Cover Image: The Stranger on the Ice

The Stranger on the Ice

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

If for nothing else, read this for the setting. It is well-done with a sense of expanse and forbidding which perfectly evokes the arctic. The sensitive dealing with race relations was a surprise (the reader gets to learn a lot about the modern Inuvialuit which I enjoyed). The characters are decent-they don't detract from the mystery which is a true mystery. There're a lot of secrets, a lot of hard to grasp characters, and a lot is left unknown which suits the overall tone, setting, and mystery. Well done.
Was this review helpful?
3,5 stars.

After reading Stormy Cove from Bernadette Calonego last year I was excited as soon as I saw there was  a new book from the author. The setting is similar (cold, cold, cold and a small community) so I was sure I will enjoy it. And I did, my only problem with the novel is probably that my expectations were so high!
"The Stranger on the Ice" is good, with a very strong sense of place and good characters even if the MC Valerie was a bit week in my opinion.
The plot was interesting but too many things had been thrown in and not fully developed. Reading the  author's note some things are explained, other (minor) events don't have a proper resolution. Some people like open endings and here we have some resolution and something left to our imagination, so everybody can find something to love about it.
Overall and enjoyable read, I rounded up my rating to 4 stars because the setting is really good, you can feel the cold seeping through the pages. But if you're new to Bernadette Calonego I will start by reading Stormy Cove first.

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for giving me ARC of that book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Interesting thriller with a fascinating setting in the Canadian Arctic. 

At the beginning of the book a body of a young woman is found on the Ice Road. The Ice Road runs from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk and is the longest non-privatized ice road in the world (as we learn from the book). The discovery of a young woman’s corpse causes an uproar in a small community. No one seems to know how she happened to be there and who she was.

The main character Clem Hardeven is very troubled by the whole affair. He wants answers and he wants them asap. He feels responsible for everything that happens on the Ice Road, because he is one of the people supervising it. He won’t stop at nothing to learn the truth.  

Another character Valerie also wants to know what happened and she has some suspicions that the dead woman is somehow connected with her friend Sedna, who mysteriously disappeared. Valerie regularly takes tourists on the Arctic tour to Whitehorse in the Yukon. On the tour they travel by dogsled along the Takhini River and visit the gold-miner town of Dawson City. While reading this novel I also felt like a tourist. There was a lot of information about the climate, tourist destinations and the history of the place. By reading this book it was also possible to learn a little about the Inuvialuit community, its traditions and believes, which are fascinating. The characters participated in the Muskrat Jamboree, the Inuvialuit spring festival.  

There are many secrets in this novel and it was interesting to learn about them. Valerie and Clem are nice characters and it was a pleasure to read about their adventures. But the best part without a doubt was the setting in the Canadian Arctic. After finishing this book, I think that the real “killer” was the Arctic itself. It is a frozen place, the climate is brutal and if you are not cautious enough it will kill you. Just imagine: you go outside in the spring time and it is twenty-five degrees below zero. What a torture! When it is sunny and “only” thirteen degrees below, people rejoice and call it a good weather. In this climate you can’t leave anyone alone outside, because it could mean a death sentence if a person got lost. The author Bernadette Calonego did a great job describing the realities of life in the Arctic and giving her readers the feel of the place. I very much recommend this book for everyone who wants to read a good thriller and is interested in the Arctic. 

I received "The Stranger on the Ice" from the publisher via NetGalley. I would like to thank the author and the publisher for providing me with the advance reader copy of the book.
Was this review helpful?
Not only the cover drew my attention to this book, but also the title.  Anyway, this was an enjoyable book, but wouldn't say that it gripped me as much as i would have thought.  There were parts that i seem to fly through and parts where i found it hard going.  This book wouldn't stop me from reading more by this author in the near future.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy.  This is my honest review, freely given.
Was this review helpful?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Book Information

