A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J. Henry
Crown, Feb. 5, 2013
Troy Chance book 2
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
A Cold and Lonely Place is the second book set in upstate New York that I’ve read in the last month, and I really liked it. Troy Chance is a freelance writer, formerly a sports reporter, living in Lake Placid, New York, a winter sports and tourist mecca. This particular investigation is into the freezing death of Tobin Winslow, an out-of-towner who dated one of Troy’s housemates. He is found frozen beneath a lake as a group is assembling the ice palace for the town’s annual Winter Carnival. It’s a harrowing scene, and it begins a harrowing investigation into a not-too-savory character. Troy writes a series of articles about Tobin, which is very different than reading about police officers investigating his death.
The strength of the story is how Troy humanizes the deceased Tobin. In lots of crime novels, it seems the criminals are the center of the story instead of the victims. As much of a loner as Troy is (she’s not from Lake Placid, she lives far from her family and people she cares about), she does grow closer to people during the course of the investigation as well as to Tobin, a person she didn’t know well while she was alive.
One minor quibble I have with the book is the large number of friends and relatives Troy has whom she uses as sounding boards during the course of the investigation. Those characters– her brother the police officer, a friend in the area, a police officer in Ottawa– are not very developed, but they may have been more developed in the first book of the series. In this book, she mostly contacts them by email or with brief visits, which is not enough time for me to really get to know them.
A Cold and Lonely Place is not a fast-paced or overly creepy thriller, and that’s exactly the kind of book I’m in the mood for. The characters at the center of the story, including the deceased Tobin, are interesting people in an interesting setting. I’ll definitely be checking out the first book in the series, Learning to Swim.