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4.09.2018

ICE ~ Review with Giveaway, Trailer and Excerpt

Ice
A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #1
By Lauren Carr

More than 20 years ago Chris Matheson was a person of interest in the disappearance of Sandy Lipton. The small town gossip blamed him and now that he's back in town with his daughters he learns that the wagging tongues and speculation never died down. Worse his daughters have started hearing the malice gossip that if true would see him serving a sentence still.

Talked into joining his late father's book club, Chris soon learns that this is no ordinary book club. Rather it is a collection of retired law enforcement officers who seek to avoid the utter boredom of retirement by working on cold cases. Drawing on the unique skill set of this group Chris begins piecing together the random and vague clues and recollections that he has from that time. But someone seems determined to keep him from the truth about Sandy and the child she was carrying.

But this small West Virginian town is hiding more than one crime and Chris is about to find himself in the midst of it. Whoever is behind this has a malevolence that makes Chris feel these crimes are related and personal. The only question is who of his old acquaintances is next on the list?

For the whodunnit mystery buff who loves ever-increasing suspense and danger, Lauren Carr's newest series offers up a big dose of both. Murder and mayhem seem to be Chris's new companions after returning home following the loss of both his wife and his father. Juggling the parenting responsibilities of his three daughters with his mother is not something Chris was expecting at this point in his life, but life isn't something that goes as planned.

And for those familiar with Lauren's other works - YES there are dogs in this book and Chris's newest Sterling just might give Gnarly a run for his money as far as crazy antics go. Sterling in a word is a HOOT and probably my favorite character. Though the pet rabbit Thor is a pretty close second - who wouldn't love a rabbit who dresses up!

I was provided a review copy of this book by the author through iRead Book Tours with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.


Book Details:

Book Title: ICE by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult fiction, 380 pages
Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Cozy
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: February 26, 2018
Tour dates: April 2 to 30, 2018
Content Rating: PG (It's a murder mystery and there is mild violence. Very mild swearing no F-bombs. No on-stage sex scenes.)






Book Description:

The clues for a close-to-the-heart missing person’s case heat up when Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on the cold case.

When Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappear, the court of public opinion finds young Chris Matheson guilty. Decades later, the retired FBI agent returns home to discover that the cloud of suspicion cast over him and his family has never lifted. With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on this cold case to uncover what had happened to Sandy and her baby and the clues are getting hot!

To read reviews, please visit Lauren Carr's page on iRead Book Tours.


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About the Author:



Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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Ends May 5, 2018


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Excerpt:
The department store’s parking lot was sparsely filled
and dark—much to Chris’s disappointment. He hated
going to the store late at night—not that he made a habit of
doing so.

The odds of being a crime victim increased significantly
in all-night store parking lots. The lack of police presence and
high risk people who frequented around-the-clock businesses
made them magnets for criminal activity.

After locking the car door, Chris shoved his hands deep
into his coat pockets. He laid his right hand on the small semi-
automatic that he always kept close by. With luck, he’d find
the pancake mix, grab a gallon of milk, use the self-checkout,
and return home before the roads got too slick.

The road along the river iced up fast. The Mathesons
had chains to put on their vehicles to get in and out without
relying on the state plow.

The last thing Chris needed was to be stuck on the side of
an icy road putting chains on Doris’s sedan in the dark in the
middle of an ice storm.

He wanted to go home and climb into his warm bed.

When he returned to the front of the store, Chris sighed
with relief to see that there was no line for the automated
cashiers. He hurried to one of the stations and pressed the
button to begin checking out.

“Please scan your frequent shoppers card,” the
computerized voice instructed.

Chris vacillated between saving time from searching his
pockets for his keys with the tag to save a few cents or not to.

He could hear his mother asking him if he remembered
to use the bonus card. If he did use it, she’d never ask. So, she
wouldn’t know. Yet, it was guaranteed that if he didn’t use it,
she’d find out.

With a groan, he fished through his pockets while the
automated voice nagged him to scan the card. Finally, he
extracted his keys only to find that the cashier had given up.
“Please scan your first item.”

He pressed the plastic tag onto the reader.

The cashier ignored him. “Please scan your first item.”
“After you scan my card.” Chris moved the plastic tag
back and forth across the screen to get the cashier to read the
barcode.

“Please scan your first item.”

“Come on. Scan it already.”

“Please scan your first item.”

Muttering under his breath, he dropped his keys into his
pocket and slid the pancake mix across the scanner.