How deep is she willing to go to find the secrets of her past?
Tour guide Valerie Blaine has always been haunted by the tragic death of her mother during an Arctic expedition thirty years before--unsolved, hushed up, and for Valerie, an unsettled part of a past she's never been able to escape. Its grip on Valerie is tighter than ever, now that she's been hired to lead a tourist group across the same desolate terrain where her mother died.
But when a woman's frozen corpse is found outside a quiet Inuit village just as they're about to depart, and a friend of Valerie's mysteriously disappears, Valerie's suspicions grow; her disquiet is only eased by Clem Hardeven. A man of adventure and roughneck charisma, he's drawn to Valerie--but he knows nothing of the mysteries that consume her.
As their search takes them into the icy reaches of the Arctic north, Valerie starts to fear that it's all tied to the darkness that befell her own family long ago--a dangerous puzzle whose pieces have remained elusive to her. Until now

  I have to say, this is the first book were it was hard for me to follow along. Honestly there was to many things going on in this story, there was just to many things going on in this story. It's very hard for me to actually write this review, being there is also to many charters actually involved in the over all story moving forward. I would recommend this book to anyone who has patience and likes suspense, because that's exactly what this book is about, "Suspense."
Was this review helpful?
Stranger on the Ice is a very complex thriller! It has twists and turns, suspicious characters, lovely folklore and a tense story. This is a terrific novel with well written characters and a wealth of detail for the locations, the people and the story itself.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book and the setting for this fast paced mystery filled with plot twists and  quirky characters. Loved it . 
Thanks to Net galley and the publisher
Was this review helpful?
I saw the cover of this one, read the description and was really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, this book and I were just not a good fit. The conversations the characters had just didn't seem realistic - there were odd words thrown in that made them sound less natural (and really pulled me out of the story). The story itself was too full of random people - the two storylines were meshed and confusing and I just never found myself really invested in the missing friend, the dead woman, the random mystery of her mother's death and the 25K that was taken.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and AmazonCrossing for the eARC.
Not knowing what to expect from this book, I ended up absolutely loving it.  What a fabulous mental vacation, visiting the freezing Arctic from my warm home!
We meet the 2 main characters, Valerie Blaine and Clem Hardeven.  Valerie is an independent tour guide, who takes tourists on trips through the Arctic North.  Clem is the manager of the Ice Road, the 15-foot thick road of ice that truckers, locals and tourists use in winter.
The frozen body of a young girl is found not far from an Inuit village just before Valerie takes a group of tourists out.  That and the mysterious disappearance of her friend Sedna upset her quite a bit and she can't wait to get to Tuktoyaktuk to share her concerns with Clem.
Valerie, a former journalist, has a secret past.  Her father was Canada's most famous hockey player and on a trip he took with Valerie's mother to the Arctic, she was mysteriously killed.  Her father never discussed it with either her or her twin brothers and she grew up not really knowing her birth mother, but with a loving stepmother.  Her love of the Arctic may have something to do with wanting to find out what really happened to her mother.
The tour, as lovingly described by the author, is so vivid you almost automatically screw up your eyes when traversing the blinding snow and ice; as for the cold...unbelievable!  Somehow I don't think I would travel further than Canada's Sunshine Coast and Vancouver...but reading about the Inuit communities, the animals, the permafrost and the stunning sights was fascinating.  Of course I Googled the area; the history of it alone is so interesting.  The only thing I wouldn't do, as a fervent dog lover, is visit the Arctic - I would be like Clem's ex-girlfriend:  so upset the dogs are kept on a short chain, outside 24/7 unless they're pulling sleds, I'd have to high tail it out of there.
But that's just a personal observation; the book is terrific, I highly recommend it.  A good mystery with a surprise ending and a bit of romance in an exotic locale...what's not to love!?
Was this review helpful?
What a great book! The setting, mystery based on true facts and the brilliantly nuanced plot with overriding sense of  foreboding throughout.
there's a lot to like about this story and the fact the author has done the exact same trail as the main chracter really fascinated me from the off. It's a mega trail too so very impressive. I found that as well as the mystery I learned so much about the Inunit communities and way of life at the same time. Boy, it was a remote anc chilling experience reading it and being there but what an experience it was. the book is evocative and the words cut like blades of ice. The fact that a frozen body is found really sends the chills up the back of your neck. When ice and the icy north completely controls where you go, how you live and sometimes how you die, to spend time there, even fictionally can really cause serious burns it would seem! I did like this one. It had everything a good thriller should have and more. More please and how I would love to meet the author! Get us a cup of hot coffee each and pick her brains further on the setting and her inspiration,. The story behind the story is almost as interesting as the book itself. More please!
Was this review helpful?
I chose the book because the cover & blurb sounded inviting and thrilling. 

