Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review: Ice Cold

Summary: New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen’s relentless, inventive novels take readers on pulse-racing thrill rides that are as satisfying as they are heart-stopping. Now, in this edge-of-your-seat suspense novel, a mysteriously isolated town stands abandoned as a silent watcher waits. 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.

Days later, Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli receives the grim news that Maura’s charred body has been found in a mountain ravine. Shocked and grieving, Jane is determined to learn what happened to her friend. The investigation plunges Jane into the twisted history of Kingdom Come, where a gruesome discovery lies buried beneath the snow. As horrifying revelations come to light, Jane closes in on an enemy both powerful and merciless—and the chilling truth about Maura’s fate. -- Ballantine

It's evident to me this week that I've been living under some kind of rock! And it must be a huge rock because I've never read a book by Tess Gerritsen. Now there are loads of authors out there that I haven't discovered yet, but I have a feeling that few of them will impress me like Ms. Gerritsen. I just read her latest Rizzoli and Isles novel ICE COLD, and I thought it was just fantastic.

Of course, I'm familiar with the name Tess Gerritsen (and her blog), and I know she has written many bestselling books; but for some very strange reason, it took until now for me to pick one up. I started with the eight novel in the Rizzoli and Isles series (and that almost killed me because I like to read books in order), but I promise that ICE COLD can stand alone. That's not to say that I don't want to read all of the other books in the series (in fact, I'd like to drop everything and read them!), but I just wanted to share that you can start at the end of the series and still enjoy the book.

If ICE COLD is any indication, Ms. Gerritsen is a marvelous storyteller. I was absolutely hooked on this book from the first few pages and couldn't put it down. ICE COLD was a suspense/thriller and it definitely lived up what I expect from a really good book. Ms. Gerritsen wove a story that was interesting as well as frightening; and she managed to consistently surprise me with the twists and turns.

I really can't rave enough about the plot of this book! But I think what even impressed me more about this novel were the "little" things. These "little" things (which aren't really all that little) are what set this book apart from so many other suspense novels. First of all, Ms. Gerritsen is just a terrific writer. In addition to her storytelling skills, she also is wonderful at writing vivid descriptions of the scenes -- the setting of this novel was crucial to the overall "feel" of the book. Over and over again, I could picture this novel from the snowy roads to the deserted community. In fact, I actually felt cold while reading this book even though it was in the 90s when I read it!

I was also really impressed with Ms. Gerritsen's character development. Even without "knowing" the characters' backgrounds because I started with book 8, I still felt as if I got a true sense of them. I loved that both Rizzoli and Isles were very smart and strong women, yet also very authentic to me. Besides their demanding careers, both women also are involved in relationships which showed an entirely other dimension to their characters. Rizzoli and Isles seemed to have flaws and vulnerabilities; however, I thought these complexities just brought them to life for me and made them very human. I have to admit that I really liked both characters, and I am very anxious to learn what happens to them from here on out. (But I'm also very interested in their pasts.)

While I did love the entire book and the roller coaster ride it took me on, I have to say the ending definitely left me wanting more. Since the book is part of a series, I'm sure that was the author's intent, and it certainly worked for me. I love how the last few pages of the book left me wondering not only about Isles' and where she stands in her relationships, but it also left me curious about where the next book is heading with the teasers that the author left for the reader. I guess I'm pretty much saying that I can't wait for the next novel!

I am so excited that there are so many Tess Gerritsen books for me to explore. Besides the seven other books in the Rizzoli and Isles series, Ms. Gerritsen has also written five medical thrillers and some romance novels too. I'm not so sure how much I'd enjoy the romance books because I'm discovering that romance might not be my thing, but I am so happy to know that she has written so many books that do appeal to me!

Last week, a new television series based on the characters Rizzoli and Isles began on TNT. It stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, and I can totally see them as the characters. Unfortunately, I missed the very first episode, but I made sure to set my Tivo to catch all of them from now on.

I know many bloggers are already huge fans of Tess Gerritsen and her novels, but if you haven't discovered her for yourself, then you are certainly missing out!

Thanks to the Book Report Network for sending me a review copy of this novel.

Make sure you stop by tomorrow because Ms. Gerritsen has written a fantastic guest post, and I will also be giving away some copies of ICE COLD!


Amy said...

yay! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this book...I love Tess Gerritsen's books she's one of the best. I have yet to read this one, but I'm really looking forward to it.

I think you can watch the first episode of the show on TNT. It's different, but was better than I was expecting.

bermudaonion said...

I listened to one of Gerritsen's early books and I enjoyed it, but it had a little too much romance in it for me. It doesn't sound like this one does, so maybe her style has changed. I'll be back tomorrow.

Mary said...

Oh I'm glad you found her! I've been a big fan of hers for a while now. I haven't read "Ice Cold" yet though. Thanks for the review - I'll pick it up this weekend!

Anonymous said...

I've been a lover of Tess Gerritsen's books for a really long time. She started out writing romance - Harlequin style - and then moved into romantic suspense and just plain old suspense. I've loved the Rizzoli/Isles series. This one was great, in my opinion. I'm pleased that seems to be keeping the tension and validity of the characters, even 8 or 9 books into the series. Sometimes that is hard for an author.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I have never read her books. I saw there is a new tv series though, which looks good!

Beth F said...

I haven't read any of her books -- I don't think. But this does sound good. And I'm impressed that you enjoyed it even though you haven't read the earlier books. I'll have to see about catching the show.

Serena said...

I haven't read her books either, but I just love the tv show. Its so great! said...

I am a huge fan of Tess Gerritsen's