Frozen by Jay Bonansinga (Ulysses Grove #1)

by Jay Bonansinga


Published by Burns & Lea Books

Published on the 25th March 2019 (First published in 2005)

Purchase from | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | Amazon US |

My rating: ⭐ ⭐

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Burns & Lea Books, and the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating of 2.5

As Special Agent Ulysses Grove is investigating the recent spat of horrific murders, he is sent to investigate an odd discovery. His boss, worried about Grove burning out, sends him on a run of the mill profile for an ancient mummy that has been unearth in the Alaskan wilderness. What Grove discovers is that the six thousand year old mummy was murdered in the same way as the more recent Sun City murders he’s been investigating. Thrown into a nightmare, Grove must work even harder to capture the Sun City Killer before he strikes again, and he MUST figure out the connection to the mummy that has been unearthed, how can they have the same M.O? Maybe, just maybe, there’s more at work here than meets the eye…

The premise of this story was super interesting. I love a good crime/murder/killing novel, so this one jumped out at me, especially because of the mummy aspect thrown in. Having a six thousand year old corpse that is showing signs of being murdered in the same way as the current killings, just sold it for me. I sort of had an inkling that there would be a supernatural aspect to this story due to the relation between the mummy and the current victims, as no one can live for six thousand years; but I wasn’t entirely thinking about that until I happened across another review that actually said there was a supernatural element to it. This doesn’t bother me, I’m a massive fan of supernatural and paranormal stories so it sorta just made it even more appealing if I’m honest.

The character of Ulysses Grove was well written, he’s a man facing life after losing his wife, trying to do his job the best that he can in order to stop other people from dying. I did find that the character was suffering a little bit from the “chosen one” thing though. He’s good looking, fit, gets stared at at all hours of the day by passers by, he’s the toppity top in his field, there’s no one better. Yes, he’s going through some stuff, but it didn’t detract from his ‘perfect’ character. I like a character with a bit of flaw, it makes them more human and they come across more real to me. This wasn’t a deal breaker, it was just something that I noticed, and if you’re one of the those people that absolutely hate the ‘perfect character’ thing, then maybe this book isn’t for you. The supporting characters were well written, however, I didn’t entirely see the point of Maura County. Yes she was the journalist that was working on the mummy case, and yes it was from her insistence that Grove made the trip to profile the mummy, but she just felt more like a pawn to help move the story along than a character all of her own. There just didn’t seem to be much of a point to her being there. And Okuda was an interesting character, yet he sorta just fell off the map near the end which was a little disappointing. There was a lot of allusion to things that Okuda was doing, and was involved in, but once again, I didn’t see the point in it? I feel like attempts to make the characters deeper and more dimensional sort of fell flat in that it just made me question why these things were even included in the final edition of the story at all.

The story itself, as said above, had a super interesting premise. I mean come on, a modern day serial killer with the same M.O as the murderer of a mummy from 6000 years ago? What’s not to love!! ….Unfortunately, the execution. I felt that the idea was fantastic, but the execution was lacking. The pacing of the story fell incredibly flat and I felt like it took me way too long to get through this book. It’s taken me about a week, which is not normal. I turn over books in a matter of days. There was no drive that kept moving the story forward, and I found myself getting frustrated at certain points because it felt like we were stagnant and that nothing was happening. There were some questions answered in the ending, but for the most part, I just felt like the story came out rather messy, there was a few loose ends that I still wanted answers for, and other stuff just seemed to wrap up a bit too quickly.

All in all, this wasn’t a terrible book by any means, it just didn’t work too well for me. I felt like the pacing needed work and maybe another round or two of editing to get the flow of the narrative working better for the story itself. I also felt there needed to be a bit of work done on the characters and their roles in the story as some of them just didn’t feel like they needed to be there.

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