Tess Gerritsen’s newest Rizzoli and Isles book is a fantastic little suspense tale, but not exactly the Rizzoli and Isles I’d been expecting. Ice Cold is more Maura Isles-centric, more revealing of her life and current problems (dating a priest is a BIG problem) and of the decisions she’s going to have to make.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the shift in the focus, but generally Rizzoli and Isles get embroiled in a murder investigation and that’s where the focus stays. Usually some aspect of the murder or the investigation will rope in the personal problems our two heroines are currently facing. This usual approach went off the tracks in the first chapter and just stayed there.
While Isles is out of town attending a medical conference, and she’s trying to figure out how she and Father Daniel Brophy are going to manage their relationship, keep quiet, and somehow feel connected without one of them giving up something major, she hooks up with an old colleague and his family and friends.
I really enjoyed the road trip Gerritsen takes her readers on. Everything felt real, and the moment-by-moment progression of the conflicts within the group really deepened the characters. I understood and knew each of them, and when things turned bad, I cared about them and didn’t want them to be hurt.
Some of the action is gut-churning and nerve-wracking in a form that the author has never delivered before. Amazingly, the biggest threat I felt through the whole novel is from nature – from the Wyoming cold and desperate situation Isles and the others find themselves in, as well as the rising conflicts between the characters.
Rizzoli gets relegated to a yo-yo in the background of this story. She’s there, but she doesn’t get to do as much as I would have liked. Of course, there’s not the usual investigation in this one either, so she’s as much out of her depth as Isles is.