Zero-Degree Murder by M.L. Rowland
Release Date - January 2014
Berkley Prime Crime
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
While Zero-Degree Murder is a Search and Rescue Mystery, I'm not sure I'd really classify this as a mystery. It is a gripping suspense, but the killer's identity is apparent from the start. Instead, readers are drawn in by the lead character, Gracie Kincaid, as she struggles to keep herself and the man she rescues from falling into the killer's hands.
Gracie is a volunteer with Timber Creek Search and Rescue. Her latest rescue involves a party of hikers who get lost in California. One of those hikers is a Hollywood star. When she and her partner finds Rob Christian, he remembers being attacked, but he cannot remember more detail than that. His injuries prevent him from being able to walk far. With limited radio service in this area of Southern California, Gracie agrees that their best chance is to have her partner walk back up the trail until there is a strong enough signal to get a message out. This means staying with Rob, without any radio, until help arrives. With a killer out there, Gracie and Rob must be alert and ready to act at any moment.
I admit to reading Zero-Degree Murder in just over an hour. I was engrossed and couldn't put it down. The detail that goes into covering all aspects of Gracie's job and knowledge is amazingly thorough. That said, I wish there had been a little more into her background, but this is the first in a series, so I'm sure more is to come.