Dead On Ice: Lauren Carr
Cheryl Smith was out to make sure that Angie Sullivan would pay for what she thinks happened between her and her boyfriend, Ned Carter. What was supposed to be a special night between Angie and Kyle would turn into one filled with revenge, vengeance, hate and accusations. June 3, 1978 would remain in the hearts and minds of many as the events of that night, the final outcome would come front and center in the present. Ruthless, mean, cunning and definitely a bit delusional, Cheryl Smith blatantly accused Angie of more than must stealing her boyfriend in front of a crowd in a skating rink. However, when the dust seemed to have settled and Angie’s friends and Kyle got her away from Cheryl the final outcome would reveal that someone was not going to stop until Angie would not longer be a threat. The following morning when Kyle comes to see Angie her sister Susan greets him at the door and what is revealed will set off a chain of events that will come front and center over 30 years later. Just where was Angie? Why wasn’t she in her room? What happened to her?
Friendships change and people often remain who they are as we fast-forward to the present and a courtroom scene. Albert Gordon is a criminal defense attorney who is defending a DWI against Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton. A courtroom scene so vividly described you can hear each lawyer’s arguments, share their frustrations, feel the tension building and understand the final result. Making this scene and causing more tension is that fact that Albert Gordon was the son of Joshua Thornton’s grandmother’s sister. Albert introduced his noted adversary to the law and now has to face off with him in a court of law. Enter Cameron Gates the girlfriend of our Prosecuting Attorney. Cameron is a detective in the homicide division of the Pennsylvania State Police. But, I would be remiss if I did not introduce my two favorite characters, no it’s not Gnarly it’s Irving and Admiral. Irving is a unique and special cat that belongs to Cameron and he has serious issues. Heaven help poor Joshua if he tries to steal Cameron away from Irving. Admiral is Joshua’s very own Irish Wolfhound and Irving’s friend.
Albert Gordon was a true and loyal Church goer and after the trial ended and the deal was struck he went home. So, what happened that he did not wind up in Church that Sunday and why did Cameron go in search of what happened to him? Cameron is quite smart, clever and needs answers. After calling Albert’s name and doing things by the book she realizes that the only way is to get into the house by let’s say pick the lock entry. With the help of Donny, Joshua’s son together they find out what really happened to Albert. Murdered! Why and who would want to kill this wonderful man? Was it a stroke as the ME thought at first or murder as the evidence just might reveal? But, there is much more to this intricate plot because as we all know author Lauren Carr would not make it that simple and allow the reader and the police to solve just one crime when she can intertwine murders and make it all the more interesting.
Cleaning out Albert’s house we meet Susan Sullivan who is Angie’s sister the missing young girl. We meet Angie’s best friend Brianne Davenport whose reputation is anything but sterling and whose husband’s business is being investigated for embezzlement. Sound like a simple plot. I don’t think so because it gets better. You see, Brianne is there to attempt to offer her help but in reality she offers something else to teenage Donny. Now for the really interesting part. We learn that Angie Sullivan was murdered and that Cheryl Smith is most likely her killer. So, where is deal Cheryl and how does all of this link to Albert?
Albert Gordon defended Cheryl Smith when Angie’s body was found since she was accused of being a suspect in her murder. Cheryl Smith AKA Cheryl Pickens changed her name and became a famous porn/film star. So, how did she wind up dead in Albert’s freezer? Just how long was she in there and why is this going to make him look bad? Will anyone think there was more to his helping her than just being her lawyer? Was he murdered because he got her off? Dead on Ice: Frozen Solid: Cherry Pickens murder victim 3. Who blew up Albert Gordon’s house to cover up Cheryl’s murder?
Retired Police Detective Harry Shannon sheds some light on Angie’s murder for both Cameron and Joshua. Learning more about the murder, the possible motive Cheryl had for wanting to eliminate Angie leads both Cameron and Joshua to a startling revelation. Just why did Cheryl go after Angie and why didn’t Ned tell her they were not having an affair? Who was her ex-boyfriend protecting? Just what link does this have to Kyle Bostwick who was engaged to Cheryl the next person on Cameron’s list to question? Angie left Kyle and was supposed to go home. How did she wind up back at the Yacht Club where her car was found? Killed in 1978 why did it take so long to find the body?
Enter Jan the ME’s wife and reporter. What information does she have that might help Cameron solve the case? Why are so many interested in this murder?
After hearing what Kyle Bostwick has to say, Ned Carter and Brianne different pieces of the puzzle fit together but whose picture will appear in the frame? Ned casts suspicion in one direction, Kyle in another and we learn more about Brianne. But, when Cameron and Joshua question Randy Vincent, Cheryl’s alibi the pieces start forming a picture totally different than Cheryl whose face everyone thought would fit perfectly into the frame. But, Cheryl had her own reasons for not letting on about the truth. Wanting to leave for Hollywood, alone in a car with Randy who passed out from drinking too much, she decides to check out the view. Low and behold Cheryl sees the murder committed, knows who killed Angie and decided to capitalize on it. So, who is the real murderer? There are so many who hated Cheryl just who hated Angie? Added in there is a family secret that could blow this wide open and just what did someone reveal about Angie that would changed everything for her and did this cause someone to murder her?
Author Lauren Carr takes us inside the minds of many people in this small town where gossip reigns, grudges never seem to die and two young people lost their lives but why? Was it really jealousy that got Angie killed? Was it the secret that was revealed? Did Cheryl kill her or did Cheryl know the killer and blackmail that person? Things change when a piece of information is revealed and the truth behind the incident with Cheryl comes to light. Was it Ned that Angie was after or did someone plant that thought in Cheryl’s mind to divert everyone’s attention from the truth? Who was hiding in plain sight and wanted the spotlight on someone else?
Then we are witnessed to a catfight that will make you wonder just who, if anyone, likes anyone in this town. When Doris and Mildred go at it and you learn why you might feel sorry for these two or just double over laughing. Each of these older women has issues with the other just what they are I won’t tell you but I can guarantee the Inquirer or Star magazine would love the story.
Something happens when Cameron enlists Donny’s help to uncover information about the missing red Ferrari. Things go wrong his life is on the line and what happens next will not only change her relationship with Joshua but also put her in check with the police department. Just why doesn’t Brianne feel any remorse for what happens during that operation? What really happened that night at the rink? Just how many people hated Cheryl and who was the one person who needs to rid the world of Angie?
When several are confronted and the pieces fit together more lives will be lost but one will stand out as the killer? Just who decided to take Angie out of the equation and why you will have to learn for yourself? Just who else pays the price for their deceits, betrayals and lies you just won’t believe? Author Lauren Carr takes us inside Hookstown where gossip is not uncommon, the friendships quite unique and the characters so vividly described by the author you really get to know them first hand. Just how many dead bodies are there? How did Cheryl wind up DEAD ON ICE? Read this five freezer novel or better yet: Ask Irving when he’s not snaring at Joshua!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer