My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I always enjoy this series and these characters, and Ice Cold is no exception. Medical examiner Maura Isles takes a much needed breather from her relationship with Daniel Brophy, who is struggling over the choice to remain a priest or commit to Maura. She’s off to Wyoming for a conference, and whom should she meet but a friend from med school. Maura decides to accompany him on an impulsive cross country ski trip, but things go terribly wrong, and she’s soon fighting for her life against a constellation of formidable threats. Back in the east, Maura’s friend Jane Rizzoli becomes worried when she fails to return, and she and her FBI agent husband travel to Wyoming to track Maura down. Tragically, it seems likely, though not certain, that Maura has died in a fiery accident.
Author Gerritsen takes on the hot button topic of religious cults in this mystery, building in plenty of predicaments, dilemmas, and obstacles, not to mention the disappearance of an entire village. All is not what it seems, and Gerritsen, planting surprising yet logical twists, admirably resists settling for obvious outcomes in each of the several plot lines. Gerritsen’s a fluid writer, whose stories are much more than formulaic police procedurals Both of her protagonists have grown with experience, developing self awareness both personally and professionally. Readers who are not familiar with earlier entries may want to check those out before jumping into Ice Cold, which can stand on its own but is much better when the reader has prior knowledge of these women.