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A Cold and Lonely Place: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Sara J. Henry
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Another riveting novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Learning to Swim

*Anthony Award nominee for Best Novel

Freelance writer Troy Chance is snapping photos of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace when the ice-cutting machine falls silent. Encased in the frozen lake is the shadowy outline of a body—a man she knows. 
     A lurid news story goes viral, throwing suspicion on one of Troy's housemates. Troy is assigned to write an in-depth feature on the dead man, who turns out to be the son of a wealthy Connecticut family playing at a blue-collar life in this Adirondack village. As Troy digs deeper into his life and mysterious death—working with his bereaved sister, reclusive girlfriend, and helpful neighbor—a string of incidents makes it clear someone doesn't want the investigation to continue.
     What Troy discovers threatens to shatter the serenity of these mountain towns, and she must decide which family secrets should be exposed, and how far her own loyalty can reach.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Henry follows up her award-winning debut novel, Learning to Swim (2011), with a strong second effort also featuring freelance reporter Troy Chance. Out on Saranac Lake, in the Adirondacks, reporting on the Winter Carnival, Troy witnesses a group of ice cutters as they discover the body of a dead man beneath the frozen lake. It turns out that Troy is acquainted with the dead man, a wealthy, ne’er-do-well Princeton dropout and local playboy who was dating her roommate. But Troy also learns just how wrong she was in her assumptions about the drowning victim when the local newspaper editor assigns her to do an in-depth profile of the man and the investigation into his death. Featuring a strong cast of female characters and a measured pace, this sophomore novel also perfectly conjures the lure of living in a small and beautiful mountain town during a bitterly cold winter. Featuring an independent and immensely likable lead, riffing on the complicated nature of friendship, and boasting a solidly plotted mystery, this may well appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn. --Joanne Wilkinson


“Featuring an independent and immensely likable lead, riffing on the complicated nature of friendship, and boasting a solidly plotted mystery, this may well appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn.” —Booklist

“Sara J. Henry's stellar debut, Learning to Swim, collared multiple major mystery awards. Now A Cold and Lonely Place showcases Henry's powerful new voice. Set in the Adirondack winter, it is both a deeply atmospheric, seductive read and a captivating literary mystery. Put this one on your must-read list!” —Julia Spencer-Fleming, author of Through the Evil Days

“There is a mystery at the cold and lonely heart of this book, but first and foremost, it’s a poignant and haunting story about Troy’s search for the truth behind a young man’s life… This is a powerful, emotional journey for Troy, but ultimately a hopeful one, as she uncovers the stories behind one young man’s traumatic childhood, stories that will finally redeem him.” —BookPage

“[The] sense of severing all previous ties and never truly getting close to people permeates Sara J. Henry's insightful second novel.... Henry explores the complicated nature of relationships while delivering a suspenseful novel full of unpredictable twists.” —South Florida Sun Sentinel

“A chilling mystery about families and friendships.” —Parkersburg News and Sentinel

"[A] haunting follow-up to her Agatha-winning debut, Learning to Swim ... Adding considerably to the compulsively readable mystery that unfolds … is Henry's bone-deep sense of this terribly beautiful place." —Publishers Weekly

"Henry brilliantly draws us into a terrifying but ultimately affirmative novel in which, once again, love, friendship, and the shining truth about who we really are redeems an otherwise hopeless universe." —Howard Frank Mosher, author of The Great Northern Express

Product Details

  • File Size: 3478 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307718417
  • Publisher: Crown (February 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,244 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written February 19, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J. Henry surprised me a bit. I admit that I get a bit tired of the amateur sleuth type of novel. The logical part of my brain objects to almost everything I read. However, I simply loved this novel.

The writing style reminded me just a bit of those Icelandic mysteries - there was something so sparse, yet poetic about the author's style. She manages to paint pictures with words. Partially because of the cold setting - and partially because of the details of the possible murder - the imagery is stark and cold. However, and here's where the skill came in, it was still full of emotion.

In spite of my noted amateur sleuth hate, I loved Troy. Instead of being irritated by her, I was rooting for her. And I really, really wanted to know the truth behind the death.

I can only say that this novel was perfectly crafted. When the truth is revealed, it was unexpected and just a little heartbreaking - mostly because I had come to really like and admire the characters involved.

This book has a permanent place on my book shelf to be savored again in the future.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left me cold April 12, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Set in remote and chilly upstate New York, this is the story of a small town reporter, Troy Chance (she's a woman), whose roommate's boyfriend's body is found under the ice of a frozen lake. Troy barely knew Tobin who had only recently moved to the area - and didn't particularly like him - but she is given the unlikely assignment of writing a series of articles profiling him, his upbringing, life and eventual death. As she investigates, she will get to know both her roommate and Tobin's family better, and uncover some tightly held family secrets. She will also eventually uncover the truth about Tobin's death.

This is a mystery of sorts, but it's a very slowly developing one and I found it quite irritating. There is just so much extraneous detail! It's not enough for her to buy something in Canada, we have to be told that she had obtained Canadian money to allow her to do this. We have to be told the details of every meal, the make of car that everyone drives, have thought processes spelled out in detail. It makes the book feel sluggish. Moreover, I actively disliked the main character (and narrator), which isn't automatically a deal breaker but it does make it harder to enjoy a book.

