Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dry Ice by Stephen White

Stephen White's debut novel, Privileged Information, introduced Boulder, Colo., psychologist Alan Gregory and the clever but deadly Michael McClelland, a former meteorologist turned killer, whose rampage almost cost Gregory and his wife, Lauren, their lives.

In this sequel, while Lauren, a local prosecutor, is absorbed in a sensitive grand jury probe that represents her best chance to demonstrate that she can function despite her MS, Gregory learns that McClelland has escaped from custody and has devised a devious, multi-layered revenge scheme against everyone he holds responsible for his incarceration. Almost overnight, Gregory finds his routine existence turned into a Hitchcockian nightmare. Suspected of several murders, he can trust no one.

I picked up this series years ago as I live in Colorado, grew up near Boulder, and thought it would be fun to read a series in a setting I know well. Since then, though, this has become one of my favorites. I love Dr Gregory. He is a smart man, but still compassionate and caring. He also gets into some wonderful scrapes. Sam, Dr Gregory's police detective friend, is a very entertaining character too. I don't feel as much of a connection to Lauren though. She always seems a little flat to me.

This book had me frustrated though. Dr Gregory lost a patient in an earlier book, and is still struggling with the after effects of that trauma. There were points in this book that Dr Gregory was so slow and dim witted that I was mad that he wasn't catching on to anything. In the end, it came together and I wasn't as frustrated, but this wasn't my favorite in the series. I am hoping the next in the series, Dead Time, is better. 3.5 stars


Kelly said...

I agree with your description of Alan Gregory's character, it seems like White's last few books, Alan is sort of distracted and bemused alot. That sort of makes the flavor of the whole book distracted for me. I can't decide if White has lost his focus or he's merely trying to show his aging character going through some type of mid life crisis thing.

I liked Whites books better when Alan was sharp and always on his game.

Kelly said...

Oh, and I never have really connected with Lauren either, except with regards to the MS, I have two cousins and a brother with the disease, so I connect there, but her character is pretty flat.

I've got a review of Dead Time up on my blog if you're interested in taking a quick peek at it.

Love your blog!!