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THE ICE MAIDEN by Edna Buchanan Kirkus Star


by Edna Buchanan

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-380-97332-4
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

An incorrigible burglar who got a hotter welcome than he could have imagined kicks off Britt Montero’s eighth case. The Miami News reporter (You Only Die Twice, 2001, etc.) is on hand when Det. Sgt. Craig Burch ties Andre Coney, electrocuted by a perennial victim’s booby trap, to a long-ago crime of the sort Burch’s Cold Crimes Squad specializes in: the kidnapping, beating, and shooting of high-school athlete Richard Lee Chance, who died in farmer Clyde Pinder’s field, and Sunny Hartley, who miraculously survived. When Burch’s boss soft-pedals the case, Britt goes off to ask Sunny to look over a bunch of mug shots of Coney’s old pals in hopes of identifying the five men who beat and raped her and left her for dead. No way, replies the one-time victim, who’s emerged from 14 years of trauma determined to leave all that behind her—the case, her grieving family, the cops who probed her memory for evidence. Toiling as a reclusive sculptor who makes decorative ice carvings to pay the rent, Sunny wants nothing to do with Britt, Burch, or their photos—especially since gang member Ronald (Mad Dog) Stokes has promised to call on her personally the minute his latest prison sentence is up. Britt picks her way through a minefield littered with half a dozen criminal and domestic subplots, from the murder of a kindly old widow to her own romantic rivalries, to unmask a series of secrets even more horrific than Sunny Hartley remembers.

A powerhouse plot fueled by keen sensitivity to the devastation unsolved crimes can wreak: a standout in this irresistible series.