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on 6 August 2017
Gripping up to the last page . An exciting insight into the world of crime .
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on 9 July 2017
Loved it, great book! Promising start to a new series can't wait for the next installment.
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on 7 July 2017
I absolutely loved this book! I had no idea of what to expect when I opened the first page of Ice Lake. Would it be a grizzly crime thriller? Would it feature a handsome and witty male protagonist? Would it be an exciting and enjoyable read that offered a completely different take on the crime genre of today? The answer to all these questions is yes, and so much more.

Harry Cull is invited to Ice Lake, situated in Northeastern Pennsylvania, by his friend , State Trooper Eric Cirba. A body was found in the woods, and it is up to the local police and Harry to find out who the murderer is. And all I will say is that this realty is one twisted killer.
As soon as I started to read Ice Lake, I knew that I would love it, and this was partly responsible to the strong and likeable character of Harry Cull. It only took me a few pages to fully realise his character and that the two of us would soon become friends. He's that type of guy, you can't help but like him. Throughout the course of the book we learn more about him, his past and why he does what he does. It's not just Harry who fascinated me, but all of the characters were interesting in their own way, even Todd who runs the local 'store'. I gradually warmed to him over the book. Another character who I loved was that of MK, Harry's neighbour, a nurse and a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind and do her own thing.

This book is packed full of dark humour, and this works refreshingly well, given the dark subject matter. This kind of humour is right up my street. It doesn't make light of what is happening, but rather helps to give balance and a time to reflect upon what has happened. I found Harry to be a very funny guy, as were most of the inhabitants, albeit it in a subtle sarcastic way.

Ice Lake deals with some serious issues, those of drugs, fracking and dangerous lies, but all issues are there at the heart of the story, they are part of it, part of who the characters are and the story helps to explain what it is like to live in modern Northeastern Pennsylvania, in a remote area. I have no idea what this life must be like, but the descriptions of the environment and the people living there, helped me to feel as if I was living there, breathing the smell of the woods and drinking coffee in Todd's.

Ice Lake was such an enjoyable read. I am so very happy that this book is the start of a new series, as I want to learn more about Harry... and 'that's no lie'...
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on 10 July 2017
3.5 Stars
This is the first in a new series by an author I haven’t read before. Ice Lake conjures up all manner of images in mind but I don’t think many of them came to fruition. I do love the cover!

Having said that it’s a book that starts with a bang. Local man Big Bill is murdered so State Trooper Ed Cirba calls on his old buddy Harry Cull to come and work his magic in a lie detector capacity. Ex-cop turned psychologist Harry is a great character and his banter with Ed is entertaining .. strip clubs in Vegas included!

There are several layers to this book, while they are trying to solve the mystery other issues crop up like fracking, drugs and the ‘mob’. There are levels of social/environmental awareness filtered throughout. Quirky enough so the locals have a saying ‘And that’s no lie’ which immediately makes me think nobody is capable of telling the truth!

Set in Pennsylvania, not an area I am familiar with so the descriptive writing was crucial to engage me in the location. Lots of characters and potential suspects for the murder. Harry has his work cut out to try and solve this case. It’s definitely not a fast paced full of action book, more a steady reveal but sufficiently interesting to keep the reader intrigued.

It felt like we are just scratching the surface of Harry’s personality so hopefully he will unfold as the series continues. A promising start and one to keep an eye on for the next instalment. 3.5*
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on 31 July 2017
4.5 stars.
This is an encouraging debut that has all the ingredients of a great thriller. It's well written, full of secrets, suspense and intrigue, some action, murders, drug dealers, gangsters, strippers, romance... But at the same time it's so much more - a sharp and witty portrayal of a small town life, with each character so well drawn out that I feel like I personally know them. The short detours into American history at the beginning of some chapters also added some charm to this gem of a story.
I absolutely loved this book, which was a breath of fresh air amongst the numerous current thrillers with 'a girl' in the title. 'And that's no lie' (I just couldn't resist, sorry).
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC.
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This is a entertaining beginning for this crime series debut with a strong sense of location in Pocono township's Ice Lake in Pennsylvania where the locals most frequent saying is 'that ain't no lie'. Psychologist Harry Cull runs a consultancy based on his gift for seeing the truth and his trusty lie detector equipment. He was once a cop but tragedy in the form of the abduction of his young son, still missing, which destroyed his marriage and his police career, leaving him a haunted man. He once met Trooper Edward Cirba at a conference, and receives an unexpected call asking for his help at Pocono. Big Bill, a young man with a wayward history, has been killed with a shotgun at the horseshoe, a place used by the young to party. Harry is staying at a rent lake property with spectacular views as he and Ed investigate.

