Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Chill Factor by Sandra Brown

This author never disappoints, at least not with her romantic suspense books. They always grab you and throw you for a loop in one way or another and this one follows suit.

Five disappearances in the small town of Cleary has the FBI investigating, but when they finally narrow things down to a suspect they drop in town during the worse ice storm of the season. Ben Tierney appears to be their man and the reader is lead to believe this as well when we see him walking out of the woods with a shovel in hand. Ben is hit by the car of Lilly Martin, the ex-wife of Cleary's sheriff Dutch Burton, when she is heading down from her mountain cottage. Lilly had been closing a painful chapter in her life with the sale of her mountain home when she hits Tierney and finds herself stranded on the mountain as the storm hits.

Ben and Lilly had met the summer before while white water rafting and felt attracted to each other but Lilly was still married and trying to recover from the death of her daughter, so things had gone no where. Now she is stranded in a cabin with him and, although the attraction is still there, something does not feel right.

Back in town the FBI finds newspaper clippings in Tierney's hotel room and all hell breaks lose. Dutch who is still obsessed with his wife is going over the deep end (as well as mountainous cliffs) as he tries to reach her at their cabin. The local High School coach, Wes, has secrets of his own as he tries to protect his son from the FBI because he thinks Scott might have something to do with the disappearance of the latest victim. The story weaves itself around the people in Cleary and the secrets just keep popping up all over the place. Brown keeps you on your toes, guessing as to the identity of the serial killer 'Blue'. Halfway through the book you just cannot accept that Tierney is the killer and start looking elsewhere and then Brown throws you a fast one that has you questioning your judgment.

The culminating scene at the end has you at the edge of your seat and cringing with every shot fired. Brown is a queen at her game and Chill Factor just reinforces her position as one of the best romantic suspense authors of her time.

Grade: A
Format: Audiobook


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