Monday, April 4, 2011

Heart of Ice by Lis Wiehl and April Henry

book cover

Heart of Ice
by Lis Wiehl &
April Henry

ISBN-13: 9781595547071
Hardback: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: April 5, 2011

Source: Review copy from publisher through BookSneeze.

Book Description from Back Cover:
The Triple Threat Club novels follow three fiercely intelligent women—a TV reporter, a Federal prosecutor and an FBI agent—as they investigate crimes as current as today’s headlines.

The Triple Threat women have faced intense situations before…but never such a cunningly cold-blooded murderer.

Elizabeth Avery is a stunningly beautiful woman. But her perfectly managed exterior hides the ice cold heart of a killer. She ingeniously manipulates everyone who crosses her path to do exactly as she wishes--from crime reporter Cassidy Shaw, who thinks Elizabeth is her new best friend, to a shy young man Elizabeth persuades to kill for her.

As Elizabeth leaves a trail of bodies in her wake, Federal prosecuter Allison Pierce and FBI agent Nicole Hedges must piece together clues from seemingly unrelated crimes. Can they stop her before she reaches her unthinkable, ultimate end-game?

My Review:
Heart of Ice is a suspense novel. Unlike the previous two novels in the series, there was no mystery in this one--you know who the killer is from the beginning. Actually, the first 84 pages read like a women's fiction novel because our three heroines focused most of their attention on their personal troubles (a recent miscarriage; loneliness; and possible breast cancer).

If you've read the previous novels in the series, then you'll probably care enough about the main characters that you'll be interested their personal issues. However, the authors didn't spend much time in this novel developing the reoccurring characters, so newcomers starting with this novel may lose interest before the action kicks in and the pace picks up.

By the way, this novel didn't spoil the mystery--only the personal issues--of the previous novels. It also contained enough information that you could read them out of order, but I'd still recommend reading the previous novels first.

In the first half of the novel, the characters spent a lot of time alone in their thoughts thinking about things--like the psychotic killer spent pages thinking about how lying didn't bother her (among other lessons about the traits of a psychotic killer). Once the interactions between characters increased and the psycho decided someone had to die, the pacing and suspense picked up nicely. There were some details about the heroine's jobs woven into the story, but not as much as in the previous novels.

One of the main characters was a Christian and another rejected God, but these convictions played only a very minor role in the novel. There was a very minor amount of explicit bad language. Sex was implied, but there were no sex scenes. Overall, fans of the series will probably enjoy this novel, especially if it doesn't matter to them that there was no mystery element.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
Southwest Portland

The fuel sloshed inside the red metal gas can, splashing in rhythm with Joey Decicco's steps. As soon as the house at the end of the long driveaway came into view, he stopped and took stock. Sprawling. Lots of windows. Two-story. Wooden. On the porch, two Adirondack chairs and a blue bike with training wheels. And no lights on, no car parked in front. Nobody home.

Just like Sissy--or Elizabeth, as she called herself now--had said.

Because Joey didn't want to kill anyone. He had already caused enough death.

The sun was setting, but the fading light was enough for what he needed to do. Joey walked to one corner, carefully tilted the can, and began to trace a line around the house, drawing an invisible noose.

Read the first twelve chapters using Google Preview.


Laura Fabiani said...

I like reading suspense novels every now and then but the premise of this one doesn't appeal to me.

Genre Reviewer said...

To be honest, I requested this novel because I liked the previous ones in the series. I don't think I would have requested it if I'd done so solely base on the book description. I may have to be a little more careful about that in the future.

Jon Burns said...

Was it just me, or did the plot line with the arrested doctor accused of beating up prostitutes completely dropped? I remember thinking it was a great sub-plot, but when I finished the book, I didn't see any resolution to it -- only a resolution to the story on Elizabeth.

Genre Reviewer said...


Yes, that sub-plot (which was the only case being investigated by our heroines in the first half of the novel) was completely dropped and left unresolved.

keri said...

I loved this book, especially the strong female characters who are very realistic. Reading this book will give you insights into sociopath personality. I think it would be helpful for someone who might be in a dangerous relationship, even inspire them to get out of it. The villain, Elizabeth Avery, is a chillingly real sociopath who manipulates and uses people to get what she wants.

Genre Reviewer said...


Thanks for sharing your view of the novel. Yes, it did give a lot of information about sociopath personality traits, though at times I felt it read too much like a textbook on the subject. I hope you're right about it potentially helping someone stay out of or get out of a dangerous relationship like that.