Heart of Ice (Triple Threat Series #3)

Heart of Ice (Triple Threat Series #3)

by Lis Wiehl, April Henry


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401685041
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 01/02/2012
Series: Triple Threat Series , #3
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 662,177
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lis Wiehl is one of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers and highly regarded legal commentators. The former legal analyst for Fox News and the O’Reilly Factor, she has appeared regularly on Your World with Neil Cavuto, Lou Dobbs Tonight, and the Imus morning shows, and was the host of the Wiehl of Justice podcast. She is also a professor at New York Law School and a host on the Law & Crime live trial network. A former legal analyst and reporter for NBC News and NPR’s All Things Considered, she also served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s office and was a tenured professor of law at the University of Washington. Wiehl earned her JD from Harvard Law School and her MA in literature from the University of Queensland. She lives near New York City.

Read an Excerpt


A Triple Threat Novel

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Lis Wiehl and April Henry
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-707-1

Chapter One

Southwest Portland

The fuel sloshed inside the red metal gas can, splashing in rhythm with Joey Decicco's steps. As soon as the house at the end of the long driveway came into view, he stopped and took stock. Sprawling. Lots of windows. Two-story. Wooden. On the porch, two Adirondack chairs and a blue bike with training wheels. And no lights on, no car parked in front. Nobody home.

Just like Sissy—or Elizabeth, as she called herself now—had said.

Because Joey didn't want to kill anyone. He had already caused enough death.

The sun was setting, but the fading light was enough for what he needed to do. Joey walked to one corner, carefully tilted the can, and began to trace a line around the house, drawing an invisible noose. By the time he finished, it was almost fully dark. He trailed the last of the gasoline and diesel mixture back up along the driveway.

Pulling a silver Zippo from his overalls pocket, he flipped open the cover. The thin metallic clank gave him goose bumps, as it had every time since he was eleven.

It was showtime.

Fire made Joey powerful. He could cause ordinary, boring people to wake in fright. He made the alarms sound. Made the fire trucks race down the road, sirens wailing. And right behind them stampeded the television cameras and reporters. All of them eager to look upon his handiwork.

Without fire, Joey was nothing. People made a point of not looking at him. At the patchwork skin on his face and his scarred left hand. But fire drew their eyes like iron filings to a magnet. They couldn't not look at fire.

He flicked the lighter and then bent down, shielding the quivering blue flame with his free hand. With a whoosh, a line of fire raced away from him, advancing into the dark.

This was Joey's favorite part. The beginning. He had surprised the night. What was supposed to be dark was suddenly filled with light and heat.

The flames circled the house like a lasso, then began to crawl up the sides. Joey's hands were clenched, his eyes intent as he followed the spreading fire. But like a kid determined to spot the magician's sleight of hand, sometimes even Joey was surprised by the fire's next move. The blaze leapfrogged over the open porch and to the top story. A window shattered. With another whoosh, the curtains caught. For a second, Joey thought he saw a flicker of movement, but he told himself it was a trick of the shifting light. There was no one home. Sissy had promised.

Heat tightened his skin. He stood at the end of the driveway, ready to slip into the woods as soon as he heard the sirens. But with no nearby neighbors, they were slow in coming.

Then came a moment when Joey knew the fire would win. The sound had shifted, like an engine shifting to a higher gear. The flames must have found a new, more concentrated source of fuel. Cans of paint in the basement, a natural gas line—something. He sniffed but couldn't smell anything except the sweet smell of burning wood. But still, the crackle and hiss became a roar, building and echoing until it was a wall of noise.

Finally he heard sirens in the distance. He moved farther back into the trees. As soon as he saw the first fire truck, he would slip away and make his way back to his El Camino. Like a man leaving his lover before a long journey, Joey feasted his eyes on the fire's beauty—the undulating colors, the flickering flames licking the sky, and the great pillar of smoke visible only because it blocked out the evening's first stars.

