4 out of 4 stars
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Joel, a private investigator in Minneapolis, is at a crossroads in his life when he receives a mysterious letter about a cold case from 1925. Joel is intrigued, especially since this missing person’s case occurred in a nearby town his family frequented in his youth. His inner curiosity takes over, and he heads to Seven Lakes, Minnesota, to find out what the mystery letter writer knows about the disappearance of Mary Benton.
Upon arriving in Seven Lakes, Joel is disappointed to discover that the author of the letter has dementia and can no longer communicate. As Joel begins to uncover some clues, more questions develop. Who was Mary Benton, and why did she come to Seven Lakes? Did she get caught in the snowstorm of 1925, or did someone harm her? As Joel unravels the clues, he also can’t help but wonder if Mary’s disappearance has to do with the local legend of the Ice Lady. Joel begins to lose all hope of finding out what really happened to Mary and finds himself in danger, all while a big storm is once again brewing in Seven Lakes.
This is by far my favorite of all the books I have read from the Online Book Club. It is a present-day mystery intertwined with historical fiction. It is a page-turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire book. I liked the fact that the book bounced back and forth between the present day and the events in 1925. Benedict is a talented author with a gift for executing a complex, well-thought-out, plotted storyline. He is also spot on with his character development.
I don’t have any negative criticism of this book. However, I did discover one minor flaw. At one point, the main character lost his cell phone as part of the plot but had it again without explanation shortly after. Additionally, I was disappointed that there was not one more narrative from Mary’s point of view before the ending to add further detail. I realize that this was likely done by the author on purpose, but I felt the ending was abrupt. The momentum could have been extended slightly longer. These are mere points of interest for the author and in no way deteriorated my overall enjoyment of the novel.
This book has been professionally edited, as I only identified a handful of errors. It contains no profanity. Due to some violence and adult themes, this book would not be recommended for young adults. I enthusiastically rate Frozen Harvest, by Joseph Benedict, 4 out of 4 stars. This is the kind of book where you find yourself thinking about the characters long after you put the book down. It is a fantastic, suspense-filled mystery that I recommend to anyone who loves a riveting thriller.
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