes to Alan’s office to seal it off as a crime scene, Alan invites him in, against his better judgment. Was Sam trying to take advantage if his friendship with Alan? What would you have done in this situation?
  • In Chapter 15, Alan muses, “Secrets usually aren’t as important as our motivation for keeping them.” What was his motivation for keeping his own secrets? Do you think he was right to hide his past, especially from his wife?
  • What was Michael McClelland’s motivation for constructing this elaborate revenge against Alan, Lauren, and Sam?
  • In many instances during Dry Ice, things are decidedly not what they appear to be. Name some examples of “illusions” in the book and how different characters were misled by them.
  • What was your first impression of Sam? Did it change as you read Dry Ice?
  • Did you believe that Nicole Cruz’s death was a suicide, or did you think it was murder? If the latter, what were some clues?
  • Discuss Kirsten Lord and her relationship with Alan, prior to becoming his lawyer. Do you think she was the appropriate person to act as his attorney? Why or why not?
  • What did you think of Lauren’s bombshell revelation in Chapter 57 Do you think her secret is what caused her to be so closed off to her husband? Why didn’t she reveal it sooner?
  • Did you suspect that Sam was involved in the death of Currie/J. Winter Brown?
  • “To chemists, sublimation is the process by which matter changes from a solid state to a vapor without first melting. ‘Think dry ice,’ she’d said.” [page 212] What does the book’s title mean, in this context?
  • Consider how many characters in Dry Ice have multiple identities. What role does this type of deception play in the novel?
  • Is Lauren’s illness—multiple sclerosis—a metaphor for something else in the book?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    Way too much angst

    I never before read a book by Stephen White. That should be an irrelevant piece of information, I think, but it matters in the case of this book.

    Throughout and to the very end of "Dry Ice" I felt I was missing critical information. Something happened, something very BIG happened in the lives of the principal characters of this book. It happened before this story began, but it influenced everything in this story. Unfortunately, whatever it was never really was explained. But it certainly caused a great deal of hand-wringing and soul-searching by our hero, Alan Gregory.

    Alan is good at this, you see, because he is a psychologist trained to find layers of meaning, innuendo, and ulterior motives in everything. Everything! Including everything that he himself says or thinks. Furthermore, because of professional ethics, he is tormented by his inability to share with anyone any of the hugely important things he is told by his clients. There can't even be any off-the-record pillow talk with his lovely wife, Lauren. Actually, there is a double ethical conflict here because most of his clients seem to be mixed up in some horrible criminal activity or other and Lauren happens to be an attorney in the district attorney's office. Very inconvenient, indeed.

    This is a story that goes on and on, with ever-deepening issues threatening the fabric of the Gregorys' domestic life, with no-one seemingly able to address them in any kind of adult fashion. These people simply can't talk to each other. I wanted to grab them both and knock their heads together.

    Finally, ultimately, it really all comes to nothing. The relationship issues are left hanging. The mystery is riddled with unanswered questions. But perhaps that is as it must be if one plans to write a sequel. Which Mr. White certainly must be planning. Oh, for heaven's sake. I'm really out of touch. I just checked on-line and, sure enough, Mr. White has already written a sequel. It's called "Dead Time." And further research has revealed that "Dry Ice" built on a story in a previous book: "Privileged Information." I obviously should have read that book first. How foolish of me to pick up a series book and thinking it might be able to stand on its own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2015

    Psycho hysteria.

    White creates the all time fear a husband can have when his family is is threatened by an escapee killer. Great interplay between Alan and Sam.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014


    Result 1 is main camp <br> Result 2 is this map <br> Result 3 are bios <br> Result 4 is the leaders den <br> Result 5 is the warriors den <br> Result 6 is the apprentices den <br> Result 7 is the elders den <br> Result 8 is the nursery <br> Result 9 is the medicine cat den <br> Result 10 is the training hollow <br> Result 11 is the hunting grounds <br> Result 12 is the lake <br> Result 13 is the boarder

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2012

    Great thriller reading!

    Very cleverly crafted plot. The reader soon finds himself caught up in this nail-biting psychological thriller!


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  • Posted November 12, 2011

    recommended for mystery readers

    Love Stephen Whites mysteries and his wit

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Dry Ice was an excellent read

    I have not read anything by Stephen White previously but found his writing style easy to read and held my interest right from the start. Will definitely look forward to reading more by him.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    Great book, appealing and interesting characters. Great story.

    Many a twist and mystery in this well written page turner. It held my interest up to the last word on the last page. Different and unpredictable. Don't miss this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2009

    Convoluted Plots, madcap mayhem

    Everything about this book was just slightly "off kilter" with Stephen Whites" style. Everything in the plot seemed too contrived, too perfect
    and really unreal. The fact that the Dr. was a suspect was too weird for any mystery fan. Added to the fact his long time neighbor gets killed off in Israel and the coincidences and happenings become too far
    fetched. However, the problems with his wife and his old patient presented a diversion from the rest of the problems embedded in the plot
    line. Really, how often does an assistant District attorney's spouse get accused of being implicit in murder. confutatus

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2008


    I thought this story was amazing. I couldn't put the book down.Once you hit the last 150 pages there's no way to stop. I read them all in one day. I would recommend this particular book to anyone who has read Stephen White's books or to anyone who likes writers such as James Patterson. Very interesting and a little twisted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2008

    Another Great Read

    Having read and enjoyed all the previous Alan Gregory series, I am once again totally entertained by this character and the situations he ends up in in Dry Ice. White's style of writing is like a fine wine or a well-prepared meal - you don't want to gulp- you want to savor each word. I enjoy White's characterization of Alan as being sooo human, humbling and full of faults - like the rest of us, but on the other hand very professional. His portrayal and development of supporting characters also adds to the richness of these books. I am looking forward to reading the next of White's work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2007

    Lost ?

