Release date: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Following her acclaimed debut Inherit the Bones, this is Emily Littlejohn’s next mesmerizing mystery featuring Colorado police officer Gemma Monroe.
In Emily Littlejohn’s follow-up to her acclaimed debut, Inherit the Bones, police officer Gemma Monroe has just returned to work from maternity leave. And what a first day back: a blizzard is blowing into her idyllic Colorado ski town, and while Gemma hopes for a quiet, warm evening in, she knows it will mean plenty of calls out for snow-related accidents. But when an anonymous caller reports seeing a lurker at the local high school, Gemma gets far more than she bargained for. Behind the school building, half covered in a drift of snow, lies the gruesomely murdered body of a world-famous author—whose presence in town was meant to be a secret.
Last year I had the pleasure of reading Littlejohn’s debut, Inherit the Bones and absolutely fell in love with Gemma and the town of Cedar Valley. There is something tragically poetic about the authors style then you combine that with a classic murder mystery feel and you have a wonderful juxtaposition that makes for a captivating read.
This picks up three months after Gemma has given birth to her daughter Grace, right as she’s about to head back to work. Her struggle to balance being a new mom and maintain a healthy separation between work and home is so very relatable and her and Brody’s relationship is far from perfect, especially as they adjust to parenthood. Naturally there is a murder the same day Gemma returns, there is no easing back into the job as she had hoped. Besides the murder investigation Gemma stumbles upon a horrific bully at the high school where the murder was committed. The tyrant goes by Grimm as in the brothers Grimm and doles out punishments based on fairy tales. Plenty going on here and the subplots added intrigue to an already interesting storyline.
This would be perfect to curl up with during the colder months, it’s the dead of winter in Cedar Valley and the setting is so well crafted that it’s practically a character of its own. A murder set against a series of blizzards makes a chilling combination and while it wasn’t twisty in the truest sense of the word, it still kept me on my toes and eager to follow Gemma in the future.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.