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It seemed like a simple job. Ex-cop Frank Harper is back in Cooper's Mill to spend time with his daughter and grandson, but a bone-chilling winter has settled over the small Ohio town. When a local woman asks him to make a simple delivery, it seems easy enough-until Frank uncovers a possible murder. Now he's searching for a local couple gone missing. But do the snow and ice conceal a deadly crime, one that may cost Frank everything he holds dear?
If a mystery is to be convincing it has to feel utterly plausible and yet far too many releases in the genre prove disappointing. It’s for this reason that Enslen’s novels stand out. A vivid and insightful writer he has an acerbic eye for the pressures and poignancies of his characters which combined with his ability to craft an intricate and intelligent plot rapidly draws his readers in. Black Ice is no exception and is one of those rare stories you read whilst willing it not to venture where you fear it might ultimately go. It’s thoughtful, atmospheric and gripping, written by a writer in full command of his talents and on the level of plot alone Black Ice works flawlessly to deliver a genuine page-turner. It’s not particularly long at just under 300 pages but everything Enslen writes is storytelling sinew and it's rare to find extraneous detail that doesn’t move his narrative forward. These reasons alone are enough to pick it up and start reading but as with A Field Of Red, it’s Frank Harper who ultimately steals the show. With genuine panache, Enslen gets his persona just right with attention to detail, dialogue and subtleties of character that make him utterly convincing.
A powerful and unsettling read that will leave you hungry for more Black Ice proves an inspired sequel to A Field Of Red and is recommended without reservation.