Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, Beth Rivers was held in a van for three days by her kidnapper. Just managing to escape the nightmare, Beth has barely healed from her injuries, but she knows she has to get away. Using the knowledge she's picked up in her research, she escapes to a small isolated town in Alaska that should be a safe place to hide until the police catch her kidnapper.
Beth soon finds out there's a learning curve to living in such an isolated spot. The hotel that looked so good on the internet is actually a halfway house. There are few places where cell phones will work or where you can use the internet. She's come ill-equipped for the climate, too-- and everyone seems to be running or hiding from something. Be that as it may, Beth feels safer there than she has since she was kidnapped.
As Beth gets to know the town's residents, her memories of her time in the van begin to return... and she learns that a local woman's death is thought to be a murder. Can this thriller writer avoid getting involved in discovering the truth?
This first book in a new series for author Paige Shelton is quite a departure from the cozies she's written, and for me, it's a roaring success. (For you fans of her Farmer's Market, Country Cooking School, Dangerous Type, and Scottish Bookshop mysteries, Thin Ice may not be a cozy, but it's still a mystery that you should be able to enjoy.) Shelton's descriptions of Alaska drew me right in, and I particularly loved a scene that involves a bear and a moose.
Benedict House-- the hotel that's actually a halfway house for women-- will be a rich source of characters for future books, and speaking of tales, the woman who runs the place is full of them all by herself.
We aren't given Beth's story all at once, and when pieces are doled out, that heightens both the suspense and the readers' worry for Beth's health. Beth isn't a complete stranger to small-town living. When she's asked to work on the town's "newspaper," she realizes that the building will be a good location for her own writing as well as a source of information, and if gossip is what she wants, the local knitting classes should be a rich vein to tap. However, I think she's forgotten how nosy villagers can be. Just how long will it be before everyone knows what really happened to her?
I'm looking forward to finding out as this series progresses. The story, the setting, and the characters all have me waiting impatiently for the next book. Hurry up, book two!
Thin Ice by Paige Shelton
Minotaur Books © 2019
eBook, 288 pages
Amateur Sleuth, #1 Alaska Wild mystery
Source: Net Galley