Cold Company
Sue Henry
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Buy *Cold Company* online

Cold Company

Sue Henry
304 pages
June 2002
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Iditarod musher Jessie Arnold is minding her own business, watching a construction crew excavate a portion of her Alaskan property in preparation for building a new cabin, when a skeleton is unearthed right where her new basement is supposed to go. The dead man leads to speculation that the corpse found in Jessie’s new basement isn’t the only corpse on her property, the reason being that Alaska’s first serial killer was running rampant at about the same time the coroner determines the man was killed. Does the corpse on her property have any connection to the reign of terror instigated by the murderer Robert Hansen twenty years earlier?

While the discovery of the corpse puts a snag in the building schedule, Jesse deals with it without too much problem until odd things start happening. Jesse is still recovering from an emotional breakup with her boyfriend and is feeling vulnerable and wary. While a couple of the guys on her construction crew attempt to entice her, Jesse is not particularly interested. But despite her gentle refusals to begin a new relationship, she seems to have a secret admirer, someone who’s left a single rose on her doorstep -- twice in a row. After one particularly long day, she enters her temporary home, a motor home, to discover a third rose on her table, one that wasn’t there that morning. What’s going on? She doesn’t feel any better when she finds out that the symbolic rose was one of serial killer Hansen’s calling cards during his long-ago rampage through Alaska.

Interesting subplots and a handful of fascinating characters propel this exciting and fast-reading novel forward with murders, a twenty-year-old mystery, Jesse’s unknown "admirer" and plenty of scares and chills to satisfy everyone. Sue Henry knows how to snag the reader's attention, and once she’s got it, she won’t let go until the very last page. Jesse is a character who grows with each novel, but the reader doesn’t have to be familiar with the entire Alaska Mysteries series to know what’s happening with Jesse. So jump right in and enjoy. You won’t be disappointed.

The Alaskan wilderness makes for a different kind of thriller, where nature can play as much of the bad guy as any leaving, breathing character. Henry has a way with words that brings the vast and rugged Alaska territory to the forefront, and she uses her knowledge and experience of Alaska to propel her plots into unique twists and turns that are totally unexpected and highly satisfying, bringing Cold Company to a completely stunning conclusion.

© 2003 by Denise M. Clark for Curled Up With a Good Book

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