Book review – Hard Cold Winter

I wrote recently about TripFiction, a website that panders to a couple of my lifelong passions – books and travel.

Tina from TripFiction kindly sent me a couple of books to review for the website.

Here is my first review:

Hard Cold Winter

Cold and wet in Seattle

Hard Cold Winter by Glen Erik Hamilton

This is the second novel from Glen Erik Hamilton featuring anti-hero Van Shaw, a former thief and Army Ranger.

The plot fizzes along as rapidly and violently as a Desert Storm attack, developing in and around Seattle after Van finds a brutal double murder scene in the nearby Olympic Mountains.

In a helter-skelter story, Van has to deal with illegal gambling dens, Russian mobsters, an old army friend as damaged as he is, and a girl from his childhood who may be hell-bent on revenge.

I was hoping the city would play a more vivid role in the narrative, and that I’d feel compelled to jump on a plane to the Pacific Northwest and discover the places Van lives, drinks and stalks his prey. But it doesn’t.

The novel feels more like a movie screenplay, with the frenzied plot and one-dimensional characters the focus, rather than the sense of place. Perhaps Seattle will get a more prominent role when the movie is made….

So Hard Cold Winter is an enjoyable, if violent and shallow, romp that just happens to take place in and around Seattle. I’d still like to visit the Pacific Northwest area – Seattle is the home of Frasier Crane and Starbucks, after all – but I wasn’t mentally in the airport departure lounge as I read this book.

Bring on the next TripFiction book….The House on Cold Hill by Peter James, set just down the road in Sussex….

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