O’Connell (The Last Night Out, 2018, etc.) hits the slopes with a new heroine whose leading strengths as a detective seem to be an ability to absorb serious physical punishment and a complete lack of fear.
Her love of skiing sent Greta Westerlind from Milwaukee to Aspen 15 years ago, and once she looked around she knew she’d never leave. Her job taking care of 80-year-old Sam Simpson ended when he died and left her a life interest in his A-frame house, a place she never could have afforded on her own. And she loves her job as a ski patroller. But not everything has come up roses. Sam’s children fought her tooth and nail over the bequest; Joel Simpson still radiates hostility every time she sees him; and, most recently and urgently, she’s barely survived an avalanche that killed her ski buddy and secret heartthrob, retired bond trader Warren McGovern, whose pregnant wife, Zuzana, expresses unbridled suspicions about what the two of them were doing on the mountain together—a question Greta can’t answer because she’s lost her memory. Luckily, handsome Dr. Duane Larsen is on hand to help her recover first from the trauma of the avalanche, then from a near-fatal attack of carbon monoxide poisoning as she sleeps. And he makes no secret of his amatory interest in Greta. But she’s haunted by her ex-lover Jack’s warning that bad things come in threes. So far, so menacing—except that Greta’s third adventure involves her rescuing young Richie Alvarez from a sudden accident, inspiring his father, wealthy Mexican developer Pablo Alvarez, to whisk her off to St. Moritz on his private jet for several more rounds of skiing and unrelated complications until O’Connell suddenly seems to remember that Greta has a killer to track down.
No prizes for plot construction but a scarred, gutsy heroine who surely deserves a second chance.