Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ICE by Linda Howard

Publisher: Ballantine Book
Date Published: November 2010
ISBN: 978-0-345-51720-3
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Tammy
Obtained via: publisher

When best selling thriller author Linda Howard first released ICE in hard cover about a year ago, the reviews were somewhat disappointing. Still, this reviewer almost picked it up time and time again. So when ICE made its way to paperback, there was no question that it would hit the “to be read” pile if only to see why such a talented author had received such poor reviews. Now, perhaps if this reader had dished out over twenty dollars for the book, this review would have been quite different. But paperback is so much more forgiving, is it not?

Gabriel McQueen is home in Maine on leave from the service to visit with his young son, when his father (and county-sheriff) sends him into a developing ice storm to warn a distant neighbor before it is too late to come down the mountain where her family home is located. Gabriel remembers Lolly (Lollipop) Helton as a spoiled snob of a girl from his childhood and would really rather be warm at his family’s home, than trudging up a mountain in the middle of a storm. But service to others has been instilled in Gabriel at a young age, so up the mountain he goes. After sliding off the road when the ice comes sooner than expected and having to hike in freezing weather to the Helton home, Gabriel finds Lolly is not alone. What appear to be two armed meth-addicts at the house have warning bells going off for Gabriel. What ensues is a battle against the elements and unrelenting killers, as Gabriel and Lolly find they must rely on each other if they are going to make it out of this frightening experience alive.

Despite less than flattering reviews for the hardcover edition of ICE, this reader really enjoyed this thriller from prolific author Linda Howard. At less than two hundred pages, this story could have been longer. The characters back story could have been more developed and the storyline might have been more complex. That said, the fear factor was kept high, the story was laden with suspense and moved along at breakneck speed. Add to that the pending ice storm and the crazed killers chasing Gabriel and Lolly, and the result is some very tense moments that kept this reader riveted. The only real disappointment for this reader is that the story ends, before the logistics of a happily ever after can be found for not only Gabriel and Lolly, but Gabriel’s son as well.

Though this reader can not justify the price of a hardcover book for ICE, as a paperback, this action packed romantic thriller was a great afternoon read in front of a nice warm and toasty fire.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

No comments: