First in a new series set in Alaska from beloved author Paige Shelton, Thin Ice will chill your bones.
Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she's got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.
Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is, until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?
As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear—and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?
This disappointing series launch from bestseller Shelton (the Scottish Bookshop mysteries) introduces Beth Rivers, a thriller author and recent kidnap victim, who flees from St. Louis to Benedict, Alaska, to hide from her attacker. With limited lodging available, Beth stays at Benedict House, a halfway house for criminals, where she does her best to acclimate herself to living with felons. When the Benedict police chief asks her to take over the village's newspaper, Beth's decision to write an article on the mysterious death of local Linda Rafferty lands her in the middle of a murder investigation. Her experience as a secretary for a small-town police department comes in handy. As she talks to a town full of potential suspects, she quickly realizes she's not the only one hiding from something in Benedict. Too many unresolved subplots overshadow the intriguing setup and distinctive setting. In the end, Beth's reason for moving to Alaska proves more interesting than the mystery behind Rafferty's death.
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An intriguing new mystery!
Thin Ice by Paige Shelton is an intriguing new mystery. Beth Rivers is her real name, but most people know her as Elizabeth Fairchild, a best selling author. After escaping from a passionate fan, Beth decides to disappear into the Alaskan wilderness. After a search online, Beth picks Benedict, Alaska. Beth soon discovers that she is not the first person to have selected this remote town as a hiding place. Beth arrives to find one of the residents has died and Sheriff Grilson Samuels suspects foul play. Beth is given the unpaid job of running the local “newspaper” as well as being a consultant to Gril. As Beth delves into the victim’s life, memories of the three days held captive surface. As you can tell, there are multiple storylines in Thin Ice. I like the unique characters that live in Benedict. Each one of them has their own reason for being in this isolated town which means there is a lot of fodder for future books. It will be interesting learning about each of these individuals. I am especially curious about Donner Montgomery’s story (the park ranger). Viola runs Benedict House (sounds like an elegant hotel) which Beth discovers is a halfway house for parolees. Viola reminds me of a female Indiana Jones with her hat and ever present gun. I am not a fan of Beth’s mother. She is a woman with issues of her own and the last thing Beth needs in her life. The mystery surrounding the death of Linda Rafferty was complex along with kidnapping of Beth. Only one of them is solved by the end of the book. Beth was on edge throughout the story which is understandable. The poor woman has been through a terrible ordeal and the man who caused it is still on the loose. Beth is also in a new town where a murder just took place and the residents tend to be secretive. I like how Donner takes the time to make sure Beth is equipped for the harsh weather and gives her rules to follow (she needs them). I enjoyed Paige’s descriptions of the Alaskan landscape which she brought alive with her vivid word imagery. I would also envision the characters especially Beth with her vivid scar. The only disappointment is not knowing how long we must wait for the next book in the Alaska Wild Mysteries. Thin Ice is a suspenseful mystery novel with the cruel climate, a mysterious murder, a crazed captor, close mouthed citizens, and missing memories.
Time to Visit Alaska
Being greeted into Benedict, Alaska by Gladys the moose was only the beginning to a fantastic new series! I’m thrilled I was able to read this one early, but boy is it hard to think about waiting for the second one...
Paige Shelton has bypassed my expectations on this new mystery series. I love her cozy mysteries, particularly the Scottish Bookshop Mystery Series, but her execution into the realm outside of cozy, is flawless. Her characters, locations, and quotable dialogue are on point. I only wish it hadn’t stopped at 275 pages.
Beth Rivers is an extremely likable character and definitely not just a victim. She is a survivor who is intelligent beyond her years. The relationships from her past that are intertwined perfectly into her present, keep me wanting to dig more and more into her life. This book has only scratched the surface of who exactly is Beth Rivers and what else is in her past memories? Only time will tell, but the new friendships she’s acquired in Alaska are bound to keep things interesting!
As the quirky Orin Capshaw says, “That’s what friendship and love are all about, right? Being grateful for it while you have it because it can disappear one heartbeat later.” (pg 141-142)