(review by Sarah Weinman)
“Ice Cold” by Tess Gerritsen (June 29)
At first it seems counterintuitive to read a thriller set in the thick of a snowstorm in the middle of nowhere during the summer, but what better way to create the illusion of escapism than to reverse weather course? The publication timing of Gerritsen’s newest novel featuring Boston cop Jane Rizzoli and her friend (and city medical examiner) Maura Isles has more to do with the July 12 premiere of the TNT show (starring Angie Harmon as Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander as Isles), but “Ice Cold” works well as a series introduction. The normally staid, buttoned-up Isles — nursing romantic difficulties with her boyfriend, who also happens to be a priest — indulges in an impulse wilderness trip with an old high school acquaintance while playing hooky from a medical conference. The snow accumulates, stranding Isles & co., but Gerritsen has several more tricks up her sleeve, raising the suspense stakes with a secretive cult, home-brew surgery under the most appalling circumstances, and the possibility that Isles might not make it home. Gerritsen paces “Ice Cold” with surgical precision but doesn’t neglect her main characters, even if Rizzoli’s trademark fire doesn’t kick in until the second half of the book.