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A Cold and Lonely Place: A Novel Hardcover – February 5, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307718417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307718419
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Review

“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


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.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed this book, easy read, and kept me guessing till the end.
Pamela
I started reading this book yesterday, and couldn't put it down until I finished it today.
Deborah Patrick
The characters are very well developed and the story line is original.
Rapid Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By OutlawPoet TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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 23 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pinkjannie on May 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Even so I enjoyed it because it was set in a place I am very familiar with and those details were excellent. Story line is kind of far-fetched and the plot was wrapped up too neatly for my taste.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wilhelmina Zeitgeist VINE VOICE on 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 Amazon.com wishlist.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Shana VINE VOICE on 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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