A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J. Henry

From Goodreads: A Cold and Lonely Place, the sequel to Learning to Swim, follows Troy on a powerful emotional journey as she discovers the damage left by long-hidden secrets, and catches a glimpse of what might have been.


I have made no secret of the fact that, as a general rule, I do not read series (John Sandford is an exception). On a fairly consistent basis, I ruthlessly mock the Sookie Stackhouse series. The Southern Vampire Mysteries (also known as The Sookie Stackhouse novels) jumped the shark long ago. You might be asking how I know this. Well, for all of my mockery, I still read the books. Yes, I just hung my head in shame. And yes, I do watch True Blood. I hate it, but I can’t stop watching (I’m that loner on Team Alcide. I’ve never joined a team in my life, but Joe Manganiello…). The only thing worse is anything by James Patterson.

However, like any other rule, there is almost always an exception. After being pleasantly surprised by Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry, I’ve been looking forward to A Cold and Lonely Place. I was not disappointed and John Sandford is no longer the only exception to my “no series” rule.

A Cold and Lonely Place gives another glimpse into the life of freelance writer Troy Chance. Only this time instead of saving a little boy’s life, she is trying to find out what caused an acquaintance’s untimely death. As she delves deeper into his life, she’s learns more about his past and his girlfriend Jessamyn (who is one of her tenants). Tobin’s passing brings his sister to town and with her a string of malicious incidents that seem to indicate that Troy should stop digging.

While growing up, I spent a fair amount of time in the Adirondacks in winter (North River, NY to be exact – about 70 miles from Saranac Lake). I can assure you it as cold as the book describes, however it is also a bit of a winter wonderland. I think the book does a lovely job of capturing this aspect of the region. I have many fond memories of cross country skiing and pick-up hockey games. The book made me nostalgic for the winters of my childhood, which was unexpected and wonderful.

One of the many things I appreciate about the main character is how normal she is. Of course this makes her relatable, but it also makes the story more emotionally gripping. I was invested in Troy’s quest for information about Tobin and satisfied (if a bit saddened) by the outcome.

If you liked Learning to Swim, you’ll love this novel. If you haven’t read the first book, I would recommend doing so. The characters will make more sense and you’ll get a chance to know Troy better (absolutely worth doing). Overall, A Cold and Lonely Place is a gripping mystery that delves into the secrets of a small town and a rich family – and how the secrets you keep can change the course of your life. If you are looking for a highly intelligent, thoughtful mystery with a memorable setting, this book is for you. Furthermore, the author has my utmost respect for creating one of the classiest mystery protagonists of recent memory. I’m already looking forward to the next one.


I’m willing to use almost any excuse for soup. Given this book’s wintry setting, I thought potato and parsnip soup with mushrooms would be excellent with this novel.

Title: A Cold and Lonely Place
Author: Sara J. Henry
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Source: Netgalley
Published: February 5, 2013


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