Ice Shear

Ice Shear

Book - 2014
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"In M.P. Cooley's thrilling debut suspense novel, widowed FBI agent June Lyons returns to her hometown in the rust belt of upstate New York to take a job with the local police department; when she discovers a body in the frozen river, the investigation unmasks a sordid maze of politics, drugs, and an outlaw motorcycle gang, and June finds that still waters run deep in this small town"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2014
ISBN: 9780062300706
Branch Call Number: COOLEY
Characteristics: 304 pages ; 24 cm

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r
Roundcat
Nov 02, 2015

This book was more "gritty" than my usual choices and some of the plot twists made me say, "Oh no. That's just way over the top." The willing suspension of disbelief got a good workout, but it was entertaining. The writing was good as were the characters, but I hope the author's further work gets a bit of pruning. As the first of a series, the author did quite a bit of background fill in, which could be good, if we don't repeat too much of it in future books. The plot just had too much going on. The characters kept bemoaning their lack of rest and extra people kept showing up and dropping out again.

r
Russ_A
Aug 25, 2015

The author paints word pictures brilliantly. Every scene and setting comes to life – a room, a building, a neighborhood. You feel like you’re right there. The tiny quirks and foibles a character displays are given just the right amount of detail so they seem real, too. Put another way, the author just plain knows how to write!
The story takes place in upstate New York in winter in a small town, once a thriving mill town but now a deteriorating shell subsisting on a meager summer tourist trade. For a Silicon Valley native like me, it seemed rather exotic. The author is from there, it seems, and did a great job of conveying the look and feel of the place. It’s also very well edited, with almost no errors of any kind.
I checked this book out from the Campbell library. I saw the author used initials rather than a first name, which to me with mysteries signifies a female author trying to hide her sex in this male field. I thought, “Oh, another chick lit mystery.” So I turned to the back cover to check, and imagine my surprise when I read that she lives in … Campbell. I actually looked around to see if I could spot her. There’s more! I also noticed that the main character, a woman, is a former FBI agent. So am I. (Former FBI agent, that is, not a woman). So of course I had to turn to the acknowledgments to see who her law enforcement advisers were. I didn’t know them although one I know is ex-SJPD. If either had been an FBI agent, I would have known him. That explains why the local police work stuff was very well done and FBI stuff, not so much. (FYI, the proper acronym is ASAC, not ASAIC). One last thing: I write mystery novels too. I hope Ms. Cooley continues this series, but she needs an FBI consultant if she’s going to.
I don’t know the author or anyone else associated with this book, directly or indirectly, but this inside connection made the book more fun. There are some “Easter eggs” hidden in there. For example, one major character is an FBI agent named Bascom. The San Jose FBI Office (actually located a few blocks over the city line into Campbell) is located on Bascom Ave.! I used to work ther. I also liked the “breast fed” line. I hadn’t heard that one before.
Okay, so I had fun with it and no doubt that fifth star comes from my personal connection, but it is a good read. It has its flaws. The plot and characters are quite formulaic, but it is a tried and true formula that seems to work. Don’t look for originality here. The beat cop heroine is a single mom who had to move back to her home town so her lovable but curmudgeonly father can care for her adorable and precociously bright daughter while she makes a living. The slick and smarmy FBI agent “suit” comes barreling into town trying to horn in on the locals’ murder case. You have your outlaw biker gang, the overbearing congresswoman (victim’s mother), the very rich (and therefore total jerk) father, your stolid local cop partner, the District Attorney trying to take all the credit. The plot isn’t much better.
In my view, a good murder mystery is written in such a way that one of two things happens as one gets near the end. Either I figure out from the clues who did it and why and get to feel smug and victorious or I don’t, but the big reveal at the end has me smacking my forehead saying to myself “Why didn’t I see that one coming.” This did neither. The ending had the definite feel of almost a random selection. It’s as though the author and editor got together as the book was almost done and said, “Who shall we make the murderer?” There were equal clues pointing to all the possible characters
This is no chick lit mystery though. There was no description of the heroine’s cute outfits or how cut the handsome agent was. There was even a good action scene at the end, although it defied credibility in more ways than I would have liked. The bottom line was that I read through it eagerly and enjoyed the whole thing. Give it a try.

a
athena14
Aug 22, 2015

The more I read, the more the book became a cluster f**k.

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