Saturday, October 30, 2010
"We did come from the land of ice and snow." Song Lyrics
Maura Isles, a Boston medical examiner, attends a conference in Wyoming. She meets an old friend from medical school and decides to join his companions on a ski trip.
In the heavy snow, they make a wrong turn and become stranded on a deserted road.
Seeking help, they arrive at a group of homes to find that they are all empty and look as if they have been recently deserted.
One of Marua's companions becomes seriously injured and another tries to ski back to a populated area to find help. When this person doesn't return, Maura feels that she is the best one left to attempt to get help.
Meanwhile, back in Boston, Maura's friend, Daniel Brophy, a Catholic priest that she has been seeing, becomes concerned when she doesn't arrive at the airport on her scheduled return trip. He tries calling her with no success and finally asks Maura's friend, Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, for help. Jane and her FBI husband, Gabriel, make some queries and feel worried enough that they travel to Wyoming to search for Maura.
The suspense mounts as the local police do not seem very forthcoming. Then there is a report of finding bodies of a man and woman burned beyond recognition but there is evidence that the woman may have been Maura.
The author provides exceptional pacing in this novel. As law enforcement personnel approach the suspected mastermind of a number of deaths, it is as if Tess Gerritsen was a composer and the reader listening to music such as the "1812 Overture," as the action reached its climax.
After this high point, the author provided an unforeseeable plot twist that succeeded in taking me by surprise. I found this part of the book anticlimactic and would have liked it just as well if the novel concluded prior to the plot twist. I also felt that the author had one major character being attributed to acts that would have been out of character with the way the character was described prior to that point. This change was difficult to accept.
The author did deal with a number of sensitive subjects in the novel such as cults and the manner in which women can be relegated to a lower role in cults. Gerritsen also provides information on the children born from cult families and how, sometimes they are neglected.
Overall, a fun read.