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Chill Factor: A Novel Hardcover – August 16, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lust, jealousy and murder suffuse Brown's crisp thriller (after White Hot), set in the snowbound mountains of North Carolina. Lilly and Dutch Burton's marriage didn't withstand the loss of their three-year-old daughter, despite their attempt at a fresh start with the purchase of a vacation cabin in bucolic Cleary, N.C., where the novel opens on the divorced couple discussing its sale. Dutch is now Cleary's chief of police, and Lilly is a magazine editor in Atlanta. As she races back to the city to beat a blizzard, her car skids out, striking a hiker emerging from the woods. Turns out he's a man she knows: handsome freelance writer Ben Tierney, whom she met and flirted with the summer before. With no choice but to wait out the storm in the cabin with Ben, who is injured, Lilly calls Dutch, but he can't reach her via the now impassable mountain road. Meanwhile, Cleary is haunted by the case of five missing women—all now feared dead. With Lilly still stranded, Dutch goes ballistic when the FBI arrives in town with evidence that Tierney is the serial killer. The snowy suspense will cool off Brown's fans during the dog days of summer. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Brown's new yarn is set in the small town of Cleary, North Carolina, where magazine publisher Lilly Martin is packing up her things at the cabin she shared with her ex-husband, Dutch Burton. Now the police chief of Cleary, Dutch desperately wants another chance with Lilly. She refuses, and he leaves the cabin, warning her of an impending blizzard. On her way down from the mountains, she accidentally hits a man in the road. She manages to get the man, Ben Tierney, back to her cabin, where they decide to wait out the storm. But the more time she spends with Tierney, the more Lilly fears he might be the serial killer dubbed "Blue," who has been abducting women in Cleary for the past year. Despite her mounting concerns, Lilly can't help her growing attraction for the man. Back in town, Dutch is frantic when he learns Lilly is trapped up in the cabin with Tierney, whom the FBI also suspects might be Blue. Dutch's concern grows, and he mounts a desperate attempt to rescue his ex-wife. The suspense builds as Brown's novel chugs toward a gripping, surprising conclusion. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743245547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743245548
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (826 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including MEAN STREAK (2014), DEADLINE (2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), RAINWATER (2010), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008) & PLAY DIRTY (2007).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into thirty-three languages.

A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program "PM Magazine."

She is much in demand as a speaker and guest television hostess. Her episode on truTV's "Murder by the Book" premiered the series in 2008 and she was one of the launch authors for Investigation Discovery's new series, "Hardcover Mysteries."

In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.

Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer's Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sheri Melnick on August 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Brown delivers an eerie tale of a serial killer in this, her latest suspense thriller. The setting is the wintry mountains of North Carolina, near the small town of Cleary, where five women have disappeared without a trace over the past two years. With her divorce from local police chief Dutch Burton, Lilly Martin is cleaning out their mountain cabin retreat before she travels back to her Atlanta home. But her car careens off the road on her way down the mountain, and she hits Ben Tierney, a travel writer whom she met the previous summer. The two are stranded in Lilly's cabin, as Tierney recovers from his injuries, and romantic tension heats up between them.

As police and the FBI continue to search for the abductor, nicknamed Blue for the blue ribbons he leaves when he takes his victims, the storm rages on. Certain clues leave Lily wondering if the man she is sharing her cabin with might be her greatest fear. Could Tierney be Blue?

Brown's small town cast of characters comes alive in quiet Cleary, North Carolina. From the local high school football coach to the mild mannered pharmacist, it is clear that many of Cleary's residents have dark secrets, and one of them just might be the notorious Blue. The mystery is expertly crafted; leading readers on a white knuckled ride complete with plenty of red herrings. The conclusion is tumultuous and explosive, the perfect finale to this bone chilling thriller.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Carol on August 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the best Sandra Brown book I have ever read, and I've read most of them.

Ben Tierney and Lilly Martin were outstanding and all the other characters were terrific!

Suspense, tension, 'did he or didnt he', passion were all involved. The setting was a whiteout snowstorm and it was portrayed chillingly! Even in Florida, (am a former New Englander), I could feel the cold, experience all the emotions of the characters; and even tho you will probably guess who the bad guy is, you do not want to do it willingly!!!

This is a gut wrenching story, vividly done. I read this book in one day - just could not put it down until I reached the end.

Each chapter ends hanging out there, and you rush thru the next to seek the answer! (boy, was I easy or what?) :D

Did not enjoy some of the last Sandra Brown books but this one has restored my faith. Well done!
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67 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Ahlers on September 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Brown's latest effort "Chill Factor" will thrill readers with it layered storylines and characters. As a result the reader will truly be left guessing until the end of the story as to who "Blue" is and why he is doing what he does.

A bad winter storm has moved into the mountains of North Carolina and with it an end to all that has been going on for the past two years. Ben Tierney is caught on a mountainside when an ice and sleet storm hits. His car is not working and he must get off the mountain if he's going to survive. He runs into the chief of police's ex-wife Lilly. Together they find themselves trapped on the mountain with little to no chance of making it back to town alive. Knowing that time is of the essence they head back to Lilly's old cabin to wait out the storm. They have no idea that what started between them the summer before is going to finally be resolved for good or ill. But, when Lilly starts putting things together she fears that she might just be attracted to the serial killer "Blue." Will she live to see justice served?

Ben has a lot to answer for and his secretive nature doesn't help things. The local's have him pegged as a serial killer and he knows things that he probably shouldn't. On top of that there is the burning attraction that he can no longer ignore when it comes to Lilly. Will he be able to keep his secret and help Lilly live to see another day.

Dutch Burton, chief of Police of Cleary and he can't get over the fact that his wife Lilly is gone, and wants nothing to do with him any longer. His stubborn nature combined with the fact that his best friend Wes won't let things settle down only add to the burning in his gut. He will do whatever he must to get Lilly off the mountain and away from Tierney.
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60 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Rice on June 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Call me old fashioned, but what is to like about a mystery/romance that has a middle-aged school teacher sharing rape fantasy experiences with a male student? Allowing him to sneak into her bed at night and enact violent sex. And then have the boy's mother call the teacher a heroine after she finds out? (Holding her hand and sharing the pain.) And what's to like about that same mother who sees her son forced to take steroids by a macho coach dad who is also a serial womanizer who urges another man to murder? And after all that, she stays married to him?

This isn't a romance and there is no mystery to solve, just soap opera drama that trivializes humanity for the sake of near porn and hard ugliness. When a writer sees the death of a young child as a mere plot convenience to generate sympathy for a loser like the main character, Lilly Burton, you have to wonder at the writer's cynicism. But, then, cynicism is the thrust of this book. Everyone is fatally flawed and everyone is equally disparaged by the author, from the FBI (foul-mouthed special agent who drags along a Bible to read) to the police (generalized as angry and prone to violent outbursts.) The hero is secretive, unlikeable and manipulative and, despite being described as "intelligent" is stupid enough to fall for a woman who accuses him of murder, handcuffs him, holds him at gunpoint and then sleeps with him the next day.

What should strike readers is the lack of warmth toward a single character. The motel owner has three teeth, the snow plow driver is a drunk who will be crippled for life. In the end, the dumb hero is also maimed for life, loses his daughter and fesses up to being a bad dad as well.
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