Cover Image: A Cold War

A Cold War

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Member Reviews

The novel begins with a honeymoon couple on an Alaskan cruise. The wife leaves the ship to go shopping in the seaside town of Seward. She is never seen again... A local town cop, Hamilton, is tasked with the investigation into Elese Martin's disappearance. Known for being slow and plodding in his work, he is nonetheless very thorough and very deliberate. He at first suspects that Elese's husband but cannot find any evidence. The two men, Hamilton and Martin, keep in touch over the years. Neither is able to let the disappearance of Elese Martin go.

Three years later. Nina Granville is flying to Alaska for her work with a prestigious charitable foundation. While taking a walk around the little Alaskan town, she notices an old hobo sitting on the sidewalk reciting a poem, "The Cremation of Sam McGee".  She trips and falls, then is abducted. Nina is the wealthy fiancee of a high-profile politician and her abduction makes the news.  Hamilton is once again the policeman in charge of the investigation.

The narrative which follows shows Nina's plight in all of its distressing, heart-breaking, circumstances, alternating with Hamilton and his investigations.

Nina's captor is a mountain man. A man who is obsessed with the Cold War and believes that human society is on the verge of self-destruction. He is cunning, observant, and is an expert at living in hostile environments with few if any creature comforts. He hunts, traps, and fishes for survival.


Wow, I was immersed in Nina's plight. I think I'm still cold... The book is filled with depictions of how to survive in the wilderness under extremely dire conditions.

This novel is a suspense-filled story about a strong woman with remarkable tenacity and endurance. The setting, the vast, forbidding, hostile, and coldly beautiful landscape of Alaskan wilderness is one you won't soon forget. It was especially vivid for me as my husband and I visited Alaska just last September.

I urge you to listen to the poem, "The Cremation of Sam McGee" as it is referenced many times in the novel. You can find the poem here: 

I had no expectations of this book going in. I had never read this author, and I hadn't read any reviews (recently anyway). "A Cold War" took me in surprise in a good way. A fast-paced, suspenseful read that I would definitely recommend.  I was a bit less enthusiastic about the last chapter...  I wondered why the author bothered to write it as it seemed unrelated to the rest of the book - until I realized it held a plot twist that shed new light on the preceding chapters. Yes, Nina was quite a woman!

4.5 stars rounded up
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