I found it quite hard to follow the story with the names of places, that’s likely just myself been not familiar with those areas.

The plot was great but I found it quite long and drawn out. The writing style seemed to jump from scene to scene and it was an effort to keep up. 

I didn’t feel any emotional connection to any of the character, I don’t feel like there personas shines through much. 

I didn’t dislike this book it’s a pleasant read, just not for me. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone unless anyone should be looking for a long read set in wintertime.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book!!! I read Stormy Cove a few years ago (also loved it) and couldn't wait to read more books by the author. This book did not disappoint . I loved the characters, story and writing style. I felt like I was there in the Arctic on one of Valerie's tours (minus the freezing cold). I feel like I also get a mini history lesson on the Inuits and expeditions that took place in the Arctic. 

Valerie Blaine runs her own tour company and frequently takes tourists into the Arctic north. Her father was a famous hockey player and her mom loved trekking around the Arctic. It was on one of those Arctic expeditions when Valerie's mom mysteriously died. Her death was never talked about and Valerie never knew what happened. 

Right before Valerie takes her latest tour group to the Arctic, a woman's body is found frozen on Ice Road outside an Inuit village. Valerie also gets a strange message from Sedna, a woman she once considered a friend. Then Valerie meets one of her mom's childhood friends. Naturally, I disliked Sedna. She seemed crazy, I did feel bad for her at the end, but only slightly. 

There were several mysteries revealed throughout the book. Valerie discovers what happens on her parent's fateful trip. The reasons behind Sedna's actions are revealed. I honestly never saw that coming and found that part to be a wonderful twist. It was not what I was expecting. I enjoyed being on the tour with Valerie. The book was beautifully written. It was a bit of a mystery, with a little romance thrown in. 

I definitely recommend this book and can't wait to read more by the author. 

Thanks to NetGalley, AmazonCrossing and the author, Bernadette Calonego, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
Was this review helpful?
4 stars

Valerie Blaine is a tour guide for a company of one. She is in the Artic to conduct her latest tour. The Artic is where he own mother died approximately thirty years earlier. Her mother’s death was kept quiet and remains unsolved.

She is in bed with the flu when her friend Sedna calls saying she is in trouble. Then the call is cut off. Valerie reminisces about her relationship with Sedna. She’s nothing but trouble. She still likes her for some odd reason though. When Sedna goes missing, Valerie is not too worried about it at first. Sedna has done this many times before. 

A woman’s body is found on the ice near Inuvik outside of a small Inuit village.  

Clem Hardeven is manager of the Ice Road. He is very frustrated at the lack of information he gets from his boss about the woman on the ice, so he and his dog Meteor drive around town looking for any scraps of information they can find. 

Clem and Valerie are the protagonists in the story. They form a relationship. Over time, the body on the ice is identified as Sedna. More surprises are in store for Valerie as she wonders if this killing is tied to her mother’s. 

This is a good story, well written and translated from its original language. I enjoyed it, although not as much as some of Ms. Calonego’s earlier works. It was rich in description of the forbidding ice and cold in the Artic and the small village. 

I want to thank NetGalley and AmazonCrossing for forwarding to me a copy of this good book to read, enjoy and review.
Was this review helpful?
Valerie Blaine is a tour guide whose latest expedition will take her to the Arctic, and the same place where her mother died three decades earlier. She’s never been able to get over her mother’s untimely death, which always seemed cloaked in secrecy. When Valerie encounters a woman’s body and one of Valerie’s friends disappears from the group, she can’t help but wonder if there is some connection to what happened to her mother all those years before. Something about all that snow and ice fills this story with dread and foreboding
Was this review helpful?