Shelf Ice by Aaron Stander

Shelf Ice (A Ray Elkins Thriller)


It's February along the shores of Northern Lake Michigan. A heavy blanket of snow has been building up in the woods since early November and the inland lakes have had a solid covering of ice since December. Shelf ice, stacked ten or fifteen feet in places, has been building on Lake Michigan for weeks. Sheriff Ray Elkins, responding to a late-night home invasion call, discovers the brutal murder of a local artist at her home deep in the woods. Elkins works to understand complex lives and relationships as he pursues a brilliant and brutal adversary.


Shelf Ice was odd. It was supposed to be a thriller, mystery, whatever but it was just....well it seemed like nothing much happened. The writing was strange to me. Like I was missing pieces or something. Maybe because this is not the first book in the series? I don't know, but it doesn't seem like the missing pieces would be in the prior books. It was just a strange read.

It starts off and someone is killed in their home, and the cops on the way to the home are almost run over by a snow plow. That should have been a pretty exciting passage, but really it was just bland. I didn't really care that much, and the writing just made it so I didn't get as involved.

Then we have Sue who is like super into Ray's love life. He has Sarah, but she moves to Chicago. Then there is the new doctor lady who just starts showing up at his place to go kayaking and stuff with him. She was an odd character as I couldn't get a read on what she wanted, if anything. Just friends? More than friends? A sinister character? I don't know. She was just written in a weird way. Sue was the same. I couldn't figure out if she wanted more with Ray or not. Was she the killer? I don't know. I would have believed either of these women were the ones involved, but no clue why they would have. They both could just want to be more than friends with Ray. It was an odd story to read because I couldn't figure any of this out based on the writing.

So the entire book was just really kind of boring. There wasn't much to hold the readers attention. It seems like a wasted potential. You have this crazy new religious leader who keeps showing up in the story and nothing is really done with him. You have the crazy recluse and he doesn't add that much either. You have all of these characters, but nothing really happens. Then you have the reveal of who did it and it was so anticlimactic. I was just like cool, it was this person. Next book. A weird boring read.

Rating: 2/5


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