Tomorrow morning the house would be nothing but charred timbers and puddles, gray ash still drifting through the air. And the fire would be dead.

But for now, it was alive. And so was Joey.

"Believe me, she deserves it," Elizabeth had told him through gritted teeth as she gave him a hand-drawn map and five hundred bucks. Joey had been desperate for cash. It wasn't easy to get a job when you looked like he did. Not when a background check—even something as simple as typing his name into Google—turned up the truth of who he was. What he had done. So he needed the money.

But the thing was, Joey thought, his heart beating wildly in his chest as he watched the hungry flames, he would have done this for free.

Chapter Two

New Seasons Market

Elizabeth was pushing her cart down the aisles of New Seasons when she saw it. A beautiful royal-blue silk scarf tucked into the corner of another cart. The color, she thought, would complement her auburn hair and blue eyes. The cart also held a block of cheddar cheese, a half dozen cans, several boxes of pasta, and a gallon of milk. Not that much different from the contents of Elizabeth's own cart.

She looked around. An observer might have thought she was scanning the shelves for the next item on her list. But Elizabeth never shopped with a list. And what she was looking for was the cart's owner.

But she was all alone in aisle seven.

Without a second's hesitation, Elizabeth walked away from her cart. She didn't even think of it as her cart anymore. It was the cart. Or a cart. In a few more steps, in the time it took for her to begin pushing the second cart, to put her big black purse on top of the blue scarf, Elizabeth had completely forgotten the first cart. She could have just taken the scarf, but the idea of eating the other woman's food made her feel powerful.

Having Joey burn down Sara's house had awakened something in Elizabeth. Something strong. Something hungry. Something she hadn't felt in a long time. She had built up a perfect life for herself, and she wasn't going to let anyone spoil it. Sara had needed to be punished.

Feeling bubbly, almost buoyant, Elizabeth pushed her new cart toward the front of the store. The skin between her shoulder blades tingled as she imagined a woman, much like herself, looking in bewilderment for her cart. Her cart with the beautiful blue scarf.

As she pushed the cart toward the line of registers, Elizabeth added a half dozen more items, like a dog marking its territory. A golden-yellow beeswax candle, a clear plastic box of sixteen perfectly iced cookies, a log of goat cheese rolled in silver-gray ash. New Seasons had a reputation for carrying the best organically grown produce, the finest cuts of pasture-raised meat, and cheeses and pastas imported from all over the world.

It also wasn't cheap.

But Elizabeth did not believe in treating herself cheaply.

At the register, she transferred her groceries to the black rubber conveyor belt with one hand. With the other, she bunched up the scarf and in one quick motion tucked it into her purse. When she lifted her head, she caught the clerk staring at her. His name tag said Clark S. His brows drew together as he saw her hand emerge from her purse.

Elizabeth realized he thought she was shoplifting.

He wasn't her type—a grocery checker would never be her type— but Elizabeth gave him her very best smile, and his face smoothed out. Well, smoothed out as much as it could. Clark S. was about twenty, with horrible acne, red pustules alternating with old cratered scars. His eyes were striking—large, a deep greenish-blue—but who would ever look past those scars to see them? Or to see how he flinched every time someone looked directly at him?

Elizabeth bet she was the first woman who had smiled at Clark in a long time. She felt him falling into her smile. His shoulders straightened, his hands moving mechanically as he slid each item past the scanner. He only had eyes for her.

She signed the check with a flourish and handed it over. Technically, it belonged to her old roommate, but Elizabeth had taken a book of checks from the bottom of the box before Korena moved out. With any luck it would be weeks before she noticed. And New Seasons prided itself on its friendly neighborhood atmosphere. An atmosphere that included accepting customers' checks and not asking to see any ID.

"Korena?" Clark asked, staring at the name on the check. "That's pretty."

