Title: Her Frozen Cry (Detective Amanda Steele #5)
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Published on: 9 June 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural
Her Frozen Cry is the fifth book in Carolyn Arnold’s Detective Amanda Steele series.
Alice Gordon, CEO of New Belle, is found dead in a remote woodland cabin. Detective Amanda Steele is shocked to discover that she knows the victim’s husband. Tony Bishop and his then wife, Claudia, were good friends with Amanda and Kevin. Amanda and Tony knew each other since college days. When Kevin and Lindsey (Amanda’s daughter) passed away in a car accident, Tony and Claudia kept their distance. Amanda lost not only her family but close friends too.
Amanda is suspicious of the circumstances in which Alicia was found. Alicia used to take sleeping medication and someone tampered with it, slowly poisoning Alicia with each passing day. Tony plays the role of a grief-stricken, heart-broken husband. He and Alicia were married for only six months. Alicia’s children from her previous marriage – Brad, a young adult, and Leo, a small boy, live with Tony and Alicia.
Tony points them to a rival company owner – Eve Kelley. Turns out, Alicia and Eve were college roommates and Eve had accused Alicia of stealing her formula for Reborn, a serum that brought Alicia name and fame. Amanda and her partner Trent are interviewing Eve when she collapses and dies. Toxicology reports suggests Eve was poisoned with the same drug that killed Alicia.
As is the case in any murder, the initial suspicions for Alicia’s murder fall on Tony. But Amanda is adamant that her college friend is innocent. But her assumptions are questioned when they discover Tony had hidden a few relevant details from them – details pertaining to New Belle and much more.
I have been following this series from the start and I really like how the series plot is developing. We have a grief-stricken Amanda falling for her partner Trent. She also adopted a young kid named Zoe and is slowly adjusting to being a guardian/foster parent. There are times when Amanda feels she cannot be there for Zoe as she’s going through something – we have a personal tragedy (of sort) halfway through and Amanda is torn between her grief and coping up with a new challenge.
It isn’t easy for Amanda to interview Tony or Claudia. It reminds her not only of the good times they spent and also their betrayal. Alicia was a well-known in the society and liked by all. Or so they said until Amanda and Trent discover a long list of suspects – from ex-partner to ex-wife to dejected step-daughter and revengeful ex-roommate.
The mystery behind the murders kept me guessing until the end. However, the suspense felt a tad low. The mystery was interesting all right, but if I have to compare this book with the previous ones in the series, I felt ‘keeping-one-on-the-edge-of-their-seat’ factor was a little low.
Having said that, very impressive character portrayal and character development (recurring characters.) The ending was unexpected and shocking and the same goes for killer’s identity. Overall, Her Frozen Cry by Carolyn Arnold was an engrossing and interesting read. If you love police procedurals, you might want to give this book a try. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone but if you are a completist like me, I recommend you to start from book #1.
I received an ARC from Bookouture and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.