I’ve mentioned before how sporadic my ability to concentrate on books has been since my head injury. That was one thing that certainly wasn’t an issue with Their Frozen Graves by Ruhi Choudhary, an author whose name I wasn’t even aware of until I read this book. However, I certainly won’t be forgetting it and I suspect I’ll be looking out for any new work by her in future – after I go back and read her debut novel, Our Daughter’s Bones. There I’ll be introduced to her fabulously likeable police detective protagonist, Mackenzie Price, who works with a well-fleshed out team of detectives – although mainly her partner Nick – in the fictional Washington town of Lakemore.
Like the majority of fictional police officers, Mackenzie has a complex personal life, particularly with respect to her upbringing – one of the standout memories of her childhood is her mother waking her one night at 12, and telling her she needed her help in burying her abusive drunk of a father, Robert. Shortly thereafter she was packed off to New York to her grandmother’s for schooling, and has only returned to Lakeview to work, and perhaps solve some of the mysteries that still hang over her from her childhood years. With her mother now dead, she has no family ties in the town. However, she is married to local prosecutor, Sterling – but they’re currently separated due to his infidelity. Will Mackenzie find she can forgive him and allow him to move back in? And when an unexpected face from Mackenzie’s past reappears, she is forced to re-evaluate all she thought she knew about her family’s past.
Regarding the plot – well, this is one of those books you don’t want to reveal too much about, as it’s best enjoyed (in my humble opinion) if you know as little as possible about what’s going to happen, so utterly compelling and page-turning it is. I’ll give you the basic premise of Mackenzie and Nick’s case: two women are found in the lake at a local park, dead and almost identical, but for the fact one has received elaborate plastic surgery to turn what was initially a basic similarity in looks into an even more pronounced copy of the other. The pair of detectives are pretty sure they know who one of the women is: Katy Becker, a well=known local activist and champion of those in need of help in Lakemore. However, when they go to give the dreaded news to Katy’s husband, they find her there, alive and well – if suffering from debilitating morning sickness. To add to the mystery, the cosmetically-enhanced corpse has an indecipherable code of numbers and letters tattooed behind each knee. Who are the doppelgangers? And what is their connection to Katy Becker? Could she be in danger too?
This is merely the opening mystery in a book which so adeptly takes us on a roller=coaster mystery it’s difficult to believe it’s only the author’s second novel. I was utterly glued to the book, and finished it way faster than anything I’ve read for a considerable time – I’ve been picking up and putting down too many books recently, not engrossed enough in the storyline to finish them. However, I think the problem was definitely with my difficulty in being able to concentrate for any length of time, definitely not the books. I was beginning to despair that the head injury had spoilt my enjoyment of books for good – as a result, I’d been playing safe, selecting only novelists I’ve read for years. Striking gold with a book like this, by a relatively unknown author like Ruhi, restored my faith in my enjoyment of finding new voices – and of championing them by blogging about them, something I’ve been sadly neglecting. Fingers crossed I’ve turned a corner. I’m really looking forward to updating myself with Mackenzie’s exploits in Our Daughter’s Bones – although I found no problem reading this as a standalone.
And one thing is for sure – Ruhi Choudhary won’t stay a well-kept secret for long – particularly as both her books are currently a bargain at 99p!
With thanks to Noelle Holten and all at Bookouture for allowing me the opportunity to participate in this blog tour. My views are my own and completely unbiased.
BLURB: Two women are dead. They both look like you.
The giant stretch of frozen river was melting and the light made the lake glitter like crystals. The women lay side by side on the shore, eyes open and glassy. Their long, dark hair was like tangled rope, their faces a reflection of each other…
When two bodies are found dumped in a vast lake in Lakemore, Washington, Detective Mackenzie Price is first on the scene. She identifies one of the victims as Katy Becker, a local known for her work helping the community. The other victim looks strikingly similar.
Still grappling with a shocking revelation from her past, Mack is only too happy to throw herself into the case. But when she goes to break the news to Katy’s husband, the investigation takes an unexpected turn: Katy is very much alive, and has never met the women who resemble her so closely.
Now the race is on to find the killer before Katy becomes the next victim. But when Mack unearths a disturbing connection to a sixteen-year-old suicide, she realizes they could be hunting someone whose crimes span decades—and there are more lives than just Katy’s at stake.
Addictive, pulse-pounding and packed full of jaw-dropping twists, fans of Lisa Regan, Angela Marsons and Karin Slaughter will love the Their Frozen Graves.