Elizabeth let her eyes drop, as if in shyness. She was calculating what she could get from him. He was only a checker, but she had always had a sixth sense about people who might prove useful to her. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

"Why, that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day." She lifted her gaze and let her smile reach her eyes. Behind her she could hear a woman saying the words blue scarf, but Elizabeth didn't turn, didn't let her expression change even as a thrill raced down her spine. She didn't know if Clark heard it, or understood what it meant, but he didn't turn either.

As Clark placed her bags—half filled with items she hadn't chosen—into her cart, Elizabeth let her hand trail over all the impulse buys hanging on the wall behind her. Her fingers closed on an imported chocolate bar with hazelnuts. She slid it into her pocket just as he turned back to her. Giving Clark one last long smile, she began pushing her cart out the door.

By the time she reached her car, Elizabeth was already sucking the last of the chocolate bar from her fingers.

When she pulled out of the lot, she left the grocery cart right where she had unloaded it. Twenty feet from the cart corral.

Chapter Three

¿Por Qué No? Taqueria

Spring could be a tease in Portland. Today, she was in full flirt mode. Yellow daffodils edging a curb bobbed their heads in the light breeze. The sky was a pale blue, as if it had been washed clean and hung out to dry. Even here on North Mississippi Avenue, where telephone poles outnumbered trees, the birds were striving to outdo each other with trills and warbles.

Urban hipsters had turned this once-blighted area into a neighborhood filled with funky boutiques, tattoo parlors, and the city's hottest new restaurants. Most weren't special occasion places, but rather offered pizza, tapas, or breakfast all day. And even though the offerings were often modeled on Mexican or Filipino street food, they still used top-shelf ingredients like regional line-caught snapper or locally farmed organic greens.

Although the thermometer had barely broken sixty degrees, the open-air tables at ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria were crowded. Surrounded by colorful plates, sun-starved Portlanders people-watched, read newspapers and novels, pushed back sleeves to expose pale or tattooed arms, and in general sprawled like contented cats. Allison Pierce leaned back against the hot pink wall, but straightened up when she felt how it still held the chill of winter.

There were days when that was how Allison felt. Still a little cold inside.

"You okay, girl?" Nicole Hedges asked. She had an uncanny ability to read minds. "Too cold out here for you?"

"No, it feels good." Allison tilted her face up to the sun, listening to the driving beat of an old Clash song coming from inside the restaurant.

The waiter, a tall guy with a shaved head and a half dozen earrings, walked up with their drinks. "One Coke." He set the glass bottle, which the restaurant imported from Mexico, in front of Allison. "One iced tea"—this went to Nicole—"and one pomegranate martini." The last was for Cassidy Shaw, who rewarded him with a smile Allison thought her dentist could use as an advertisement.

"Hey, haven't I seen you on TV?" the waiter asked, prompting Cassidy to add a few more teeth.

"Channel Four," she said.

"That's it! The crime reporter." He pitched his voice like a TV anchor's. "'This is Cassidy Shaw, reporting live ...'"

"That's right." She ducked her head in a show of modesty. "Thanks so much for watching."

After giving her another starstruck smile, the waiter left. As Cassidy picked up her drink, Allison wondered if it would be comped. Probably. Cassidy had that effect on people. She also wondered if Channel Four had a policy against drinking during the middle of the day. Probably not. And even if it did, Cassidy wasn't a stickler for the rules. You didn't break the big stories without occasionally coloring outside the lines.

As a federal prosecutor, Allison would never drink during the workday. And no matter whether it was day, evening, or weekend, because she was an FBI agent, Nicole had to be fit and ready for duty at all times. She rarely drank more than a single glass of wine in the evening, and she carried her Glock to dinner, to the grocery store, and to her kid's third-grade play.

The waiter forgotten, Cassidy leaned forward and put her hand over Allison's. "So, are you feeling better?" Her nails were perfectly manicured, a contrast to Allison's, which were short and bare.

