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Dry Ice Reviews

Contemporary cerebral thrillers don't get much better than bestseller White's 15th novel (after Kill Me), which deftly combines complex characterization and intricate plotting. White's debut novel, Privileged Information, introduced Boulder, Colo., psychologist Alan Gregory and the
clever but deadly Michael McClelland, a former meteorologist turned killer, whose rampage almost cost Gregory and his wife, Lauren, their lives. In this sequel, while Lauren, a local prosecutor, is absorbed in a sensitive grand jury probe that represents her best chance to demonstrate that she can function despite her MS, Gregory learns that McClelland has escaped from custody and has devised a devious, multilayered revenge scheme against everyone he holds responsible for his incarceration. Almost overnight, Gregory finds his routine existence turned into a Hitchcockian nightmare. Suspected of several murders, he can trust no one. Both established fans and those just now discovering the author's gifts will be turning pages late into the night.
— Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review

Yet another of Dr. Alan Gregory's ex-patients goes off the rails, threatening the Boulder psychologist, his wife and his best friend with exposure of their darkest secrets. Years ago, after meteorologist Michael McClelland raped and murdered his sister, Alan Gregory testified in a hearing that sent McClelland to a psychiatric ward at Colorado State Hospital instead of the big house. Now McClelland's escaped at just the time things are starting to go seriously wrong in his old therapist's life. He's already estranged from his wife, MS-stricken deputy DA Lauren Crowder, because of her resistance to his pleas that they have another child and her involvement in the hunt for a missing witness she can't talk about. Their relationship turns frigid when the witness's handbag turns up in Alan's office and a police search ordered by his old buddy Det. Sam Purdy reveals blood on his shoe. The blood, Alan knows, is innocuous enough: It comes from his new patient Kol Cruz's nosebleed. Actually, he doesn't know squat. Cruz has disappeared, leaving behind a string of whoppers. McClelland has obviously staked out Alan's house. The cops offer Lauren protection from whoever might have killed her witness, but they obviously don't believe a word Alan says. At length, the trails of the two patients, past and present, cross in a way that makes it painfully clear, as Sam points out, that if Alan really is innocent of the spiraling web of criminal conspiracy, somebody's gone to an awful lot of trouble to make him the patsy. It would be unfair to reveal any of the surprises White detonates down the road with all the craft and patience of a suicide bomber. In a masterful stroke, he even manages to wring additional shock and suspense out of McClelland's surrender to the authorities. Not even an anticlimactic ending can wreck Alan's 15th, and finest, case.
— Kirkus, *Starred Review

In the opening chapters of this latest outing starring Boulder, Colorado, psychologist Alan Gregory, the good doctor is feeling a bit sorry for himself: his wife's MS, utterly unpredictable, is worsening; his clinical business has been anemic since one of his patients was shot to death on national television (Kill Me, 2006) and he remains haunted by long-held secrets. Just as the novel risks getting mired in this pity party, the story picks up speed when an ex-patient, Michael McClelland, escapes from the state mental institution hell-bent on retribution. No one is safe from this madman--not Alan, nor his wife, Lauren, nor his best friend (and cop) Sam. After all, McClelland tried to kill all three of them (Privileged Information, 1991) before being declared insane. Secrets are the star here; everyone has them--Alan, Lauren, Sam--and keeping them hidden just isn't working any longer. The big question is, Will Alan uncover the secret that's keeping McClelland on his heels? White's thrillers throw the characters into quagmires and then force them to wade through the psychological muck. Along the way, there's always more than enough suspense to keep readers engaged.
— Mary Frances Wilkens, American Library Association, Booklist

Psychologist Alan Gregory has a secret, and one of his former patients, a deranged killer, is taunting him with it. Michael McClelland-who made his first appearance in Privileged Information (1991)-has escaped a mental institution and is coming after Gregory's friends and family, including his wife, a deputy district attorney suffering from multiple sclerosis. Gregory becomes a suspect in a series of crimes ranging from the murder of a new patient on a neighbor's property to the disappearance of a star witness in his wife's current grand jury case. It soon becomes apparent that McClelland is not the only one trying to set the doctor up for a fall. But why? And what is the secret Gregory has never even shared with his own wife? New York Times best-selling author White (Kill Me) combines a tight storytelling style with a psychologist's eye, offering up plenty of twists. One caveat-readers new to the Alan Gregory novels may find themselves confused or distracted by the many references to past events, secondary characters, and parallel plot lines.
— Rebecca Vnuk, Library Journal

Can psychotherapy cope with pure evil? wonders shrewd Boulder, Colo., shrink Alan Gregory in Stephen White's Dry Ice. The question comes up after a psychopathic ex-patient — spared prison by Gregory's refusal to violate doctor-patient confidentiality — escapes from a mental hospital. Soon, Gregory is implicated in a woman's disappearance and the apparent suicide of another patient. These events trash his professional standing, while that pesky ethics code again bars him from talking to the cops or his DA wife about a possible frame-up by a devious foe. White's latest Gregory yarn makes evil subtly realistic; the quiet threat to our hero's marriage and career is as gripping as any physical menace.
— Will Boisvert, Entertainment Weekly

