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Not too cold!
This is not just another mystery by Julia Spencer-Fleming! Priest Clare Fergusson and Police Chief Russ van Alstyne have finally married, as Clare is pregnant. They are called out in the middle of the night to an arson call, that quickly becomes a murder scene. Add the cold, the blizzard, and a kidnapping and you have the making of a great murder suspense novel, and that is what you will get. It was well written, the characters are believable, and the novel flows well. Enjoy!
Toni K. (Memphis, TN)
Old Friends and Winter
After having read all the books in this series, I was looking forward to the continuation of the series. I was not disappointed. This book had several plot lines going on and I enjoyed all the lines and how they contributed to the complexity of the book. I loved that Claire is pregnant and Russ is conflicted, but not in his love for Claire. I like books that include the weather as another impact to the book and Julia never forgot the weather in this one! As my son is a vet who spent time in Iraq, I appreciate Claire's struggle with PTSD. This was possibly the best of the series!
Julia A. (New York, NY)
Through the Evil Days
I have to admit that I have very ambivalent feelings about this book. While I did keep reading and felt some involvement with the characters, I found the plot overly convoluted, with almost too many characters and sub plots. I found Kevin and Hadley to be a much more sympathetic and believable " couple" than Clare and Russ,despite their secondary role in the novel. It also seemed to me, as someone familiar with upstate New York winters,rather unbelievable that the protagonists could have made all those long treks on foot during a major days-long ice storm. They seemed super-human at times. Far more believable were the traffic accidents and the way the weather complicated the police work.
Beth P. (Chester, VA)
Sure did miss you Guys!!
Where the author excels, however, is in getting the reader to feel the terror and bewilderment that Mikayla feels as her stay among the kidnappers is prolonged. Ms. Spencer-Fleming obviously has empathy and compassion for children, but not so much for adults. She also did a good job portraying the evil among the drug dealers and Hadley's ex-husband. But I must say I was not left with the desire to read any more Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne novels. This one had a good premise that got bogged down in subplots and a surfeit of characters. It was at times difficult to keep track of who was who and why they mattered. Overall, while readable, the novel suffered from overly ambitious plotting with too many insufficiently developed or insufficiently sympathetic characters.
Julia Spencer-Fleming's newest novel, "Through The Evil Days" brings back her fans' beloved crime solving couple, Episcopal Priest Clare Fergusson and and Police Chief of Millers-Kill, Russ Van Alstyne. Having read a few of the earlier books, I realized quickly that I had missed a few. Her prior books developed the unexpected relationship between Clare and Russ while at the same time gave you a mystery with top notch twists and turns. This book does not disappoint. The characters have come a long way from where I left them. Newly married and expecting their first child, the excitement in their life has not ended. A kidnapping in the small town turns into a full blown mystery that leaves you feeling you know these two characters even better than before. For me, her character development is the biggest attraction, making me want to get back and read the books I missed. Don't you miss this book, if fact, get her first Clare and Russ book, get comfy, and don't expect to get anything done!!
Rosemary T. (San Antonio, TX)
Through the Evil Days
I would have rated this book higher if it had not been for all the other storylines going on with most of the main characters. This seemed to bog down the pace at times. The book did keep my interest, though I was very disappointed with the ending which left many unanswered questions. I am assuming that the author will follow up with another book about Clare and Russ since this seems to be a series.
Helen M. (Petaluma, CA)
Julia nails it.....
I have read each and every book in this series. In my humble opinion, this one is by far the best. It takes place in about a week in the freezing blizzards of the mid-west. It opens with a tense situation and Julia adds more tensions until she has several stories developing. She is masterful at this. Truly, this one is a page turner. She exposes the humanness of her of her characters, where they are so fragile, she allows them to fall and getup again. Forgiveness is another theme.
Norman G. (Washougal, WA)
If you like mysteries that are so very well written, read this one by Julia Spencer-Fleming.
Louise Penny's latest is very, very good but Julia is just as good!
This book is for mystery lovers, plain and simple.
I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this story The characterizations came through as very believable, the story line continually advanced, the locales had color, and I appreciated the human qualities of the an Episcopal priest as the heroine. This is the second by this author I have read and will look forward to the next installment as the last few pages left an unresolved but unfortunately realistic quality to several of the minor players.
Andrea S. (Lafayette, IN)
Another great entry in this series
I have read all of Julia Spencer-Fleming's Clare Fergusson series and have loved every one. This one was a little faster paced and less spiritual than others, but I could hardly put it down. I do think that it helps to have read the others because then you have a history with the characters. But this could stand alone as well. Clare is a complex character with an interesting past, and the author's depictions of small town upstate New York add to her complexity. I highly recommend the whole series-this one is number 8, and yes, they often leave plot lines hanging-not the major one, but ones that run from book to book!