Thin Ice by Marsha Qualey

Thin Ice by Marsha Qualey
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary, YA
Length: Full Length (161 Pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Seventeen-year-old Arden Munro has been raised by her older brother, Scott, ever since the death of their parents 10 years earlier. He has been her only family. But now Scott too is dead–or so believe the local police and everyone in Arden’s community. Arden, however, is convinced that Scott has staged his snowmobile accident and purposely disappeared. She will search until she finds him. As Arden obsessively continues her detective hunt, she is forced to examine her feelings of loss and isolation, and to finally realize that these feelings existed long before Scott’s accident. Whether or not her brother reappears, where should Arden turn for the support that usually comes from family? The page-turning mystery leads to a heart-tugging conclusion that is at once hopeful and sad, piercing and satisfying.

Fighting for what you know in your heart to be true in spite of all the evidence to the contrary is incredibly difficult. And when you live in a small community and everyone else is convinced that you are wrong and just deluding yourself, it becomes even harder. But this is just what Arden does when her brother’s snowmobile crashes through the ice on a swift and dangerous river. Everyone believes Scott is dead, but Arden just knows that he isn’t. Or is that just a fantasy to help her avoid dealing with losing the last member of her family?

Arden is an extremely complex seventeen-year-old and her character is very well developed. I liked her and suffered along with her. She makes some poor choices, but then she also makes some very good and mature choices, just what is to be expected from someone who is nearly an adult. The supporting characters are also fully developed and individualized. Even though I believed Arden and supported her actions, I could also see how these actions looked to those around her who were trying to care for her.

The novel is a fast-paced action story and I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. The mystery was very well conceived and it was easy to believe that Scott was really dead on one page and that he must still be alive on another. The author had me hooked from the opening chapter and I didn’t figure it all out until the very end.

The setting is extremely well done. The winter scenes were so real that I had shivers. I really felt as if I were right in the middle of the action, trying to use snowshoes, avoiding the ice, and so forth.

Mystery lovers of all ages are in for a real treat and a most exciting adventure if they pick up Thin Ice. I guarantee that once started, you won’t stop until the end.

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