Name: Under Cold Stone
Author: Vicki Delany
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Lucky Smith is vacationing in Banff, Alberta, with her boyfriend, Paul Keller, when they happen to run into Paul’s estranged son, Matt. Shortly after their tense reunion, Matt frantically calls his father late in the evening to say he came home from work to find his roommate dead on the floor of obvious homicide. Being a Chief Constable in Trafalgar, Paul leaps into action and contacts the local police. When they arrive at the apartment, Matt is nowhere to be seen. At first concerned for his safety, suspicion quickly turns to Matt as the suspect.
While Paul is searching for his son, Lucky is stuck at the hotel, worried sick for everyone involved. She calls her daughter, Moonlight (Molly) Smith, and asks her to drive eight hours to Banff in order to help Paul. As a police officer herself, Molly feels somewhat awkward about her mother’s new relationship, especially since Paul happens to her boss, but she immediately answers her mother’s plea for help.
This book had a lot of potential, with themes of ecoterrorism, fraud schemes, murder, and fragmented families…but it left me feeling a bit lost. All of the above topics were happening at once, each involving a different set of characters, and were eventually found to be interconnected. Instead of an international conspiracy or criminal enterprise, everything revolved around a plot of land in the Canadian wilderness that was a prime location for holiday cottages. Realistically, who would go to so much trouble (drugs, murder, fraud, blackmail) just to acquire some real estate?
The ending was terribly anticlimactic, too. A few of the smaller ringleaders were arrested and then the protagonists just shrugged it all off and said the rich will ultimately get away with everything. What kind of closure is that? I didn’t read over three-hundred pages just for the author to throw the book out a window and call it finished.
There’s also no point in calling this a “Molly Smith” novel. All Molly does is encourage some entitled kids to actually take control of their lives and tell the truth. Matt Keller and his girlfriend solved the crime, they just needed Molly and Paul Keller to push it through the legal system.
Overall, it was an okay read – just don’t expect anything worth writing home about. If you want to pass the time with a nice suspense novel, then I recommend this book. It was written very well, I was just disappointed with the plot itself.