Review

Dry Ice

by Stephen White

Each
volume that releases in Stephen White's suspense/thriller series
featuring Boulder, Colorado clinical psychologist Alan Gregory
becomes a new benchmark by which his next effort should be judged.
DRY ICE, the latest Gregory novel, is no exception.

A recurring, unifying theme of White's work has been professional
ethics, specifically the issue of confidentiality. Things are
rarely cut and dry in this area, and White continuously lays bare
the problems that can occur when even the best-intended rule can
result in unforeseen, adverse consequences. This is the case in DRY
ICE when treatment begins for Kol Kruz, an enigmatic, bizarre
individual whose appearance is both a harbinger and a catalyst of a
series of events that promises to irrevocably change Gregory's life
as he knows it.

Other happenings, which coincide with the initiation of Kruz's
treatment, shake Gregory to his core. His wife, Lauren, experiences
an exacerbation of multiple sclerosis, even as she is heavily
involved in the supervision of a grand jury proceeding --- in which
one of the witnesses is missing --- that is about to dovetail
dramatically into Gregory's life. Meanwhile, Michael McClelland,
the brilliant and determined murderer introduced in PRIVILEGED
INFORMATION (the first Gregory novel) has escaped from the Colorado
State Mental Hospital and is almost certainly after Gregory's
family. Then suddenly, and unexplainably, Gregory finds himself a
suspect in the disappearance of the grand jury witness; he is in
danger of losing the trust of his wife and of his best friend,
Boulder police detective Sam Purdy.

Yet, Lauren and Purdy each have secrets of their own that not only
impede their ability to conduct an investigation but also impact
their respective careers. And we discover, after lo these many
years, that Gregory has an all-consuming secret as well, one that
has influenced him --- for good and for ill --- for decades. It is
a secret that may affect Gregory's ability to remove the cloud of
suspicion and distrust over him and, more importantly, to defend
himself and his family against McClelland, a seemingly omnipresent
threat who can strike at will and without warning.

There is a resolution to DRY ICE that, while satisfying, is neither
neat nor pretty, and leaves enough unresolved issues to keep the
reader on tenterhooks waiting for White's next work. If you're
familiar with what has transpired in previous Gregory books, then
I'm preaching to the choir. If you're not, please stop depriving
yourself and jump on board one of the finest current series in
suspense fiction.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 21, 2011

Dry Ice
by Stephen White

  • Publication Date: March 6, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0525949976
  • ISBN-13: 9780525949978