A chance encounter with a stranger changes the life of reporter Britt Montero forever. The encounter is at Miami's morgue, where the unidentified stranger lies dead. His unusual old scars capture her curiosity-the dead man clearly had a tale to tell. This thief, who was accidentally electrocuted, may be the key that unlocks the long-sought secrets of a sensational cold murder mystery unsolved for more than fourteen years.
Sunny and Ricky, teenagers on a Christmas Eve first date, were abducted, a shocking crime that was never solved despite a gigantic manhunt, a huge reward, and an outraged community. Frustrated police called the lack of leads eerie. Unnatural. Against all the laws of homicide and human nature. Now Britt wants the story, and she isn't the only one seeking answers.
Sunny survived, the lone witness to that terrible night so long ago. But the reclusive Ice Maiden, now an artist and sculptor estranged from her wealthy family, is not talking and the killer's trail vanished long ago, like footprints in melting snow.
Cold Case Squad Sargeant Craig Burch wants the killer. But as the Miami News reporter and the veteran homicide cop investigate the old outrage, they learn that sometimes the cost of justice is too high.
When you start to turn over rocks, something ugly sometimes slithers out. Monstrous evil from the past emerges to overtake a whole new generation of innocent victims as deadly passions are reawakened and mortal fears resurface.
For Burch, whose elite unit breathes new life into cold murder cases, the investigation strikes too close to home, reigniting his own private obsessions. And Britt, in the wake of national tragedy, is haunted, both awake and asleep, by the persistent ghost of a doomed, lost girl, perhaps a warning of a new tragedy to come. Britt meets the Ice Maiden, nearly freezes to death, and then the trail heats up as the sins of the fathers begin to strike down the innocent. A stone-cold killer out of her past is stalking the Ice Maiden again. Nothing is what it seems. And the inferno is yet to come....
Edna Buchanan, a born storyteller, combines her trademark wit, grit, and tension in The Ice Maiden, a narrative alive with Miami's blistering heat and high-octane atmosphere.
Buchanan's alter ego, Miami crime reporter Britt Montero, returns as the protagonist of an eighth fast-paced detective thriller (after You Only Die Twice). The Miami police's cold case squad (which investigates long-unsolved crimes) catches a break when an electrocuted burglar proves to be a vital link in solving a 14-year-old murder. Two affluent teenagers on their first date were abducted, assaulted, shot and left for dead. Despite a massive reward and a multi-state manhunt, the police were never able to find the attackers. The girl, Sunny, survived and has become a reclusive sculptress unwilling to revisit the past. But the reopening of the case attracts the attention of some who are willing to kill again, and Sunny finds herself pulled back in. As always, Buchanan packs her tale with fascinating secondary story lines, including a baby trapped in a well, a friend involved in domestic violence and Britt's on-again/off-again romance with detective Kendall McDonald. The somber shadow of September 11 hangs in the air throughout (Britt is plagued by nightmares; McDonald volunteers at Ground Zero). In addition to clever plotting, Buchanan's strong suit is once again her empathy: she always focuses on the devastated family and friends who survive each murder victim. Few will guess the final triple-twist ending of this exceptionally dark and moving entry in a series that never fails to please. FYI:Buchanan recently won the George Polk Award for career achievement in journalism in addition to an earlier Pulitzer Prize for crime reporting.