By Becca Fitzpatrick
Published by Simon and Schuster
ISBN 978 147711 1814 2
This romantic thriller by Hush, Hush author Becca Fitzpatrick is an uneasy mix of horror story, mystery thriller and chick-lit romance. It begins with a nasty kidnapping and then awkwardly switches into a first person female teen voice.
But Fitzpatrick is a good writer with a familiar, easy style, and even though Black Ice starts badly, she does soon get the book onto a firm track. Her chief protagonist, 17-year-old Britt and her side-kick Korbie, are stereotypes who some readers will have met hundreds of times before, but Fitzpatrick persuades us to invest time into these two cardboard teens.
Britt and Korbie set off for a stay at an isolated log cabin in the mountains owned by Korbie's family. It's going to be a good trip with plenty of hiking and gossiping around a roaring fire.
When Britt finds out that Korbie's older brother, who just happens to be her ex-boyfriend, will be at the cabin, she is torn between the idea of trying to get him back or letting him know that she is over him.
Seems like we're in for a typical teen romance, but no! The story takes a detour into strange territory. Britt and Korbie drive straight into the snow storm of all snow storms, and have to abandon their vehicle on a snow blocked road (bad idea).
Struggling through high snowdrifts, the two girls come across an obviously inhabited cabin where they hope to take shelter until the weather improves. And who is inhabiting this cabin? Two handsome young men, of course!
But for some strange reason, Shaun and Mason are reluctant to let Britt and Korbie stay in their cabin - and resourceful Britt soon discovers why. The two young men are on the run from the police and are possibly involved in a series of local murders.
Britt's fears become reality when she discovers a dead body in the cabin. Black Ice suddenly becomes a females-in-peril tale and a will-they-won't-they escape drama.
Events get even more complicated when Korbie's brother shows up. It is now obvious that one of the five central characters is a murderer, but which one could it be? Take your pick, and you will probably be right.
Readers who don't ask too many questions and who like their romance mixed with a few dead bodies will enjoy this one. The rest of us might find it all a bit implausible. Apart from the snow, that is. The snow is very solid and chilling, but the romance is slushy.
John Millen can be contacted on MillenBookshelf@aol.com