Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ray's Reviews: Heart of Ice by P.J. Parrish

"Heart of Ice" by P.J. Parrish (Pocket Books, $7.99) is easily one of the best crime novels of the year. 

It's the tenth paperback book in the popular series starring Louis Kincaid, a former Michigan cop who's now working as a private investigator in Florida.

He comes back to Michigan to bond with Lily, his 10-year-old daughter, whose existence he only recently discovered. He also plans on re-uniting with his girlfriend Joe Frye, now the sheriff of a northern Michigan town. 

Kincaid and Lily go to picturesque Mackinac Island and rent bicycles; Lily takes off ahead and discovers a long-deserted hunting lodge. Exploring it, she falls through the weakened floorboards, landing on a pile of bones. 

Kincaid rescues her, believes the bones are human and calls the local police to notify them of them grim discovery. The Police Chief arrives and takes over the case; soon an experienced, frustrated State Police investigator joins them. 

They believe that the bones may be those of young Julie Chapman, daughter of a wealthy industrialist, who went missing in 1969.

The situation gets a lot more complicated; Kincaid is asked to help in the puzzling case. His investigation only raises more questions, exploring many dark island and family secrets.

Even the Lansing State Journal is involved, initially breaking the story about the discovery of bones on the island. 

Strong characters abound, with clues coming from unexpected sources. Most of the novel is set in 1990; Kincaid and others face many unique challenges as tensions escalate. 

Emotions flare as more intriguing, unnerving discoveries are made; Parrish deftly maintains the pace throughout this highly entertaining mystery. There are many unexpected plot twists and surprises, including a memorable, jaw-dropping conclusion. 

Readers familiar with the Kincaid's earlier appearances in this exceptional, award-winning series will have a better understanding of background and his stressful emotional relationship with Frye. 
P.J. Parrish is the pseudonym of two sisters who were born and raised in Detroit.

Kristy Montee graduated from Eastern Michigan University and worked as a journalist for 25 years. She lives in Ft. Lauderdale FL, while her sister, Kelly Nichols resides in Elk Rapids MI. Kelly attended Northern Michigan University and worked in the gaming industry in a Native American casino.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, 
has reviewed crime novels and Michigan books since 1987.

Want to read this book?
Get your copy at Curious, a locally-owned independent business!

307 East Grand River Avenue, East Lansing

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on Sunday, March 3, 2013.

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