Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Murder in a Winter Wonderland

I adore Christmas - the carols, the sappy holiday movies, the over-the-top decorations always give me a thrill.  But every now and then all the schmaltz gets to you (usually by your third trip to the mall and the fourth time your computer crashes in the middle of a huge internet order).  So here's a book that still gives you a winter wonderland setting, but with the icy sting of murder.
Stephen White is a prolific mystery author.  All his books revolve around Alan Gregory, a Boulder, CO psychologist.  I think the series is up to #16 by now, and they are all terrific.  This particular book is a great introduction to the wonderful cast of recurring characters, married with a taut suspense plot.  You can count on finding strong character development, amazing setting details and subtle humor in all of his books.

This mystery starts off with a literal bang when there's a shooting in his office.  A subplot covers the unusual treatment Alan Gregory offers a young patient who survived a ripped from the headlines plane crash.  Alan has a complicated love life that adds to the dramatic tension assailing him from all sides as his partner is attacked, Alan barely survives a brush with death, his office is broken into, and about a dozen other moral, ethical and action-packed twists and turns, all leading to one heck of a climax.  I highly encourage you to discover the grittier side of Colorado and try to unravel this mystery.

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