    Stephen White has been my favorite author for years now. Unfortunately this book has dropped him into the basement. I have been trying to work my way through these pages for over a week. I ended up putting it aside to read 'The Two Minute Ride' by Robert Crais. It is a 9. Dry Ice is an appropriate title. If you leave dry ice out it evaporates. Just as the sizzle, that has been in his previous books, disappeared before it made it to the printing press. Disappointing and boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2007

    Wait for Paperback!

    The book starts fast and engrossing about a character from the past book Michael McClelland (who tried to kill Dr Gregorys & his wife in the previous novel), is out of a mental hospital and out for revenge. The book is a bit over narrative and really drags in the middle where i almost had to put it down as it seemed to be senseless rambling. The person who they find is Michaels accomplice, the character is hard to believe as the accomplice seems to show up all over the US and is an unbelievable plot. The ending wraps up all the loose ends and seems to make sense-its just having the patience to get to the end

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2007

    Author Stephen White Shakes up the Alan Gregory Series

    Stephen White fans, brace yourselves for a major shake-up in the Alan Gregory series. In his new novel of suspense, DRY ICE, White turns the lives of four of his tried-but-true characters upside down. Most fans will love the drama, but, alas, some fans may not be ready for the secrets that unfold and upset the series. If you love the darker side of the human personality, you will love this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2007

    Fabulous read!

    Stephen White's courage to take us into the complex reaches of his characters makes for an exciting, entertaining series of books that reaches a new zenith in Dry Ice! We see our favorite characters in new light and dimensions -- both heroic and flawed. It was a wonderful book and I can't wait for Stephen's next book! If you haven't read him yet, and love mysteries with complex characters that you grow to know and care about, get his book now!!! Have fun!

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    He's been named a Golden Voice and a Voice of the Century by AudioFile magazine. In addition, Dick Hill is the recipient of three Audie Awards. Need we say more? He's simply one of the topnotch voice artists working today, and he delivers a superb reading of Dry Ice as he assumes the persona of narrator Alan Gregory, clinical psychologist. Diane Estevez, Gregory's partner of long standing feels it is imperative that they renovate their waiting room. He doesn't agree but hasn't the strength to protest because we hear, 'Less than half a year before I'd watched a patient of mine killed on the six o'clock news. That event had shaken me to my core. I knew that my reaction to his death ¿ emotional withdrawal mostly, my downhill slide lubricated with too much ETOH ¿ was upsetting the equilibrium in my marriage. Controlling my decline felt beyond me. The timing wasn't ideal. My wife's MS, always a worry, was in a precarious phase. She and I each needed caretaking. Neither of us was in great shape to give it.' Actually, he needs a great deal more than caretaking - he needs protection because murderer Michael McClelland, whom we first met in Privileged Information, is out of the Colorado State Mental Hospital and on his way to Boulder to get Gregory's family. McClelland once almost cost Gregory and his wife, Lauren, their lives and it seems that he's about to rectify that oversight. Many will remember that McClelland is not only a killer but he's a highly intelligent one. It'll take every resource Gregory has to outsmart him, and right now Gregory is resource poor. To compound matters Lauren, a deputy DA, is currently involved in a case of great import to her. A witness disappears and that witness's purse is found in Gregory's office. This is White's 15th novel, and it's a corker as he blends suspense and psychological drama in a compelling tale that resurrects the past to challenge the present. - Gail Cooke

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong medical thriller

    One day Colorado psychologist Dr. Alan Gregory walks into the waiting room to see his patient Kol Cruz having a severe nosebleed that is all over the area. He doesn¿t have a handle on this patient and is not even sure that he intends to be his therapist. Alan has other people to worry about including his wife¿s worsening M.S. He also learns that the purse found in his office yard belongs to a missing person whom Michael¿s wife needs to testify at a grand jury. The police find blood on his shoe and he has become a person of interest even when he tries to explain it is Kol¿s blood. --- He tries to find him but he gave him a fake address, a false phone number and even perhaps a phony name. More trouble comes his way when Michael McClelland has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. Michael bears a grudge against Alan, which means the psychologist and his family aren¿t safe nor is his friend, Sam a police officer as somebody has blackmail material on him that could cost him his job. When a patient of Michael¿s is found dead in his neighbors home, the beleaguered therapist looks inside to find his patient Kol hanging from the rafters. It turns out Kol is Nicole and she was incarcerated on the same hospital as is someone Sam is friendly with. It is clear that the infamous trio is planning something horrific for Alan, his family and friend unless they can find a way to neutralize them. --- The first Alan Gregory medical thriller PRIVILEGED INFORMATION introduced Michael McClelland, which explains his vendetta. Now, Alan¿s dealings with Michael are a different set of dynamics as the hunter goes after his family. He is a villain readers will love to hate just like the protagonist is a good psychological who doesn¿t have all the answers, personally and professionally. Stephen White can always be counted on to write a strong medical thriller and DRY ICE is certainly that. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

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