There seem to be no obvious motive for Bill's murder as most everyone liked him. The most likely culprits seem to be the manager of the local strip club who was once with the mafia. Bill's girlfriend, Harmony, worked at the strip joint. Ice Lake has recently succumbed to the fracking industry, Bill was unhappy with the fracking damage to the local area and with the potential water supply concerns. The investigation seems to be going nowhere when a local lawyer is murdered with the same MO. Harry finds himself drawn to one of the famous Keller sisters, although their relationship is not plain sailing. With suspects that include the mayor, Bill's brother, Frank, and the local mayor, Harry finds himself being excluded from the case when it surfaces that he gained access to a site under pretences. On the verge of leaving the area, Harry decides to follow up on a vague hunch that is to put him in grave danger.

This is a well plotted story with plenty of suspense, goofy banter and humour. It is also jam packed with factual information on the area such as the gas and oil industry, the environment, fracking, and its history, for example, how General John Sullivan eliminated the 'savages', the Native American Indians from Pennsylvania. Harry makes a great central character with his haunting inner trauma that belies his cheerful and comic persona. It looks like he is set to stay in the area, thanks to his developing relationship. I adored many of the characters in the novel such as store owner, Todd, and Ed, the trooper. A wonderful and fun read that easily engages the reader with the book's fluent writing. Thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 July 2017
Ice Lake begins with a murder and from that moment on I was hooked on what was an atmospheric, suspenseful and incredibly engaging start to the Harry Cull series. I love starting a new crime thriller series. There’s so much excitement and anticipation behind it, wondering if the author has created a character who’s going to turn this new series into a must-read. It is following the main guy and watching them develop that really appeals to me and often even if I enjoy the crime, if I don’t take to or find myself fascinated by the lead character, I very rarely read the second book. Ice Lake, however, had it all. This was a gripping and intriguing crime thriller and Harry was a character I absolutely loved.

Ice Lake is a slowburner of a book. The tension builds up gradually and despite the prologue that introduces us to the story with a bang, the development of the book is done at a subtle pace but one that helped the plot really get under my skin. North-eastern Pennsylvania is a place full to the brim of secrets and lies. I did not trust a soul in this book and that kept me on my toes always trying to work out the truth and what really possessed someone to kill likeable Big Bill at the beginning of the book, and find out what led someone to then committing a second murder later on. The atmosphere in Pennsylvania was built up beautifully and had me really fascinated. There was lots of character to the place, something which the author wrote so well.

In a place where telling a lie comes much more easily than telling the truth, human lie-detector Harry Cull is the man to have on side. I loved Harry. I thought he was a brilliant character and I really can’t wait to read more from him in this series. There’s something about him that is so endearing. He is funny and clever and his backstory had me utterly fascinated. Harry used to be a cop but now he is a psychologist. His past is deeply upsetting and it still has full impact on his life now. There is so much depth to Harry’s character which makes me believe this series can offer so much. There’s plenty about Harry that suggests his character can be developed much further and I am really excited to see what’s to come.

Harry’s friendship with Cirba is another part to this novel I really enjoyed reading. Their interactions were the highlight of the book for me. What with Harry’s great ability for knowing if someone is lying, he is fascinating enough on his own, but his friendship with Cirba made me like his character even more. The humour and the banter between the two of them provides plenty of light-relief in what is a hard-hitting novel.

Ice Lake is a very impressive crime thriller. The author has evidently done his research before writing parts of this book as it delivers great insight into dark themes such as fracking and drug abuse as well as the ever-interesting lie-detection aspect. The style the author writes in is also something I particularly enjoyed. I loved the little facts about Ice Lake and its environmental issues that we’d get at the beginning of some of the chapters. It was a great way of building up the location and atmosphere without info-dumping throughout. It was a little thing, but it felt fresh and different. I also loved the way the dark themes of the book were contrasted with black humour which prevented this book from being downbeat. It was dark and twisted, but also highly entertaining. Ice Lake is a great start to the series and I for one can’t wait for more.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 July 2017
OMG!! This book!!!!! You know that book that you start thinking it will be okay but then you start reading and realise it’s NOTHING like you expected? And that if anyone tried to take that book out of your hands you’d probably hit them with it?! Yes it’s THAT book! The one you start off liking and end up loving so much you want to stalk the author and chain him to the desk in your office until he writes another one (no? Just me then?!).

