A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J Henry.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Freelance writer Troy Chance is snapping photos of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace when the ice-cutting machine falls silent. Encased in the ice is the shadowy outline of a body–a man she knows. One of her roommates falls under suspicion, and the media descends. Troy’s assigned to write an in-depth feature on the dead man, who, it turns out, was the privileged son of a wealthy Connecticut family who had been playing at a blue collar life in this Adirondack village. And the deeper Troy digs into his life and mysterious death, the murkier things become. After the victim’s sister comes to town and a string of disturbing incidents unfold, it’s clear someone doesn’t want the investigation to continue. Troy doesn’t know who to trust, and what she ultimately finds out threatens to shatter the serenity of these mountain towns. She must decide which family secrets should be exposed, what truths should remain hidden, and how far her own loyalty can reach.
A Cold and Lonely Place, the sequel to Learning to Swim, follows Troy on a powerful emotional journey as she discovers the damage left by long-hidden secrets, and catches a glimpse of what might have been.
I thought the premise of the novel was rather intriguing and I enjoyed the overall mystery at the center of the plot. I enjoyed Troy’s character although I did not read the first novel (which you should do prior to reading this one; it will help understand her characterization better). We were introduced to reoccurring characters from the first novel, and new characters. Overall, I did like the novel, but I thought the story would focus more on Troy and her roommate trying to uncover what happened, and not on Troy and the sister of the man that dies.
I found the pace of the novel a little slow and the ending was predictable from the beginning, although the ‘surprise’ at the end was a totally surprise (I am not giving it away). The emotional level was okay, I did not feel overly emotional towards Tobin’s death, but did start to feel bad as you learn more about his up-bringing and his own demons.
I would recommend the novel to others, but suggest reading the first novel prior.