Thin Ice by Paige Shelton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First in a new series set in Alaska from beloved cozy author Paige Shelton, Thin Ice will chill your bones.
Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she's got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailormade for her to hideout.
Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is, until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?
As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear—and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?
Thin Ice by Paige Shelton is a strong start to a new series, Alaska Wild Mysteries and has every element I look for in a good mystery book.
Beth Rivers is well-known author, Elizabeth Fairchild, who is now running for her life after a deranged fan kidnapped her and was never found. Levi Brooks held Beth captive for three days until she manages to fling herself from her captors moving van, causing a serious head injury. Levi is still at large and Beth decides to leave the hospital for the wilds of Alaska, in hopes that he won’t be able to find her there. Arriving by tiny plane in Benedict, Alaska, Beth starts to have flashbacks and memories of her capture; the trauma and details that she couldn’t quite recall before her abduction are now starting to come back to her. She’s barely holding on by a string and she’s all alone in a strange and remote town, with nothing but a few changes of clothes and her beloved antique Olympia typewriter. Beth soon finds out that the Benedict House, the grand-ish hotel she thought she was staying at is, in fact, a half-way house for non-violent, yet felonious women. When a murder occurs just before her arrival, Beth loses her short-lived sense of safety, wondering if her troubles may have followed her to Benedict.
I loved reading about the Alaskan setting of Thin Ice; from the town moose, Gladys, to the absolute remoteness and harshness of the area. The main characters had so much depth and personality; I look forward to seeing them again in her next book. Beth is a wonderful protagonist; she is smart, witty, and courageous, even though she doesn’t think so.
The plot moves quickly, had some great twists but it does leave a bit of a cliff-hanger. I’m actually ok with this because this is a series I’m going to read until the end and I feel like the cliff-hanger is one of necessity. Until the next book in the series!
A big thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Minotaur Books for allowing me to read and review this title.
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