Title: A Cold and Lonely Place
Author: Sara J. Henry
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Genre: Literary Mystery
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Journalist Troy Chance is covering an event at a lake in Saranac, when everything around her goes still. The body of a man has been found under the ice, and even worse, it’s someone Troy knew: Tobin, the boyfriend of Troy’s housemate, Jessamyn. After Troy is assigned to cover Tobin’s death, she begins to poke into his life and discovers surprising depth to this man she barely tolerated in life.
It’s so rare when an author’s second book lives up to the promise of their first, especially when that second book is a sequel. Sara J. Henry, though, is not a normal author, so I immediately knew that A Cold and Lonely Place, Henry’s second Troy Chance novel after Learning to Swim, would be good. What I didn’t realize is that it would be gripping, gorgeous, and wonderfully atmospheric.
Henry writes the atmosphere of upstate New York well in A Cold and Lonely Place. The reader gets a sense of the laid-back nature of a ski bum-type town, but there are hidden resentments underneath. The cold and snow blankets everything, makes it all seem more mysterious. Henry knows exactly what to do with this setting, bringing it to life and making it a character in its own right. It’s amazing to immerse yourself in this novel, as you’ll forget you’re not in the snow and ice of Lake Placid while reading.
Troy is a great character, well developed and sympathetic, and Henry does a wonderful job exploring her depths in A Cold and Lonely Place. Troy’s character development isn’t sacrificed to plot or writing; we learn new things about her, just as she learns new things about herself over the course of the book. She’s an absolutely wonderful character to get to know, and her strong, confident voice makes her a great narrator for these novels.
Though A Cold and Lonely Place is a sequel, unless you’re planning on reading Learning to Swim at some point, there’s no reason you need to read these books in order. While A Cold and Lonely Place does reveal some details about the plot of Learning to Swim, it functions as its own standalone novel. Readers of the first novel will delight in spending more time with Troy, but readers new to this series won’t feel left out when diving into this gripping read.
I don’t know what else I can say about A Cold and Lonely Place in order to convince you to read it; it’s a gorgeous literary mystery that is absolutely worth reading. At times the plot moves slowly; this is an introspective, contemplative novel, but it always is interesting and won’t let your attention wander for a second. As a result, it’s best to start this book when you can finish it in one long, delicious read. I certainly hope Henry writes more novels about Troy soon, because I can’t get enough of these books.
Other books by Sara J. Henry: