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DEAD FOR THE WINTER
by Betsy Thornton
St Martin's Minotaur, November 2004
272 pages
$23.95
ISBN: 0312333196


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Chloe Newcombe, who works as a victim's advocate in Cochise County, Arizona, feels very free these days. Her boyfriend went to South America for six months and Chloe is not unhappy about that at all. She decides to hire carpenter, Terry Barnett to build a cabinet and they soon discover their relationship starts to mean more than just a friendship.

Terry takes Chloe to Mexico for lunch, and because he sees another acquaintance, he comes clean and tells Chloe that he's married. But he also wants to talk to her about a troubling matter. When she hears the truth, Chloe is hurt to find out that Terry was leading her on and asks that he take her home. She tells him that she will talk to him about his problem as soon as she calms down.

A month goes by and Terry and Chloe accidentally meet each other in town. They exchange a hug, but never get to talk. Shortly after, there's a fire in his workshop and Terry is found dead inside. After investigating the death, the police decide that the workshop was burned down intentionally to hide the fact that Terry was shot and murdered.

Chloe is horrified to learn that Terry was killed, especially as she never got around to listening to the problem he had so wanted to discuss with her. As luck would have it, in her job as a victim's advocate, Chloe is assigned to help Heather, Terry's wife and then she has to figure out if she should come clean about the relationship she almost had with Terry.

The situation gets very complicated when the police suspect that Chloe murdered Terry. Combined with another problem that Chloe has with one of her other victim's advocate clients, she soon finds herself out of a job. Now Chloe must find a way to clear her name from a murder suspicion, attempt to get her job back, and try to figure out how she is going to get money to live on until all this is settled.

DEAD FOR THE WINTER by Betsy Thornton is the newest installment in the wonderful Chloe Newcombe series. Thornton weaves a superb tale that takes her protagonist out of Arizona to Ohio, where the murder victim was born. It's here where we meet Terry's very rich and strange brother, his best friend, and former neighbors who knew Terry while he was growing up.

The plot is complicated and filled with marvelous twists and turns throughout, keeping the reader constantly surprised. The characters in the story are equally developed and interesting. The most intriguing character is Chloe herself. Even though Newcombe is the heroine of this series, Thornton doesn't make her a perfect person who thinks she knows everything. Chloe is filled with self-doubts and makes the same type of mistakes that everyone else makes. She is not a superwoman, and because of that readers can readily identify with her.

This is a book not to be missed! While you're looking for it at the bookstore make sure to pick up the other books in the Chloe Newcombe series. You will not be sorry.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, December 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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