This is a book that should come with a warning, something along the lines of:

This is your captain speaking, please make sure you have your seats in the upright position, your tray tables locked, and your seat belts firmly fastened.

Some authors like to bring the reader gently into the story, scene setting, maybe a little character background, not so Lee Emory, her method is to throw the reader at 500mph straight into the plot. For some people this might be a little traumatic, but it certainly is an attention getter. I have strong thoughts about book construction, if you don’t have the reader hooked in the first 50 pages, a significant proportion will stop reading it and find something else. That is certainly not the case with Night Freeze, from the opening phrase you are hooked:

He felt at home with blood all over his white coat and the heavy smell of it in his nostrils.

Now thats what I call an opening! There is no pussy footing around, she just tells it as it is.

So what is Night Freeze all about? The thumbnail sketch is the search for a serial killer, however this killer is no random one, his targets seem well planned and revolve around a Medical Examiner, Dr. Shyla Clifford. His calling card is unique, frozen body parts arriving by various delivery means.

Leading the police effort to find this killer is Detective Niall Malone who has only just moved from Phoenix to Kansas City, and his job is being hampered by his outsider status. Is his investigation being derailed by those working with him and for him? There are leaks to the press that should never have occurred, and those leaks could only have originated within his own task force.

Who is this serial killer with a predilection for butchery? As the body count increases, so does the urgency to find this cold blooded killer. The clues are few and far between, a butchers meat stamp in the shape of the US Marine logo is almost the only clue. But why would a serial killer be targeting the friends and family or Dr. Shyla Clifford, and is she the intended final victim?

Lee Emory is no rookie author, she knows how to create tension within the pages, interestingly enough though she is not strictly a single genre writer. I know that she have deviled in Sci Fi, and although I can not lay my hands on the information, I believe she has a new Sci FI novel in the making.

I certainly enjoyed Night Freeze, yes it is a little gruesome in parts, I am not generally a big fan of gory descriptions, Lee Emory however scores high marks in my book, she doesn’t dwell on the bad stuff, but prefers instead to propel the story forward. It would be easy to get mired in the blood and gore, but the author takes the high road and instead focuses on the story as a whole.

This is one of those books that deserves shelf space in the store, it is well crafted, and certainly a riveting read.

You can order your copy from Amazon.

Simon Barrett

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