Book Review: Zero-Degree Murder by: M.L. Rowland

Rating: 3/5

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: January 7, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Search and rescue expert Gracie Kinkaid risks her life on a daily basis to save strangers. But going up against a coldhearted murderer is one kind of danger she’s not prepared for….

As a volunteer for Timber Creek Search and Rescue, missing out on holiday festivities is nothing new to Gracie. After all, disasters don’t stop happening because of a cooked turkey. So when Gracie is called out on Thanksgiving for four hikers missing in the wilderness of Southern California, she packs up her gear and heads out to find them.

The mission quickly goes from routine to deadly. An early season blizzard sets in. The one missing person the team does find, famous actor Rob Christian, remembers being attacked by someone else on the trail, someone trying to kill him. And Gracie’s partner leaves to get backup, taking the radio—their only link to the outside world—with him.

Alone in the mountains, Gracie will have to use all her expertise to keep Rob alive. But with an unknown killer lurking somewhere in the dark, even that might not be enough to save them….

Review: Gracie Kincaid can’t settle down with a job or in life, but she knows she’s a decent member of the volunteer Timber Creek Search and Rescue crew. Even though it’s Thanksgiving, she’s happier being alone. So when a rescue call comes in, she’s relieved. Due to her boss’ boss being a misogynist (and plain nasty), Steve Cashman is given the lead on their team of two, even though Gracie is more qualified to lead. They’re called out to rescue a hiking party which includes Rob Christian, a famous actor. When they find him, he recalls a fight and someone trying to kill him. Is the danger over or has the fight to survive just begun?

ZERO-DEGREE MURDER started out a little slow for me, but picked up speed quickly. This book did feel like a second or third book in a series rather than the first. I wish we could have gotten more of Gracie’s story in detail. Maybe there will be a prequel or another book in the series which has a mystery regarding her past? The writing is very descriptive and you easily get a sense of the mood. The characters are good, but I wish I was able to better connect with them. ZERO-DEGREE MURDER is a good start to this series and I see a lot of potential for Gracie to grow.

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