This book was one of those which I started but never continued. Most of the times, those books come out as duds but not this one. I nearly cursed myself for not having read this one before when I had started. Nevertheless, I am glad I have now.
The Girl in the Ice is a pure crime investigation thriller. When Angela Douglas, a young girl from a rich family, is found brutally murdered and buried under ice, Detective Erika Foster is called on scene to lead. Erika returns from a break, after an encounter went wrong killing 5 of her own team including her husband. Plagued with guilt, Erika struggles to keep her emotions in control as she takes on this investigation. The crime scene is dotted with loads of forensic clues which questions a lot about Angela’s character. Erika faces restriction from questioning the Douglas family because of their grand connections with top level government. Jumping protocol, instinctive decisions and reckless sleuthing forces Marsh, Erika’s boss, to suspend her from the investigation. But with the help of her team, Erika continues her investigation leading her finally to the murderer. It’s really very difficult to say more about the story as that would fade the thrilling element of the book. So I wouldn’t go more into the details. All the supporting characters had different shades building suspicions in our minds.
Erika Foster, our protagonist, is a very interesting and strong character. I have always had my reservations reading woman detectives but this is the first one I thoroughly enjoyed. Erika’s pain and guilt are beautifully expressed by the author. I could easily connect to her. She is recuperating from the loss of her husband and wants to get her life back on track, but does she actually want to? That’s the dilemma she is in. She doesn’t have any motivating factor in life. Her work- she doesn’t trust herself anymore. She doubts her every action. She doesn’t have a proper place to live, doesn’t eat or sleep her well. Somehow, this state of Erika is almost similar to many other lead detectives we have on TV or books. A tragedy hit detective. Yet, Erika’s life and emotions are more authentic. I, as a reader, was definitely able to sympathize her and in a way wanted her to move on. Probably it’s because she is not an extraordinary detective. She is no Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes or Poirot. She is an on-field officer who follows the clues and finds where it leads. She is definitely the reason behind the success of this book.
Apart from the protagonist, there were some really great, endearing moments which added a lot of feelings to the story. First and foremost would be the relationship between Erika and her father-in-law, Edward. Probably there were just 3 or 4 conversations between them but that was sufficient for Erika to realize she does have someone to care for her. Edward is a sweet, caring man who in spite of losing his son understands Erika’s state of mind. I am hoping to see more of them in the other books. Second is the bonding between Erika and Kate (Detective Constable). Erika finds a friend in her and the concern and respect Kate has for Erika is very warming to read.
The procedures and protocols police need to follow, which ultimately hinders their progress is very real.
The Girl in the Ice is a complete package- both thrilling and emotional. It had been a long time I was completely satisfied with a crime thriller. Highly recommended.