After five patient years, Abigail Wyatt’s sisterly care is finally paying off: her younger brother, Derek, is abandoning his self-destructive lifestyle and seeking his parents’ forgiveness, thus ending the painful estrangement that wounded the whole family. But just as the pieces are falling into place for the prodigal’s return, a woman named Karen Brodie is murdered in a local park — and police name Derek as the prime suspect. Rather than standing firm and cementing the positive changes in his life, Derek succumbs to his cynical fears and runs from the law, leaving Abigail with her hands tied. Literally.
Derek’s raw panic convinces everyone that he’s the killer — everyone except Abigail, who doggedly maintains her brother’s innocence. With the help of Kyle, a charismatic new friend she might be falling for, Abigail digs deep into Karen Brodie’s troubled past in hopes of clearing Derek’s name. But as she uncovers a sinister plot of greed, envy, and vengeance, this loyal sister must face the painful truth that things — and people — are not always as they seem.
Cold As Ice by Stephanie Black
With each novel Stephanie writes, she keeps getting better. I absolutely love her cliffhangers, she is so good at what she does, as she grabs you from the start and pulls you in. Way to go, cousin!!!
Abigail Wyatt is beginning to believe her younger brother Derek has left his demons behind him by starting over. He's getting his career off to a good start by making jewelry with stones. When a dinner party with his parents fizzles after not talking with them in five years, he literally runs, leaving Abigail tied up. His pushy landlord is after the back rent Derek owes and when she is found murdered in a nearby park, he knows he will be the number one suspect.
When the police question Abigail about her brother, she gives up more information that puts her brother in a darker light. When it looks more and more like Derek is being setup, with the help of friends, she digs into the troubled murdered woman's past, finding a long ago murder that could tie-in to this murder.
When Abigail and her brother are injured, things begin to get suspicious and that she is getting too close to the truth and that someone will stop at nothing to silence her. Abigail even seeks for the murdered woman's mother to find out what was troubling her daughter and finds more than she bargains for.
I highly recommend this nail-biter of an ending. If you enjoy top-notch suspense, you'll love this newest from the queen of LDS suspense. As the title says, it reminds us of the hit song "Cold As Ice" throughout the novel.
I received my copy from Stephanie Black.
Published by: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Date Published: August 2010
I was impressed with Abigail's courage, her determination and her commitment to her brother, Derek. I absolutely loved Derek. He reminded me of people I know and my heart went out to him. I could totally see why he'd do the stupid things he did.
Several promising love interests for Abigail wound their way through the plot, all of whom are also possible murderers. While the potential romances were underplayed, they provided tension and interest as each of them may have had motive and opportunity.
I suspected the real bad guy early on in the book, but couldn't say for sure who it was until just a few pages before it was revealed. I like it when that happens.
I love Stephanie Black's books. I give Cold as Ice 4 solid stars.
Stephanie Black has once again crafted a fine mystery to keep you guessing until the very end. In Cold as Ice, you can expect to warm up to a host of characters, engage in some true to life dialogue and experience the panic of finding yourself in dire circumstances.
Abigail Wyatt is a good girl, a dutiful daughter, a loving sister. And then there’s her brother, Derek. He’s trying to get his life back on track after years of walking on the dark side. He sees a chance at reunification with his parents by having them over for dinner. Things do not go as planned, and in a matter of days, he finds that he has become the most likely suspect in a murder. Abigail is convinced of her brother’s innocence and does everything she can to clear his name. Unfortunately, this gets the attention of the real killer, who is quite miffed that she might tear down the framework he has built around Derek. She sees suspects everywhere – which one is out to get her brother?
We are introduced to the killer in the opening pages of the book, and yet, I was still surprised at the unmasking at the end. No one really sympathizes with the victim, which sort of makes everyone look like a suspect. I found myself engaged even with the minor characters, given enough development for me to feel like they were real. I wouldn’t mind sampling Ellie’s chocolates, or sharing a banana split with the eccentric Bob Chapman. I’ll go ahead and warn you – this is Ms. Black’s creepiest book yet. There are a couple of really intense (though not visceral) scenes of violence. The danger feels very real.
Overall, this is her best work yet. I can easily recommend this to any fan of the mystery genre. If you’re looking for a good clean read, this will take care of your sensibilities, too; though there are some gritty subjects discussed, they are handled with care.
`Review of Stephanie Black's Cold As Ice
By G. G. Vandagriff
I'm in a bit of a quandary here because absolutely anything I say about my reaction to this thriller would be a spoiler. So, I will reiterate what you already know when you open it. It's a thriller. It is by Stephanie Black, so you know it will be a real thriller. You know it will be beautifully written, without tired metaphors or overused similes. You know the characters will not be cardboard, but real people who succeed and fail. You know you will need to pay close attention (I actually e-mailed Steph and told her I thought there was a mistake, and she graciously e-mailed me back, reminding me of a fact that had escaped the sieve I call my brain.)
When you finish the book, you will wonder if she is going to win her third Whitney in a row!
Have fun with this one!