Customer Review

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining all around!, 27 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Frozen Past (A Jaxon Jennings' Detective Mystery Thriller Series, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is the first Richard Hale novel I've read, and I've found a new author. Along with my favorite NY Times Best-Selling authors, I will check out Hale's other novels and look forward to future releases.

Not normally a person drawn to the young adult genre, I wasn't sure what I would think of this book. But don't let the book blurb fool you. This is a thriller, through and through.

The story is told through multiple viewpoints - the teenagers Luke and Ellie, the killer and the police detective Jaxon Jennings.

When it comes to the teenagers, and their group of friends, Hale did an excellent job in capturing the essence of being that age. It's as if he were that age just yesterday the way he has them interact and think.

The book starts out with an arranged meeting for a snowball fight between neighborhood teen boys, but Hale's writing voice pulled me through. It didn't take long for a gruesome discovery, which cut the game short. From this point, he really had me.

The killer is one twisted, and sick man with his affection set on young kids. He lures them by whispering out from bushes, also covered from the darkness of night "help me" - creepy. With more deaths, and more gruesome findings, the kids still think they can handle things on their own. Even, when Luke and Ellie are befriended by a strange man on Facebook, who is obviously the killer, they believe they can handle the situation.

In the meantime, with the bodies of young boys being discovered, Detective Jaxon Jennings and his partner Sally are assigned the case. It seems whenever they turn around Luke and his friends are somehow connected with the findings, but with nothing concrete tying them to the crimes. This leads the detectives, eventually, to seek help from the FBI, which results in the involvement of Jennings' ex-wife.

Hale created a believable and unique character in Detective Jaxon Jennings. He's not the cookie-cutter, cardboard model - obsessed with his career, single or going through a rough divorce, or divorced because of the job. Jennings, although, a good cop at heart, is broken. His past pushes him to the bottle to numb any feelings he has, and proves to be something he needs to work on if he's going to solve the case. I loved how Hale weaved Jennings' past into the plot of this book. (You'll have to read the book to find out what this is.)

Hale captures emotion, seemingly effortlessly, and in turn this created reactions from me. During this read, I experienced a spectrum of emotion - anger, fear, and heartbreak to name a few. I even found myself "talking" to the characters more than once. When an author can elicit these reactions, I consider this a true talent.

With unexpected turns at every corner, and an extra twist at the end, I will definitely revisit another Hale novel. Although, I had a hard time deciding who my favorite character was, I would like to see more of Jennings and his partner moving forward.
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