On the positive front, the book is rich in atmosphere - you feel cold reading it! And I liked the fact that the story doesn't throw in any silly melodramatic twists just for the sake of it. It feels plausible.

This is actually a sequel to the author's first book, Learning to Swim: A Novel, which I haven't read. The events from that book are referred to but this works well as a standalone story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Novel! March 27, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"A Cold and Lonely Place: A Novel" by Sara J. Henry is a gripping thriller that grabs your interest from the beginning and holds it all the way through. The descriptions in the book are so good. The author draws you in and makes you feel as though you are there along side the characters or watching them from across the room.

Even had to turn the heat up since I could just feel the cold bouncing off the words and onto my skin. Glad I have a Snuggie :)

I love a thriller that I can't figure out so I can just sit back and enjoy the story, while reading as fast as I can, with each scene having me say, "Hmmm, I didn't see that one coming."

Henry's other book, "Learning to Swim: A Novel" is on my wishlist.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frigid Psycological Mystery April 10, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Not only a mystery, "A Cold and Lonely Place" is a story about secrets and how they affect people and the people who keep them. And it's a story about how we all have an emotional impact with each other. It's what I'd call a psychological mystery instead of an edge-of-your-seat mystery thriller. While most of the focus may be on Tobin and what happened to him out on the ice the night he got killed, the bones of this story are really about the people who have been left behind. It's a bit of a character study type of mystery.

This is the type of book where it is difficult to tell much about the story without telling too much. My favorite part of the story is the setting in and around Saranac Lake and Lake Placid in Northern New York. The whole feel of the story is icy and forlorn. You can feel the howling, cold winds and just the frosty loneliness of that region in astounding detail.

Also, I thought the book cover art really tied in nicely with the feel of this story. That's a big plus to me as to be honest, sometimes; I do judge a book by its cover. This is the second in the author's Troy series. The first was "Learning to Swim" which I hadn't read when I picked this one up. This one is a stand-alone though there are just a few references to the first story.

My only pet-peeve, with this story (which is my own personal pet-peeve) is that many of the characters have very unusual names and it was hard for me to at first keep them all straight, as to who was related or had a relationship with whom.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this for those readers who enjoy psychological mysteries which slowly unfold. I'd definitely read another book from this author. I'd also recommend getting yourself a large, hot cup of tea or coffee when you start to read this book as the icy setting will get you chilly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad I read it
An interesting book, with likable characters and a good plot. I believe the page count could be reduced quite a bit if they cut out all the times Troy had to walk her dog, make... Read more
Published 4 days ago by tirzah783
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
This book is set in the Adirondacks and keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next development. A good read.
Published 11 days ago by me
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cooler Place
Following Swimming Lessons, Henry's debut, this book has a high mark to meet. The story is very different but it left me hoping the author will revisit the characters in the... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Donna L. Ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner!
A great read that is well composed and reasonably accurate form a locale standpoint. I was born and raised in Saranac Lake, and Ms. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Brian McClatchie
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
Believable mystery. I enjoyed the writers style. Good followup to Learning to Swim. I recommend starting with that one, but liked this one jut a bit better.
Published 21 days ago by circclerk
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cold and Lonely Place
A story set in Lake Saranac close to Lake Placid, a small tourist dependent town, with locals, transient seasonal workers and an unexplained death that affects the entire... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Kate
4.0 out of 5 stars Good second novel
I don't think this was as good as her first novel. This seemed to drag in places and words filled the space. But it's still worth a read.
Published 1 month ago by linda k chalmers
5.0 out of 5 stars A great sequel.
I'm hoping to see a lot more novels featuring Troy Chance, a free-lance writer. She is such a likable character. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Peggy Teney
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing book and very well written
I really enjoyed this book and it did not turn out as expected. Very real characters, emotions and situations. I will read more books by Sara Henry!
Published 1 month ago by Joy
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
This was a very good read. It moved along well and did a good job developing all the characters and the story. It wasn't a complicated story. It held my interest.
Published 1 month ago by M R
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More About the Author

Sara J. Henry's first novel, LEARNING TO SWIM, has been called "an auspicious debut" by Daniel Woodrell (WINTER'S BONE) and "emotional, intense, and engrossing" by Lisa Unger - it won the Anthony and Agatha awards for best first novel and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her second, A COLD AND LONELY PLACE, which Julia Spencer-Fleming calls "a deeply atmospheric, seductive read and a captivating literary mysterym" won the Silver Falchion award and is nominated for the Anthony Award for best novel - up against Robert Crais, William Kent Krueger, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Julia Spencer-Fleming.

Sara has written for Prevention, Adirondack Life, Bicycling, Triathlete, and other magazines, was an editor at Rodale Books and Women's Sports & Fitness magazine, wrote and co-wrote health and fitness books, and was a newspaper and magazine editor. A native of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Sara now lives on a dirt road in southern Vermont.

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