Sunday, May 4, 2014

Book Review: Zero-Degree Murder by M. L. Rowland

Just on Thanksgiving of all times, Gracie Kinkaid, a volunteer with the Timber Creek Search and Rescue, is called in for what seems like a standard rescue situation. Four hikers are missing and the weather is getting bad, a blizzard is coming and Gracie and her partner Steve try to find the missing before the weather gets really bad and lives may be in real danger. It turns out that the weather is not the primary reason lives may be in danger, a ruthless killer is on the loose and Gracie is fighting the unknown, while at the same time trying to keep the one hiker alive that may be the only witness to a murder. 

Gracie is full of spunk, which you probably need when you work mountain rescue. But this experience is definitely challenging, even for Gracie. While her partner is off seeking help, Gracie is left alone on the mountain with Rob; a hiker that seems to remember witnessing a murder, but does not remember much else. Is the killer still out there and trying to kill Rob as the sole witness?
I liked the premise of the book because just the setting alone is scary. Alone on a mountain, in a blizzard and not knowing whether a killer is out there that is trying to kill the person you are tasked with protecting. What could better generate a scenario of constant tension? And this is exactly what is happening with this book. From the moment we become aware of a possible killer out there, the tension never subsides. I caught myself trying to read one more page, hoping for the tension to be eased by someone else coming to Gracie’s aid, but not so. The tension just kept lingering and I really wanted to put the book down, but could not. Gracie being a woman really does not figure as much into the story as the reader may think because it becomes clear early on that Gracie is experienced, knowledgeable and tough. Where Gracie being a woman figures into the book are the hints of romance, but since this is not a romance book, the storyline really does not hinge on this aspect very much. 

Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of the book for review. The opinion expressed in this review are solely my own and have not been influenced by any third party. 

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