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is a hardcover edition on February 6, 2008 and has 417 pages.
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Fourth in the Ice romantic suspense series revolving around the agents of the Committee. The couple focus is on Madame Isobel Lambert and Killian.
Ooh, Stuart is just wicked! How she managed to keep it straight and us in suspense throughout the story…well, I’m impressed. The entire seduction at the start was good. Scary, but well written as we listen in on his practiced moves against Mary. It’s too easy to see how he could get to her.
Killian’s character is an enigma wrapped up in a mystery with his preference for keeping his personal assassin, Mahmoud, safe until Mahmoud can kill Killian. Then there’s the doublecrossing and little betrayals he and Isobel play on each other throughout the story. As well as all the other betrayals hitting them on a fairly regular basis. Finally, an even deeper end game is revealed. On both sides.
As effective as flipping back and forth from present to past via flashbacks was in telling the story, it was still confusing to sort out when I was in the reading. I wish that Stuart had spent a bit more time ensuring that the reader [me!] didn’t have to work so hard at it. It was a useful device for keeping the tension up.
LOL, I love Thomason’s reaction to Reno! For that alone, he’s worth keeping around. Although, I don’t get why Stuart keeps referring to Reno as being able to “scare the shit out of most people, anyway”. At least, not until the end. It just didn’t compute.
Weird, but Stuart really does create bad guy heros you hate to love
No one should have luck this bad. Unfortunately Isobel’s just keeps getting worse when she’s ordered to rescue the Butcher. A terrorist responsible for killing thousands, who has worked for some of the worst scum in the universe. One who wants to come in from the cold.
Worse, he turns out to be someone from her past whom she would kill to kill. The man who made her believe that he loved her and then abandoned her without a thought to murderous cohorts.
It’s a wild and crazy ride on the Killian-Lambert express with more highs and lows and one-eighties than you can shake a stick at.
But Isobel is a good soldier and she is determined to “bring in her man”.
Madame Isobel Lambert, the former Mary Isobel Curwen, replaced Sir Harry as head of the Committee, but even the Ice Queen is tired of the killing. James Reddy was her lover before he got killed trying to prove himself. Stephan Lambert was a doctor who excelled at plastic surgery and was Isobel’s first husband.
Josef Serafin is known as the Butcher and he’s one of the world’s worst terrorists. He’s also Killian, the man who seduced and left her to a group of killers when she was young. Mahmoud is the twelve-year-old boy traveling with him who intends to kill him slowly for Serafin’s part in killing his “sister”. Samuel is the friend Serafin goes to for extraction from Morocco.
Peter Madsen is running a desk after events in Cold as Ice. Well worth it to him as he is now married to Genevieve and he’s lost his taste for the extremes of the job. He and Genevieve are trying for a baby. Hiromasa “Reno” Shinoda is Takashi’s cousin and needs to flee Japan. Seems this brilliant, nerdy, software designer is in trouble with the Yakuza, although he becomes very useful with Mahmoud. Bastien Toussaint (Black Ice) makes an appearance when he and his family — Chloe and their children Sylvia and Baby Swede—are on the run from the same ruthless murderers.
Takashi O’Brien (Ice Blue) is still available for what’s needed. Sir Harry Thomason was “retired” as head of the Committee because he was too eager to kill anyone who stood in his way. Friends, foes, the milkman… Charles Morrison and Finn MacGowan are more Committee agents. Stolya is a Russian mercenary with his band of not-so-merry men.
The Committee, overtly known as Spence-Pierce Financial Consultants, Ltd., is a super-secret organization of mercenaries willing to do what governments cannot.
The Cover and Title
Oddly enough, the cover make me think of Narnia with all the icy cold, the trees lined with snow and a lamppost. In spite of the scary-looking dude with a serious five o’clock shadow imposed on the landscape.
Isobel Lambert is the Ice Queen, but when she reunites with Killian, it becomes an Ice Storm.