Friday, January 24, 2014

Cold As Ice by Lee Weeks


On a freezing cold winter's day, the body of a young woman is pulled from an icy canal in London. To D.I. Dan Carter it looks like a tragic accident rather than the work of a murderer. But D.C. Ebony Willis is not so sure. Why has the woman's face been painted with garish make-up and wrapped in a plastic bag?

Meanwhile, cosmetics saleswoman Tracy Collins receives a phonecall. It's been twenty years since she gave up her daughter for adoption, so when Danielle gets in touch, she hesitantly begins to kindle a relationship with her and her grandson Jackson. But when Danielle suddenly disappears, Tracy is plunged into the middle of a living nightmare. 

Star Rating

I received this copy from the publishers for an open and honest review. 

Having recently completed a long run of Young Adult novels I was looking forward to reading another crime thriller, one of my favourite genres thanks to the likes of Linwood Barclay and Sophie Hannah. 
This was my first taste of Lee Weeks' writing and I was certainly not let down. 'Cold As Ice' is a page turning thriller that had me gripped from start to finish.

Cold As Ice starts with a bang with the discovery of a young woman's body. As her remains are pulled from the icy canal it becomes clear that this was not an ordinary murder. Wrapped in a plastic bag, the woman's face had been meticulously painted with garish make-up. "Her face looked like something from a waxworks horror museum; bloated and blackened by the water." Lee Weeks includes quite a gruesome postmortem scene which in hindsight was probably not best for me to read on a packed London Tube train (with an unsuspecting member of the public reading over my shoulder.) However, this scene served it's purpose -  to make the reader empathise emphatically with the murderer's victims. 

Running alongside this, the reader is introduced to Tracy Collins who gave up her daughter Danielle for adoption twenty years ago. As they try to rekindle their relationship, Danielle mysteriously disappears leaving behind Jackson her young, disabled son. Again, Lee Weeks succeeds in making the reader empathise with the victims, this time through a heart wrenching moment with young Jackson. As Jeanie, a police office working on the case, questions Jackson on what happened the night his mummy disappeared information is slowly drip fed to the reader and suspects begin to form. We are introduced to a mysterious, psychotic character who fantasies about killing, torturing and killing young women. It becomes clear that this is the guy - but who he is? 

"That's the sound of your daughter trying to get out of her coffin. 
It's my game and my rules and I will prepare for the arrival of another player." 

Lee Weeks provides ample red herrings throughout making this a highly successful crime novel. I was suitably shocked when I discovered the identity of the killer and the ending was in a word horrifying!
With it's thrilling, pacy ending that left me on the edge of my seat this is a crime triumph not to be missed! 

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