Anyway back to psychologist Harry Cull and you won’t have met a protagonist like this for quite some time. Part Sherlock Holmes, part Philip Marlowe, he arrives in Ice Lake after an old friend requests his help with a murder. There was a rather “Twin Peaks feel” to Ice Lake with the locals that he meets there, including his own femme fatale MK and cafe/shop owner Todd, being a very weird and wonderful bunch of people! His investigation takes him to some very dodgy places but the fabulous historical descriptions that start some of the chapters sounded so enticing I just wanted to jump on a plane and head over the Atlantic to Pennsylvania and that’s no lie! If you read this book then you will need to get used to the “that’s no lie” thing but you have my permission to NEVER get used to the fried spam sandwiches!!

Although described as a crime thriller, this book goes way beyond that! Yes it’s a hard boiled crime drama but what makes it stand head and shoulders above the rest is the wonderfully dark and astute humour! I rarely laugh out loud at books anyway but here I was positively guffawing at the situations and conversations Harry was having here! Subsequently, I spend a whole afternoon ensconced on a sun lounger in the garden getting thoroughly sunburnt as I didn’t want to put this book down for one second!

The ending had a bittersweet twist which came as a surprise to me but was pitched perfectly setting the reader up for more from Harry. And although the humour was one of the reasons this book worked so well for me, it also was able to play with my emotions by making me laugh one minute before then throwing a curve ball especially when Harry told the backstory to his life before he came to Pennsylvania. There had been subtle clues but I was shocked to the core when I found out why he was doing what he was doing whenever he had a spare moment.

This book is a real contender for my favourite book of the month, and possibly of the entire year! It kept my attention throughout and I was gripped until that very last page…And that’s no lie!
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When I read the description of Ice Lake I was intrigued, especially as it’s the start of a new series and I love a good series.
Ice Lake opens with a murder, a local man called Bill,  liked by everyone is found dead in the woods and Trooper Edward Cirba decides to call on his old friend Harry Cull, ex police and now a psychologist, for help. Armed with his lie detector Harry sets off to Ice Lake to help Cirba try and untangle the mystery.
Harry Cull was an interesting character, having once worked in the police he now has his own consultancy after a trauma saw him leaving the force and splitting up from his wife. He has a knack for knowing when someone is lying, reading their body language and picking up the little ticks that people have when they lie. This is something that’s always interested me so it was quite different having Harry as the main character. Working alongside Cirba, I liked the banter and friendship they had. They worked good together.
The story was well plotted, and at the beginning of a lot of the chapters it gave you factual information on the area which was something different. I’d definitely say this was a promising start to a new series, it was suspenseful and with lies and secrecy I couldn’t quite figure out who the suspect was. I wouldn’t say it was a fast paced story but it certainly had enough to keep you turning the pages and it also left enough open to get excited to see what will happen next in the series. I’m quite looking forward to seeing what’s in store for Harry Cull next.
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on 11 July 2017
Harry Cull is an absolutely brilliant character, he is so interesting and I love the way he works and acts. I also love his interactions with other characters, in particular Trooper Cirba, their relationship and banter is so enjoyable and made me laugh with their back and forth over a previous encounter.

The Lake in Ice Lake is definitely a character in itself and I could easily picture the town, with the local "grocery" store and houses with gardens that run down to their own dock at the lake. It feels like the hub of the town.

I found the "lie detecting" really interesting as my husband is a magician and he has done courses in NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and knows how to see peoples tells etc. He's practised more than a few times on me. Knowing the inside information on this, it was good to see some explanation as to how people can seem like they are a human lie detector as it's not normally covered in fiction books.

I can't really say anything about the story itself as I would hate to spoil anything, but I can say that I absolutely loved the story and really enjoyed how things were worked out. I think the writing flowed well and it was a really easy read. I read Ice Lake really quickly and I'm already looking forward to more Harry Cull books. I think I've found another new favourite lead man in crime fiction.

This is a definite recommendation from me.
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