COLD SNAP – Allison Brennan
A Kincaid Family Story
Minotaur Books
ISBN: 978-1-250-03800-5
November 2013

California and Colorado, the days before Christmas

Part One:
The whole Kincaid family plans to spend Christmas together in San Diego. But things might not turn out as planned. Washington, D.C. private investigator Patrick Kincaid was on his way via a stop in Sacramento when his mother asked him to do a favor. Would he please stop in San Francisco to look up her best friend's daughter, who has not been returning her mother's calls? The Kincaids and Santanas were close, and Patrick remembers Gabriella as the younger sister of a girl he dated in high school. Gabriella prefers to be called Elle these days, and she's an attorney who represents young people in trouble pro bono. When Patrick finds her, he sees she's trouble. A fifteen year-old girl she's helping has disappeared, and Patrick offers his services in helping to find her. His heart is big, but Elle is feisty and independent…heart wins out over stubbornness, and the two set out on what becomes a difficult and dangerous mission.

Part Two:
Four other travelers to the Kincaid family reunion also run into hard luck. On there way from D.C., their plane—and all others—are grounded in Denver by a blizzard. The town is so full of stranded people that Lucy Kincaid, newly graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico, and her long time boyfriend P. I. Sean Rogan must share a hotel room with Lucy's brother Dillon, a forensic psychologist, and his wife Kate, FBI Special Agent with the FBI and Lucy's best friend. They become deeply involved in a mystery.

Part Three:
San Diego is the scene of more trouble for the family. Its patriarch, Colonel Pat Kincaid, retired, is hospitalized after a heart attack. First San Diego PD Detective Carina Kincaid Thomas is taken hostage while visiting at the hospital. Then, as the clan gathers, more family, especially Lucy, get involved in the situation, along with local and federal agencies.

The three parts wind up with a satisfying epilogue. Part one is an intense tale about a difficult subject. Part two is less harrowing but no less suspenseful. Part three has plenty of suspense as well, but it showcases even more of the characters in this running series. The stories are preceded by a handy and informative foreword introducing the Kincaid family and others met throughout the series. And in the back of the book, there is an added novella that features Lucy Kincaid, after whom the series is named. Lucy and Sean need some alone time, so they head into the wilderness for an overnight campout. To whet our appetites for more, there is a brief excerpt from NOTORIOUS, the first of a new series that will feature Maxine (Max) Revere.

Adding it all up, COLD SNAP is a not-to-be-missed read for fans of thriller/police procedural/family saga novels. Strongly recommended.

Jane Bowers