Stephen White follows up last year's terrific Kill Me with a return to his books focused on Alan Gregory, the Boulder, Colo., psychologist. Dry Ice features the resurrection of a case from Gregory's past, in which he helped put away a psychotic killer. Michael McClelland (who was introduced in White's first novel, Privileged Information) has escaped from prison and set his sights on Gregory. An intelligent and devious villain, McClelland systematically attempts to destroy Gregory's life, threatening his family, friends and ultimately his freedom. White writes smart, deftly plotted thrillers as well as anyone in the business, and Dry Ice is a fine example of that. Dry Ice is an entertaining and suspenseful story that is sure to appeal to existing fans and new readers alike.
— David J. Montgomery, Chicago Sun-Times

"Dr. Alan Gregory is in a dark place. Frankly, the fictional Boulder psychologist is a mess. That alone makes "Dry Ice," Stephen White's latest psychological thriller, even edgier than the ones that came before. ...There follow more secrets, murder, suicides — or were they? — and a cliffhanger conclusion that paves the way for the next book. We'll not further spoil developments, but the plot gets darker, with a twist or turn in nearly every chapter. White considers his books psychological thrillers, but each has a puzzle imbedded in it that makes it also a mystery. The thriller quotient of "Dry Ice" is high. Twists in the puzzle are sometimes complex enough that the reader needs to leaf backward to refresh a memory."
— Sue Deans, The Daily Camera

Killer Michael McClelland has escaped, and that spells trouble for Boulder, Colo., psychologist Alan Gregory and his family in Dry Ice, Stephen White's intelligent new thriller. McClelland had targeted them before, and as "Ice" unfolds, the havoc spreads across already complicated lives (Gregory's wife, Lauren, has multiple sclerosis). What elevates this novel is the honest, smart portrayal of characters who are flawed and remain so until the very last page.
— Michele Ross, The Plain Dealer

In Stephen White's "Privileged Information," Alan Gregory, a clinical psychologist, testified against Michael McClelland in his murder trial. Now in "Dry Ice", it is 15 years later. McClelland, who was in the Colorado State Mental Hospital, has escaped and is coming after Gregory's family. Lauren, Gregory's wife, is a deputy district attorney. She has multiple sclerosis. Their daughter, Grace, is 4. McClelland knows secrets from Gregory's past that his wife doesn't know. Others, including the police officer who arrested McClelland, are also in danger. This is a fascinating journey into how events in the past forever change the person you become. It is suspenseful and fast-paced and has an astonishing ending."
— Vicki Rock, Daily American

"I've always had a special place in my heart for believable characters, those who exhibit both good and bad traits, just like normal people. We are all so incredibly complex and I find it exhilarating when I find this same complexity realistically portrayed in fictional characters. Stephen White has always been an expert in this area and DRY ICE is the penultimate example of his shrewd understanding of people and his incredible talent for getting that on the page."
— Lynn Kaczmarek, Mystery News

"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. ...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.
— Joe Hartlaub, BookReporter.com

"I always say I don't read a Stephen White book - I savor it! DRY ICE was a veritable gourmet meal!!" — Alicia Greis, Trade Book Buyer, Colorado College Bookstore

"WOWOWOWOWIEEEE.....what a book!!!!  Alan really bared his soul in this one..."
— Gail Foster, Mysteries & More

"White's ability to take murder and mayhem and give it a 'twist' is what makes him one of the best thriller writers of today. In Dry Ice, White's twist is in giving us an intimate view of the heart, mind and everyday life of Alan Gregory and then serving up, not a physical attack on Gregory and his family, but a psychological attack. It makes for delicious, page-turning fun. ...Armchair Interviews says: A psychological thriller you'll remember long after you've closed the book on Dry Ice."
— Andrea Sisco, ArmchairInterviews.com

"
The trademark suspense of Mr. White's books is present here along with a fascinating tale of the price we all pay for the secrets we keep from even our closest friends and loved ones, and the implicit issue of trust that is involved.  The Colorado setting and the characters, dialogue and plot keep the reader involved right through to the end of this gripping novel."
— Gloria Feit, Crimespree Magazine

"If you've dropped into this series from time to time, this would be a good time to take another dip as this is one of White's best reviewed books in years."
— BookBrowse.com

"DRY ICE is a brilliant game of psychological cat and mouse. The plot is clever with an astute understanding of the human psyche. The characters' primal desires to keep what they fear hidden is extremely believable, and the reader is kept engrossed as the plot unfolds with every psychological twist and turn. A great book for those who enjoy substance in their reading."
— Jude Gregoire, FreshFiction.com

 

Dry Ice by Stephen White

Signet (USA) Paperback 2008, ISBN: 0451221001

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