A few weeks ago Allison had miscarried, joining the imaginary club of Mothers Without Children. Only there was no color-coded ribbon to wear, no walkathon or T-shirt. Nobody talked about it. It was the kind of secret that women whispered to each other—if they said anything at all.

Allison had told only a few people, including Nicole and Cassidy. They understood, or at least they tried to, even though they came to it from different places. Nicole had a nine-year-old daughter and had never been married. Cassidy had had a string of boyfriends, but never talked about wanting kids.

The pain, the mess, the inexplicable shame—all of it was behind Allison now. Everything except the emotional aftermath. Maybe she wasn't meant to be a mother. Maybe it wasn't God's plan for her to have a kid. She was thirty-three, and every day she saw women a dozen years younger or even, occasionally, a dozen years older pushing a stroller. It seemed like any other woman—any girl—could have a baby as easy as pulling a letter from the mailbox.

Allison held out her hand, palm down, and wiggled it back and forth. "Some days I'm fine. Other days I wake up and wonder why I should bother to get out of bed."

"What happens then?" Nicole asked.

"Marshall brings me coffee, lets me talk about it, and doesn't try to tell me it happened for a reason."

Her husband believed, and most times Allison did, too, that they might not ever know why it happened. Just that it had, and that God could bring forth good out of bad, just as He had brought forth the flowers and the birds after what had seemed like an endless winter. On days like today, the deep sorrow lifted and Allison felt hope tugging on her sleeve. Now she offered up a silent prayer of thanks for her friends.

Fifteen years earlier, the three of them had graduated from Catlin Gabel, one of Portland's elite private schools. They had barely known each other then, although they had known of each other. Nicole had stood out by virtue of being one of the fewer than a half dozen African American students. Cassidy had been on the cheerleading squad. And Allison had captained the debate team.

At their ten-year high school reunion, they realized they all had something in common: crime. Cassidy covered it, Nicole investigated it, and Allison prosecuted it. At the time, Nicole was working for the Denver FBI field office, but not long afterward she was transferred to Portland. At Allison's suggestion the three women met for dinner, and a friendship began. They had half-jokingly christened themselves the Triple Threat Club in honor of the Triple Threat Chocolate Cake they had shared that day.

"Marshall's a keeper." Taking a sip of her drink, Nicole smiled her enigmatic, catlike smile.

Cassidy spoiled the effect by nudging her in the ribs. "You should know. How are things with Leif?"

But Nicole was not one to spill any details about her new relationship with a fellow special agent. Raising her eyebrows, she simply shrugged one shoulder and broadened her smile. Allison knew that might be all the answer they would ever get. Nic kept herself to herself.

The waiter set down their food, and the three women fell silent for a few minutes as they traded bites of crisp fish tacos, pork carnitas, and tingas made with spiced beef.

"So what's the latest on the Want Ad Killer?" Cassidy spoke around a mouthful of mango-and-cabbage salad. "Do you guys really think it's Colton Foley?"

A man had been attacking women who advertised "erotic massages" in the alternative paper. He would lure them to a hotel, where he tied them up and robbed them. And sometimes more. Three women had ended up dead—two in Portland and one in Vancouver, Washington. But the alleged culprit had been a shock. Even the judge was a little surprised when Allison brought him an arrest warrant to sign. Colton Foley was a medical student at Oregon Health Sciences University.


