Book Review: The Ice Daughters by D.E. White
When DC Dove Milson is called to a developing crime scene, she finds a burning barn, a missing woman… and the corpse of a man who has been frozen to death. With a bizarre tableau of frozen chess pieces set up on the doorstep, it’s obvious from the beginning that this is anything but an ordinary case, and so it soon proves, with links to dodgy medical research programs recruiting among the fitness community, a second frozen body, and more women disappearing in strange circumstances.
Though this is apparently the second in the series, and Dove does have an interesting family and friends community who’ve obviously been introduced in the previous book, I didn’t have any problem following along when they reappeared as the backstory was nicely sketched in.
The story here does go for a long time with a lot of apparently completely unrelated things happening, and I found Dove’s lack of frustration with that a bit surprising, to be honest. She’s very by the book, however, and just kept on plugging stolidly along until she found a thread to pull on, until finally everything unravelled.
I didn’t quite comprehend the motivations of all the characters in the final conclusion, which is the only thing keeping me from giving this five stars. At least one character, it made no sense they didn’t fully co-operate with the police earlier, considering their family history.
Readers should be aware that the Holocaust is heavily referenced in this book, including details of experiments (many lethal) conducted on prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp. Some of the villains express admiration for Nazi ideology and attempt to replicate some of their scientific methodology. I’m warning for it as it’s a potential trigger above and beyond what might reasonably expect to be found in a crime thriller of this type.
This is an intriguing story with a lot of different threads which do, in the end, all get tied off pretty well. I found it all pretty intriguing, and I liked Dove as a heroine, with her steady, quiet methodology. She’s the opposite of a maverick, and the case is in the end solved through hard work following up clues, rather than any wild intuitive leaps. There were a few odd side-tracks - the sub-plot with her friend Rose didn’t make much sense to me and could have been completely cut - but I enjoyed the read. Four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.