A Cold and Lonely Place – Sara J. Henry (Review)

31 Oct

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2013 by Crown


Troy Chance returns in another riveting novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Learning to Swim

Freelance writer Troy Chance is snapping photos of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace when the ice-cutting machine falls silent. Encased in the ice is the shadowy outline of a body–a man she knows. One of her roommates falls under suspicion, and the media descends. Troy’s assigned to write an in-depth feature on the dead man, who, it turns out, was the privileged son of a wealthy Connecticut family who had been playing at a blue collar life in this Adirondack village. And the deeper Troy digs into his life and mysterious death, the murkier things become. After the victim’s sister comes to town and a string of disturbing incidents unfold, it’s clear someone doesn’t want the investigation to continue. Troy doesn’t know who to trust, and what she ultimately finds out threatens to shatter the serenity of these mountain towns. She must decide which family secrets should be exposed, what truths should remain hidden, and how far her own loyalty can reach.
   A Cold and Lonely Place, the sequel to Learning to Swim, follows Troy on a powerful emotional journey as she discovers the damage left by long-hidden secrets, and catches a glimpse of what might have been.

My thoughts

I finally managed to finish reading this book. It took me more than a week because I didn’t have much time for reading, but I also found A Cold and Lonely Place a bit slow. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, because I really did, but I think the pace could have been more alert.

Published February 22nd 2011 by Crown

This is supposed to be a sequel to Learning to Swim, but I think it can be read as a stand-alone, even though some characters from the first book make an appearance or are mentioned in this one.

Troy Chance is a freelancer writer who is assigned to write some articles about Tobin, whose body is found in the frozen Saranac Lake. Even though she didn’t know the victim very well, Tobin’s death has a big impact on her, mostly because he used to be her roommate’s boyfriend. In order to write those articles she needs to dig deep into the victim’s life to find details about his childhood, his family, his relationship with Jessamyn and maybe to discover if Tobin’s death was an accident or if someone murdered him. With the help of his sister and the people who used to know him, Troy learns slowly that her first impression of Tobin was actually wrong (“I would have pegged him for trouble from the start, with his frat-boy good looks, floppy hair, sleepy brown eyes, and different manner. It was written all over him that he was the sort of person who assumes life should go his way, no matter what. I suspected he’d gone to an elite prep school, then partied himself right out of Harvard or Princeton before drifting up here, where no one ever asked where or if you’d gone to university”. She also thought that he was violent against Jessamyn and that he influenced her in a bad way).

The only thing which I didn’t like about this book was the pace. I liked the writing style, but the pace was too slow for me and I think that some paragraphs should have been left out. There were a lot of moments when the author was describing the food eaten by the characters and what they were cooking (e.g.: “She had brought wine, which we poured into juice glasses and had with bread and cheese…cicken and cheese blended with broccoli and noodles, with a spice I couldn’t identify…I cooked oatmeal and eggs”).

I found the storyline interesting, unpredictable and the characters were very likeable so, all in all, A Cold and Lonely Place was an enjoyable read.
Thanks to Netgalley.com and Crown for sending me this e-book.

My rating  

You can preorder the book from Amazon or The Book Depository.


About the author 

Sara J. Henry’s first novel, LEARNING TO SWIM, has been called “an auspicious debut” by Daniel Woodrell (WINTER’S BONE) and “emotional, intense, and engrossing” by Lisa Unger. It won the 2012 Anthony Award for best first novel, the 2012 Agatha Award for best first novel and the 2012 Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was nominated for the Barry and Macavity awards. The sequel, A COLD AND LONELY PLACE, will be out Feb. 5, 2013 – Howard Frank Mosher calls it “a character-driven thriller set in one of the coldest and loneliest places in the United States: the Adirondack Mountains in mid-winter.”


3 Responses to “A Cold and Lonely Place – Sara J. Henry (Review)”

  1. cleverpretender October 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Mi-au dat accept cei de la Netgalley de ceva vreme si tot n-am apucat sa citesc cartea. Oricum, am inteles ca face parte dintr-o serie..? Si ca ar cam trebui sa citesti prima carte inainte de asta.

    Off-topic: Tu ai facut bannerul? O.o

    • Andreea October 31, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

      Legaturile dintre cele doua carti sunt personajul principal si referirile la anumite personaje din primul volum, dar care nu au un rol important in cea de-a doua carte. Povestile nu au nicio legatura, deci poate fi citita.
      Nu, nu l-am facut eu (mi-ar placea mie sa fac asa ceva:)). Aveam background-ul respectiv salvat in calculator si m-am gandit ca se potriveste.:D

      • cleverpretender October 31, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

        A, okay. Chiar se potriveste, plus ca e genial!! 😀

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