Excerpted from HEART OF ICE by LIS WIEHL APRIL HENRY Copyright © 2010 by Lis Wiehl and April Henry. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Heart of Ice 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
TheBookwormFairy More than 1 year ago
Heart of Ice was my very first Triple Threat Novel and I can honestly say I don't intend for it to be my last. While I do tend toward young adult books more often than not lately (as my TBR pile can attest), I love a good thriller, horror, or suspense novel as well, and Heart of Ice fit the suspense novel bill nicely. Lis Wiehl and April Henry hit the nail on the head with this novel - the Triple Threat Club, Cassidy, Allison, and Nicole are perfect characters and a great way to rival another famous group of women crime solvers - the famed Women's Murder Club created by James Patterson. With Federal prosecutor Allison, FBI Agent Nicole, and crime reporter Cassidy, the only thing missing is the coroner, but I found that the lack of the fourth member of the club didn't make a bit of difference and truthfully, while I love James Patterson, I've never been able to read any of the Women's Murder Club novels in their entirety like I was this novel. I have a favorite character already - Nicole. She is tough on the outside because that is expected of her as an FBI agent. But she's still a human being and when it comes right down to it, she is just like you and me. She gets scared, she cries, she is a human being. When she gets some life-altering news, you get a taste of just how real she is. I also love Allison and her interactions with her sister Lindsay. There is another story within a story there and it is wonderful. Cassidy and her problems are another matter entirely and frankly, I love that while they are not focused on in this novel, enough background is given to let the reader know that Cassidy is definitely not without her faults. Add to the mix a charismatic villain and you have the makings of a great novel. The stories within the story are ones that can be carried on to other novels in the series and do not detract from the general story itself. I can't wait to read another Triple Threat novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first thing I noticed about this novel is that it has quite a misleading cover--or at least, it fooled me into believing this was going to be a fantasy novel. My own fault for being so presumptive, heh. The second one was that, it was about three women who didn't seem that much different from the characters of James Patterson's Women's Murder Club. The third one is that it is a suspense/thriller novel that has already revealed who the culprit it right from the, well, blurb. To be honest, I didn't really have much faith in this book. But when I started reading it, I found it quite easy to get hooked. The writing was good, the phasing also made for more questions as I expected, given that the culprit's identity has already been revealed. It was different to get into the mind of the criminal and know who she really is from the get-go. But the things she did and the life she lived all still made for an interesting read. Not to mention the three women that make up the "Triple Threat Club". They have been depicted just as well, with their lives efficiently woven into the web of the plot, giving them both depth of personality, and the strength to move forward. The Christian aspect of the story was added in just the right mix without having it rub itself in your face. All in all, it was an unexpected good ride. I can't wait to read this author's next novels! I got a free electronic copy of this book from Booksneeze's review program.
jebsweetpea More than 1 year ago
At first glance, the crimes appear random. Arson. Theft. Fraud. Murder. But these are more than random crimes. They're moves in an increasingly deadly game. And the one element they have in common: a woman who is gorgeous, clever . . . and lethal. Elizabeth Avery has a winsome smile and flawless figure, but underneath is a heart of ice. She's a master manipulator, convincing strangers to do the unthinkable. And she orchestrates it all without getting too close. Until now. When Elizabeth ruthlessly disposes of an inquisitive young reporter, her crime catches the attention of Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce, FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, and crime reporter Cassidy Shaw. They know they're dealing with a cold-blooded murderer who could strike at any time. What they don't know is that they're already on a first-name basis with the killer. And one of them may be next on her list. The third book in A Triple Threat Novel series, this book can easily be a stand alone. This book is not for the faint of heart. Three women, who work very different careers, unite together to solve murder mysteries. With action packed drama, a fast paced storyline and some pretty graphic descriptions, this book will keep you flipping page by fast page. Some parts were a bit too descriptive and graphic for me, but overall, I would definitely read another of Lis and April's books. Book Sneeze sent me a complimentary copy of this to book to review for them. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The killer was just too creepy. It took me a long time to get through this book because of the disturbing storyline. The only reason I finished it was because I had purchased the book and didn't want to feel as if I had totally wasted my money. The Triple Threat Club members were not up to par; Cassidy was completely duped by the main character. The first two books in the series were excellent; this one makes me not want to read anything else by this author.
