Book Title: ICE by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult fiction, 380 pages
Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Cozy
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: February 26, 2018
Tour dates: April 2 to 30, 2018
Content Rating: PG (It's a murder mystery and there is mild violence. Very mild swearing no F-bombs. No on-stage sex scenes.)
The clues for a close-to-the-heart missing person’s case heat up when Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on the cold case.
When Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappear, the court of public opinion finds young Chris Matheson guilty. Decades later, the retired FBI agent returns home to discover that the cloud of suspicion cast over him and his family has never lifted. With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on this cold case to uncover what had happened to Sandy and her baby and the clues are getting hot!
After having read several books from the three series of Carr's books on the market, I was excited to read ICE, the first book in the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery series with a whole new set of characters. As is Carr's trademark, ICE was a thrilling crime fiction novel filled with twists and turns, non-stop action, strong characters, and comical relief in the form of four-legged companions.
Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent in his forties and the new main character of the series, is a widower with three daughters aged 6, 10 and 13. He moves back in to live with his mother Doris on the family farm. Moving back to town brings back bad memories of when Chris was accused of killing pregnant Sally Lipton 24 years ago. Although he was acquitted, the town is still suspicious of him.
When a dead body shows up on his property, cold cases are dredged up, old flames are reignited and Chris is back in the game. He reluctantly joins a book club which turns out to be the secretive Geezer Squad, a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each with special investigative skills, who get together to solve unresolved cases. This is where Carr's skill at creating new and interesting characters comes into play. I just simply loved the Geezer Squad! The four men and two females were unique, razor smart, and used their mature status and life experience to keep active.
But I have to say that my favorite characters were Doris and Sterling. Doris isn't your average grandmother. She is a stylish mature woman, with wonderful mothering instincts and a sharp tongue that can bring grown men to their knees. She was awesome! And Sterling, the goofy German Shepherd, who was injured on duty as a law enforcement canine, just stole my heart and cracked me up with his antics. That casino scene was just priceless.
The only character that I felt was underdeveloped was Helen Clarke, Chris love interest. For some reason, I wasn't too fond of her, and she irked me. I think if her background had been explored a little more, I would have understood her better and connected with her more. Apart from this, Carr captures the essence of family beautifully with heartwarming scenes with Chris and his daughters. Furthermore, she used the external element of an ice storm to build conflict, suspense and the metaphorical feeling of cold cases.
ICE is a strong start to a new series that will have fans of Lauren Carr thrilled to be introduced to another set of memorable and entertaining characters. Carr's Geezer Squad has brought sexy back to mature men and women, whose kickass attitude and smarts sizzle as they melt the clues to those cold cases!
To read more reviews, please visit Lauren Carr's page on iRead Book Tours.