Simon & Schuster
Available October 7th
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.
Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.
In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.
But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?
Black Ice is a page-turner from beginning to end, wasting very little time introducing us to Britt before we're stranded in the freezing cold right along with her. Adding an extra layer of tension to an already-perilous survival situation is a pervading sense of unease thanks to a truly chilling prologue in which we witness the tragic murder of a young woman, the knowledge that her death and Britt's predicament are intertwined ensuring we hardly dare to breathe for fear it will affect Britt's chances of making it out alive.
Britt, as mentioned previously, is not someone we get to know all that well before her world is tossed into chaos and the girl she used to be has no choice but to adapt given the drastic and violent change in her circumstances. Threaded throughout Britt's current hostage situation though are flashbacks to the beginning of her romance with ex-boyfriend Calvin, a young man (and her best friend's brother) who acts as her mental lifeline when the constant threat of death starts to overwhelm her. What's perhaps most fascinating about these flashbacks is the fact that we as readers see them in a completely different light from Britt, the memories she shares with us clearly remembered fondly, but what she glosses over thanks to the rose tinted glasses of first love we see for the glaring red flags they are, warnings we want nothing more than to shout at Britt in the hopes she'll see what's so hauntingly clear to us.
Our ability to see what Britt cannot is a source of both dark anticipation and frustration, our breaths becoming sharper and more labored the longer Britt allows past feelings to rationalize questionable behaviors in the present, but while we can't help but appreciate the boost of adrenaline that comes from knowing something she doesn't, her continued obliviousness in this one particular area tests the boundaries of our patience. Britt from the beginning proves herself to be capable and quick-thinking, assessing the level of danger she and best friend Korbie are in when the bad whether hits and taking action when Korbie can do nothing but complain and lay blame. She continues to show an impressive ability to problem solve under extraordinary pressure, thus making the hold a childhood crush and first love has on her all the more baffling because we know her to be capable of shaking loose those shackles.
Luckily though, when faced with evidence she simply cannot explain away no matter how much she might wish it, Britt doesn't spend valuable time mourning the loss of everything she thought she knew, instead she rallies as she has all along and refuses to let weather, injury, or murderer get the better of her. Overall, Ms. Fitzpatrick thoroughly impresses with Black Ice, thrilling us with a tale of romantic suspense that ensures every fiber of our being is involved in the fates of those whose entire lives changed the moment the first snowflake touched down.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.