songbirdsue More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read in this series. It was a bit difficult for me to read because of how well it gets into the head of the psychopathic killer. She is a master manipulator using everyone she meets to accomplish her sinister plans. She covers her tracks well (luckily not enough in the end) and lures even the most unsuspecting victims into her web with her beauty and charm. There was quite a bit of violence with a lot of death. It was very well done. It is really a suspense crime novel. I did like the way the 3 triple threat club women work together to solve the crimes. I felt however that there was a large portion of the story that was left untold. I think it ended to abruptly.
shelleyg More than 1 year ago
I had a chance to read Heart of Ice by Lis Weihl, it is the second on in the series, and I have enjoyed the series so far however I did think this was more intense and a bit more creepy. It was fast moving and kept me on the egde of my seat. If you are into intense thrillers pick this one up. You will not be able to put it down. I got this book from booksneeze, so a thank you to them for another good read!
lpcoolgirl More than 1 year ago
This was a really fantastic novel! The mystery-even thought we were told the bad guy pretty much right from the get-go-was insidious, the lies, and the people-watching it required, well, it was well crafted, and such a wonderful book! Loved it! The characters all have their various issues going on at the start, like a sister who's made a lot of bad choices, to a lump, to volunteer who doesn't do her own work in making her path, she just takes Cassidy's path and tries to run her over. And as the book goes on, the conflicts rise and rise along with the plot, adding a more personal level to the book, seeing what they're dealing with in their personal lives, and what they're dealing with in their professional lives, and how in some cases, those 2 lives intertwine. The plot, and the way she planned everything, well, Elizabeth was very smart, and conniving, and the thing that made me hate her as a person, was that she thought that she deserved the money and attention instead of a 5 year old boy. That she deserved to take money from a tip at a restaurant, from a collection of money to buy a baby stroller. Well, she certainly deserved what she she got in the end! Yeah, this was a really great book! Check it out, it has great writing, characters, and a plot!
gmtn96 More than 1 year ago
This is my first book about criminology so I was excited for the arrival of the book. Let me tell you something I got kind of scared reading this book because this is actually the third book of the Triple Threat Series and I thought I might get lost between events, even so I gave it a try and let me tell you at first I got a little lost but then I just couldn’t put the book down. This is definitely an amazing/great/well written book. Now I can’t wait until I buy the first two Triple Threat books in the series. Bottom line… YES! I would recommend this book to you.
Novel_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Avery is a sociopath. She wants what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it. The Triple Threat ladies-Allison-federal prosecutor, Nicole-FBI agent, and Cassidy-news reporter-have no idea who Elizabeth really is and how she is playing everyone in her deadly "game." I loved the first two mysteries in this series. But this one was totally different. It read like a suspense novel, not a mystery. The Triple Threat ladies are there, and it was fun to read what was going on in their lives. But there was no mystery in this story for the reader. We knew who the criminal was from the start. And it was really tough to read her point of view scenes. They were powerfully written, but I just didn't want to. I guess I'm not so comfortable being inside the mind of a sociopath. I wanted to skim her parts but couldn't, because her scenes were the ones with the story in them, if that makes sense. So while I'm glad I read this book, because I love the Triple Threat ladies, it was a tough read and not my favorite way of telling a mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and the entire Triple Threat series. Loved the writing style and really felt like I knew the characters. Highly recommend. Best to read in order.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes. That would be preferrable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks Lis for writing books that are good, intriguing AND I'm not ashamed to read them. Thanks for keeping the language and situations clean. I love reading your books and am not afraid to recommend them to my friends. It goes to show you CAN write great books without sinking into bad language and sex.(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guys you ditched me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its ok.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of thei worst books i ever read! In addition the premise is stollen  from a Patterson series. The autlhoro should be ashamed. Stan Hwarchaizer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very good series-highly recommend -looking forward to the 4th book. Rated a definite 5 stars,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i have read a few of her books. always enjoyable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a waste of paper. This story lacked character development and a worthwhile storyline. I would not read any Lis Wiehl books ever again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ecellent read. Keeps you on your toes on how the Triple Threat Club, three best friends, are going to solve this intesive muder mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago