Monday, November 21, 2011
Book Review: Cold River
For a chilling Pacific Northwest experience, Cold River (Walnut Springs Press) by Liz Adair will keep you wondering about who’s putting a damper on the efforts of the new school superintendent.
When Mandy Steenburg accepts the job of Superintendent of Schools in Limestone, Washington, she feels confident her doctorate in education will be a valuable asset. She arrives in early spring, which in the foothills, is still very cold and rainy. The weather isn’t the only thing that dampens her spirit. The town’s chilly reception is less than welcoming. Limestone is a community with tarheel independence and these folks like their town just as it is.
Mandy’s younger sister Leesie appears, a senior in high school, hoping to live with Mandy in the A-Frame house she’s rented. Although Mandy’s pleased to have the company, it is one more responsibility to take on.
As superintendent, Mandy struggles to make improvements, but meets resistance. Although the former superintendent has been demoted to assistant superintendent, the town still looks to him for leadership. Organized and efficient, Mandy is determined to make a difference, but it seems the only change she makes is in her own well-being. Incidents begin to happen, dangerous, life-threatening events. After a nasty case of food poisoning, a mysterious house fire, a wheel spinning off her car, she realizes someone is serious about getting rid of her.
Along the way, Mandy does make friends, even experiences the beginning of a romance, but she’s getting a strong message that she’s not accepted professionally and she considers accepting another job. She stumbles upon a secret and in trying to get away finds herself in deep water in a very real sense.
Cold River is a suspenseful novel written with insight of the inner workings of a school district. Of particular interest to me was the correlation between music and mathematics, as the author depicts Limestone’s exceptional and unusual high school music program. Readers who enjoy cozy mysteries will enjoy this book. To read more about the author, visit http://sezlizadair.blogspot.com/p/lizs-books.html
NOTE: For those who live in the Pacific Northwest, Liz Adair invites you to a Cold River launch party, 7:00 p.m., December 8 at the Sedro Woolley Library, 802 Ball Street, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284-2008. Door prizes will be books and home-made apple pies!