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Ice Trap: A Novel of Psychological Suspense Hardcover – February 5, 2008
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Suddenly, a relatively innocent past takes over his present life, and that of his wife. It further develops that there isn't just a daughter; this purported "daughter" is actually one of twins, a girl and a boy. Deep in the remote, sub-arctic wilderness where Dafydd had worked 15 years earlier, these children were conceived and born to a woman for whom he felt little but animosity. She was--and still is at the time the novel takes place--head nurse in the hospital where Dafydd did a locum. He was running away from a tragic medical accident, and this distant area seemed like a good place to escape to.
DNA tests are ordered immediately to clear Dafydd in his wife's eyes. The tests are positive, the marriage is very precarious, and Dafydd goes back to the Canadian wilderness to sort things out. What he finds there is complex and compelling. The surprises are not set-ups but develop organically, making the story believable. This is the extremely self-assured debut of a writer to watch. She has deftly created landscape, character, mood and suspense to bring her story to its snapper of a conclusion. --Valerie Ryan
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Next, Sewell takes us back in to 1992, when Dafydd fled to a frozen wasteland called Moose Creek (population just over 4000) in the Northwest Territories. It was "a godforsaken outpost to which no sane human being, least of all a doctor, would ever dream of going voluntarily." He retreated there after having made a serious medical error that left him shaken and remorseful. Sewell describes the offbeat men and women whom Dafydd encountered. One of them was Sheila Hailey, an arrogant nurse who mocked and criticized Dafydd at every opportunity.
"Ice Trap" has an intriguing premise and an original setting. Sewell expertly describes the challenges of staying alive in an Arctic town where the inhabitants must do battle with a forbidding climate that can bring about frostbite or even death. In Moose Creek, people drink too much, smoke heavily, and enter into sexual relationships with abandon, not worrying too much about the consequences of their rash behavior. The residents of this inhospitable place include Native Americans, blue collar workers, and misfits who cannot function in society.
When he later puts down roots in Wales, Dafydd hopes that he has left Moose Creek behind him forever.Read more ›
After the first 40 or so pages I realized that I wasn't enjoying the book as much as I should. The characters weren't as believable as I would have liked, and how they responded to situations left me a bit uncomfortable. There are flashbacks to Woodruff's life at Moose Creek in Canada in 1992. The Canadian scenes are helpful to the book--in terms of a sense of place--they are well done. But the people seem unrealistic in ways. Later, Woodruff returns to Moose Creek to try to unravel the mystery. One of the twins insists he's her father, the other twin--a boy--insists that Woodruff is not his father. It seems a bit off-kilter, and it doesn't feel right. I found that I was curious about how the mystery would be solved, but not excited by it.
In retrospect, I think that having twins added unnecesary complications to the plot. I kept thinking about monozygotic/dizygotic identical/fraternal twins and DNA. If you have a male and a female (as in Ice Trap) the twins must be fraternal/dizygotic, and the chance of both having exactly the same DNA is negligible.Read more ›
I can truly say that it's one of the most interesting novels I've read in a long time. It's marketed as a thriller, and I have a feeling that it's here the problem lies for both the author and her readers. The American market thinks of thrillers in terms of bloodshed, domestic violence, pedophilia and gruesome murders. Along comes the ubiquitous police detective/ investigative journalist/ forensic pathologist to cleverly sniff out the truth. The reader buys a thriller expecting to be thrilled to the point of the ridiculous on every page.
Well, Ice Trap is not about that. It's a totally different kind of thriller, where the characters are complex, most of them neither good nor bad, but real, and the setting draws you in so that you literally live in the cold harsh climate of Moose Creek. The suspense is subtle but insistent and the plot twists are truly ingenious.
I looked up the authors website and saw that Ice Trap has won prices and has been short-listed for a couple of prestigious awards in Europe. I can see why. Can't wait for Bloodprint, her next one!
The work environment in a remote hospital, where most of the employees come from outside, and stay a short time, is also familiar to me after doing that kind of contract in a foreign country as an emergency room RN.
The author crabs your attention from the first chapter, and keeps it to the end. Most of the action described is plausible, and the mystery part is unique as well. I will look for this author's books in the future, and my copy of "Ice Trap" is on the way to Alaska, where a relative is on a 3 yr contract as a physican on a remote island.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not what I anticipated. Book was larger than a paperback and the pages were Brown. Not very satisfied.Published 2 months ago by Louise Babcock
An interesting concept, but not well written. Time flipping forward and backward is confusing. Gratuitus sex scenes are not necessary, and seem to be placed to just make an impact... Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by Bev D
ICE TRAP is a beautifully crafted novel by a brilliant young author. An exciting story line with characters you will not soon forget. Read morePublished on January 10, 2012 by David L. Bagnard
IT WAS MY FIRST BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR. STARTED OFF GREAT, THEN DRAGGED, AND DRAGGED. I DID FINISH IT BUT WAS GLAD WHEN I WAS THROUGH WITH THE BOOK. I WOULDN'T RECOMMEND IT. SORRY.Published on December 19, 2011 by Sandra L. Leonard
It was a little weird but I liked it.Kitty took a boring, everyday situation and turned it into this huge suspense story. Read morePublished on July 28, 2011 by Ms.Tiptress
"Ice Trap is an engrossing thriller. The protagonist, a medical doctor, is the flawed hero who must overcome guilt from his past and entrapment by a scheming woman. Read morePublished on March 7, 2011 by I. Kursman
The only reason I gave Sewell's work 3 stars is for her prose, her descriptions of the Arctic, which are really stunning. Read morePublished on January 18, 2011 by fockinmeen
I, too, found the dialogue and settings believable and the characters interesting. I love mysteries. Read morePublished on January 5, 2011 by Pam