Excerpt from Dry Ice by Stephen White, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Dry Ice

A Novel

By Stephen White

Dry Ice
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Mar 2007,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2008,
    528 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"No moving that equipment," Ramirez said. "We both know you're not ready for that." He laughed at the thought of Cruz driving the little excavator.

"Soon as I'm done squaring it off I'll lift the bucket and set the frame. We have that other plot to dig – the double by the lake? I promised Alonso I'd get the installer on this one and get the drapes done tonight. He'll move the digger over there early and we'll start on that double as soon as the mourners are gone."

Ramirez didn't reply.

The boss's silence caused Cruz's anxiety to rustle. "Alonso wasn't sure you wanted a canopy up for the family. Sun'll be low when the service starts. No weather coming, but we've had that wind the past couple of mornings." Cruz thought Ramirez was leaning forward, examining the grave. "If you want a canopy, Mr. R., just say the word. I'll throw it on the trailer and bring it out with the chairs."

Ramirez took his hands from his pockets. He spit. "Almost done?"

"Five minutes. Clean up the hole a little. Line up the placer, check the rollers, tighten the straps. Drape it just the way you like."

Ramirez spit again. "Want a hand?"

Ramirez didn't much like labor. He viewed himself as a supervisor, even if the only one he supervised was Alonso, who didn't need any watching. Alonso did all the real herding of the crew of kids who cut the grass, plowed the snow, placed the headstones, and did the shovel work on the deep caverns in the bluegrass. Had Cruz asked for actual help Ramirez would have pretended that his pager went off and he had someplace important to be.

Like his "office" in the equipment shed.

"No, Mr. R. I'm cool. Square corners, level base, perfect depth."

Ramirez took two steps toward the grave. Two more and he'd be able to see the bottom of the hole without any trouble, and he'd be able to make his own judgment about how level that base was and how square those corners were. "You like the Hepburn?"

Ramirez was asking about the new casket placer they'd been using since the beginning of the month. The contraption cost a fortune. He liked to show it off whenever he could like he was displaying a new car on his driveway to make his neighbor envious.

Cruz nodded, "Sets up much faster than the old one, Mr. R. Much smoother, too. The bearings on the rollers on that old one were—"

The boss didn't like the word "shit" so he completed the sentence himself. "I know. Shouldn't be no squealing around funerals. Finish up then."

The lights danced again as Ramirez walked back toward the truck. He stopped for a moment in a position that left his shadow covering the black rectangle of the grave. "I get wind you moved that digger, I'll fire your ass. Understand?"

"Mark it right where it's at. That's where it'll be in the morning. All I'm going to do is lift the bucket."

Ramirez pulled himself into his truck. Behind him the profile of the Front Range marked a jagged break between the darkening sky and the frantic lights of Boulder at rush hour.

Cruz knelt down and tested the rollers, just for show. The new equipment was working fine.

The taillights of Ramirez's Ford disappeared down the access road.

Only one more thing to finish before installing the Hepburn and hanging the drapes. Cruz hopped onto the bucket, dropped back down into the grave, and said, "Bingo."

One

I thought I spotted a rosy glimmer in the water sluicing through the fountain.

My next patient was sitting calmly ten feet away, covered in blood.

I thought, I don't need this.


Diane Estevez, my long time partner and friend, had recently decided to renovate the waiting room of the old house that held our clinical psychology offices. She thought the time had come for the parlor's evolution into a transitional space, like the quiet stone and bamboo anterooms she loved to visit prior to being welcomed into a favorite spa.

Excerpted from Dry Ice by Stephen White, Copyright © 2007 by Stephen White. Excerpted by permission of Dutton, a division of Penguin Group. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  116Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson
  2.  27The Arsonist:
    Sue Miller

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.