“Get your hands off of me, bitch!” a shrill voice demanded
a few stations away.

“What you gonna do about it, tramp?”

Chris recognized the voice of one of the women, but was
unsure how he knew her. He peered down the row of check-
outstations. Kicking and scratching for all they were worth,
two women were engaged in a brawl. A male employee and a
security guard attempted to pry them apart by wedging their
bodies between the fighters.

A ding and instructions from the automated cashier
prompted Chris to scan the gallon of milk. It sounded like the
men managed to break up the fight.

“I’m pressing charges,” one of the women yelled. “I’m
pregnant and she assaulted me! Call the police!”

“You! Come back here!” the security guard demanded
when the other woman grabbed a suitcase of beer and hurried
out the door.

Unfastened, her worn winter coat was askew. Its hood
dropped down behind her back. Her long hair was yellow
from a bad dye job. She reeked of cigarettes and stale booze.
Chris caught a glimpse of her skeletal face before she
darted past him and out into the darkness. It was a mass of
wrinkles.

She’s kind of old to be getting into fights.

The first woman wailed about being the victim of an
assault while demanding that everyone stay to act as witnesses
in her lawsuit for pain and suffering.

At once, people scattered.

Chris tucked the box of pancake mix, wrapped in the
store’s plastic bag, under his arm and picked up the gallon jug
to head home.

Outside, he made his way down the aisle toward his
mother’s sedan. He recognized the woman from the fight
several feet ahead of him. The suitcase of beer hung at the end
of her arm. Her coat slipped to expose one shoulder.

A dark van approached from the opposite end of the park-
ing lot to catch her in its headlights.

Chris heard the swish of a van’s side doors opening. While
the vehicle quietly cruised toward them, he recognized the
silhouette of an assault rifle’s muzzle aimed out of the open
door.

Chris’s heart leapt up into his throat to gag him so that he
had to force out the word. “Gun!”
He dropped the jug. Milk splattered onto his pant leg
before Chris dove for the grassy plot of earth between two
rows of parking.

The patter of automatic gun fire was drowned out by
the woman’s anguished screams as a barrage of bullets ripped
through her body. The van’s driver gunned the engine. At the
end of the row, he spun the van around to make a U-turn and
raced down the next aisle.

Chris yanked his gun out of his pocket and sprinted
toward the far end of the parking lot. By the time the van was
gunning for the exit, Chris stepped directly into its headlight
beams. He raised the gun and aimed it at the van’s windshield.
Amused by Chris’s display of bravery, the driver pressed
the gas pedal to the floor. It didn’t matter to them if he was too
foolish to get out of their way. They had proven they weren’t
shy about taking a life.

With the van firing at him like a four-ton bullet, Chris
pulled the trigger of his gun again and again—aiming for the
dark figure behind the steering wheel. If he was lucky, he’d hit
the shooter in the back as well.

In a matter of seconds, his semi-automatic was out of
bullets.

Chris stepped to one side.

The van swerved past him. Hitting a patch of ice, it spun
from one side of the lane to the other. At the end of the lot, it
mowed down a stop sign and jumped the curb. After plowing
through an old jeep, the van rolling over onto its roof and
skidded several yards before coming to a halt.

The sparks of the metal ignited gasoline spilling from the
van’s gas tank, which had been punctured by the pole from the
sign. The van exploded—lighting up the dark parking lot with
brilliant orange flames.

Stunned, Chris watched the black smoke billowing up
into the night sky as a sheriff deputy’s police cruiser, with
its blue lights flashing, arrived on the scene. Upon seeing a
vehicular bonfire and a lone man holding a handgun, the
deputy screeched to a halt.

His partner spilled out of the passenger side and crouched
behind the open door with her weapon drawn. “Drop the
gun! Now!”

There was no point in arguing. What were they to do?
They answered a simple assault call and arrived to discover a
van engulfed in flames, a bullet-riddled body, and a guy with
a gun.

Wordlessly, Chris held out his arms with his hands and
fingers spread out. He allowed the semi-automatic to dangle
from his index finger. Slowly, he eased toward the ground
and dropped his weapon onto the pavement. As he got on his
knees, he placed his hands on top of his head and laced his
fingers together.

While her partner called into dispatch for assistance, the
deputy hurried over to pat him down for more weapons.
“I have a backup weapon in a holster on my left ankle,”
Chris told her.

“You sound like you’re no stranger to this drill.” She lifted
his pant leg to remove the thirty-two caliber semi-automatic.
“Been through this several times.”