This debut suspense novel has everything I look for in a genre story: Interesting characters whose roles feel familiar but whose depiction is particular and original, a dishy back story involving politics and crime, a fast-paced plot, a few twists I didn’t see coming—and at the heart of it a murder that pulls the characters into an increasingly complex mystery which resolves to a satisfying conclusion.
The murder in this case involves a “bad girl” congresswoman’s daughter who is found impaled on a spike of river ice in the dead of winter. The dishy back story involves a small town in Upstate New York where Albany politics and affluence clash with rural small town poverty. Add a biker gang, an influx of meth, and a widowed FBI agent turned small-town cop and you have the compelling particulars that hurtle you through an excellent icy beach read to occupy you during the simmering summer months.
Advance reviews recommend this debut and O, The Oprah Magazine includes Ice Shear in its roundup of “Compulsively Readable Thrillers” where M.P. Cooley keeps company with the likes of Karin Slaughter and Stephen King.
June Lyons, the narrator of Cooley’s excellent debut…finds the body of Danielle Brouillette impaled on a spike of ice in the frozen Mohawk River. The troubled daughter of a powerful congresswoman, Danielle had recently married Marty Jelickson, whose father is head enforcer of the Abominations motorcycle gang. June has few allies on the police force, which complicates the investigation…. A strong, fast-paced narrative and an intriguing heroine propel the believable twists in a plot involving politics, a burgeoning meth industry, and biker gangs.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This promising debut delivers a fast-paced, engaging rural thriller.”
Ice Shear (9780062300706) by M.P. Cooley. $25.99 hardcover. 7/22/14 on sale.