As a snowstorm wreaks havoc in the mountain town of Crooked Creek, a woman is found buried in ice. Detective Ellie Reeves is first on the scene. Examining the body, she finds frozen blonde hair, pink nail polish and a silver heart necklace engraved with Mine Forever.
Ellie has first-hand experience of the monsters that lurk in the mountains––her childhood is testament to that. She vows to catch this one, but she’s up against the brutal weather, with snow covering footprints and making forensics impossible.
Frantically trawling through missing-person’s reports, Ellie identifies the victim. Nadine Houser disappeared eleven years ago. Where has she been all this time? Why was she only murdered now?
As storm clouds roll in, another girl is reported missing. Ellie retraces the steps of Ginger Weston who was renting a cabin in the mountains. She discovers a gold chain in the snow, spotted with blood. The killer is accelerating, and it’s just a matter of time before more innocent lives are robbed.
With the town blaming Ellie for the missing girl on her watch, and everyone fearing for their safety of their daughters, it’s down to Ellie to solve the toughest case of her career. But when the killer comes after her, will she live to save Crooked Creek from its ruthless monster?
Ok, so I need to preface this by saying I will be talking a little more in-depth about this book and the series as a whole so if you haven’t yet read it:
This is the 4th in the series and this time we are greeted by frozen victims along the Appalachian Trail. Ellie Reeves is once again in the thick of things and honestly, if she were a real person, I surmise she’d have had a breakdown by now.
There has been an odd triangle between Ellie, Derrick, and Cord, and while I have been enjoying the fact that Ellie can stand on her own two feet perfectly well, I found myself disappointed that the character was leaning more towards Derrick than Cord at the end of things.
I think both men would be a good match for her, I guess I am more personally drawn to Cord as a mysterious person, rather than Derrick who is more open about things.
I do think I am a little sick of the tripe of the male characters assuming that Ellie is too vulnerable or suffered ‘too much’ to be able to do her job correctly. At first it was endearing but as it has continued it has just become something that has irritated me. I do think that Ellie has been through A LOT in the series so far and as a character I think she needs some time to herself to grow and evolve before she is thrust into another murder. However, with the pace of the series so far, I don’t think that will happen.
There is more reconciliation with Ellie and the past she didn’t know she had. I was, at first, disappointed at the revelation that Ellie and Angelica were related because it is an idea that is so well executed in Lisa Regan’s Josie Quinn series, that it made me view this as a forced plotline. If she gets a chance to explore the extra family she has found, I think it will be good for the character. However, there also seems to be a lot of anger in her and a need to carry with her the hurt and betrayal her adopted parents caused her.
I am also, four books in, getting a little sick of the victims being predominately female. I feel that there needs to be more variety in the killers than what I’ve read so far. While engaging and interesting to read about, none of the killers in the previous books have been original. I have seen some version of them in a lot of other books I’ve read. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just something I noticed.
I also found this book harder to get into. I read it over the course of a week. When I got into it, I could read for quite a while, but it wasn’t something that grabbed me to read continually. It may just be a dud in the series, quite a lot of crime series I’ve read seem to have one, so I’m by no means dismissing the series or not reading on.
The conflict with Bryce has…stagnated, I think. Like I don’t think the tempo between Bryce and Ellie has changed much since the first book, but it also hasn’t evolved much either. There was talk of a dinner with her adopted parents and Bryce in this book, but it didn’t happen. I think it would be a good thing to include in any upcoming book because the tension between them is almost suffocating in a negative way and I think if they’re left to faff for too long that that particular plotline will disintegrate quickly and not make much sense to anyone.
I have one more book in this series to read and then I think I have to wait a while for book 6 to arrive. My experience of reading this book was both like having my cake and finding out my cake was plastic.
I give it a warming ✨✨✨✨