The Coldest Blood
by Jim Kelly
Review by Beth Slater
St. Martin's Minotaur Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 0312364784
Date: 09 January, 2007 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
This is the fourth book in Kelly's Phillip Dryden series, but it is the first I've read. Dryden is a reporter for a small-town paper where he lives on a boat while his wife is recuperating from an accident with a DUI. Life goes by slowly since his wife, Laura, has come out of her 4 year coma, and Dryden no longer drives. Ely, where he lives and works, is in the middle of the coldest weather in history and Dryden is working on a story on cold-weather fatalities and how to prevent them. When Dryden finds the body of one, iced over on the man's own front porch where he'd been locked out, he starts connecting dots that others don't see. From official release/information:
Book Description: A man lies hidden in an abandoned boat. Stifling his own screams, he draws a knife across his arm, letting the blood flow free. Soon he'll be dead – and life can begin again.
Three decades later, small-town newspaper reporter Philip Dryden is experiencing a cold, bitter Christmas on the Fens. Dryden's wife, Laura, is emerging from years in a coma, unsure if she wants to go on living. Meanwhile, people are freezing to death, among them Declan McIlroy, a 39 year old loner found dead in his flat with the windows thrown open. The police rule the death a suicide, but Dryden has his doubts – especially when he finds the body of Declan's best friend Joe frozen within a shell of ice on the doorstep of his secluded farmhouse.
At the same time, Dryden is investigating allegations of abuse laid against a Catholic orphanage – a touchy subject, due to his own Catholic upbringing. The incidents seem unrelated until Dryden discovers that Declan was one of the victims. Could his death have been part of a cover-up?
Soon, Dryden is picking his way along a disturbing trail of cruelty and betrayal to a brilliantly executed crime, and to a chilling, half-remembered mystery from his own childhood.
(Source: St. Martin's Minotaur)