“Cold Fear”

Peaceful Iceland is an unlikely spot for tragic murder and a covert military op.

“Cold Fear” opens in the dark and the cold. Iceland is known as the land of ice and fire; in the summer it has the midnight sun, but now, in the winter, it is ice and darkness. How does anyone survive the winters here? Iceland is a place with few predators, no snakes, no poisonous spiders, and no mosquitos. In a “bad” year there is maybe one gunshot death in the whole country. Yet humans can be cruel and dangerous.  Illegal drug trade is rampant, and the island has become a midway drop-off point for human traffickers. Into this land of beauty, contradictions, and cold, comes Finn.

The drama unfolds in two storylines. A young girl drowns on Christmas Eve; she is alone, cold, and frozen in the ice like a tragedy in a fairy tale. The police investigation starts out badly when the body disappears. However, Detective Krista Kristjánsdóttir is determined to find answers. She has no idea of the complex problems she will uncover.

Former SEAL Finn is thrown into this mix. He is posing as a “crime writer” to ferret out rogue operators sent to Iceland on some sort of covert “capture and kill” mission. Finn has come to “fix things; he knows little if anything about the operatives or their target, but he must stop them. He is focused, methodical, and determined. Readers follow Finn as he unearths the tiniest clues and puts together information bit by tiny bit.

Pages are filled with vivid descriptions that enhance the narrative.  The metal edge of the saw lets out a scream as it slices through the ice. The city is a ghost of itself, still and silent, the streets deserted. It is as if the city were lying very still, holding its breath. Fatigue moves through his veins like oil sludge.

“Cold Fear” is the second book in the “Finn thrillers” series, but this journey is its own story. It combines the precision and discipline of military action/adventure story with the nail-biting tension of a police-procedure thriller. It is a non-stop adventure from page one.

I received a review copy of “Cold Fear” from Brandon Webb, John David Mann, Random House Publishing Group, and Ballantine Books. I did a search online for Lapsang Souchong tea, and found that it is available from my favorite online tea merchant with a rating of 99 (out of 100). “Cold Fear” is now available in print, as an e-book, and on audio from independent bookstores, online booksellers, retail stores, public libraries, and anywhere you get your books.