Frozen | Jay Bonansinga | Rougeski Review


Frozen (The Author’s Cut) by Jay Bonansinga goes one step beyond the conventions of the everyday tale of FBI versus a serial killer.

Readers join FBI profiler Ulysses Grove as he agonizes over his inability to solve a case.  The Sun City Killer has taken six lives, and Ulysses is at a dead end.  He cannot sleep.  The stress is affecting him physically.  He suffers from fainting spells.  And beneath it all lies the long-time stress of a strained relationship with his mother and the pain of losing a beloved wife only a few years ago.  Ulysses is a complicated and highly likable protagonist–smart, honorable, elegant, and loyal.  Most important, he demonstrates great respect for humanity as shown when he attempts to revive a dying victim.  Readers will care about him and become loyal followers.  Although Frozen is an extension of a series, readers can enjoy this story without having read any of the earlier novels.

Grove finally gets a tip that seems like a long shot, but he will do anything to catch the Sun City Killer.  Urged on by a science journalist, Grove heads to Alaska to examine a recently-discovered, tattooed, frozen body over six thousand years old.  Experts note that it is posed in a gesture of summoning.  Along with Grove, readers will doubt the possibly of a connection between an ancient mummy, his tattoos, and the Sun City Killer.

The serial killer is a fascinating character.  This successful, well-respected business man is intense, relentless, unpredictable, and demonic.  His determination and strength seem unnatural.  His victims seem randomly chosen.  The unlikely killer is at once disturbing and sympathetic–the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.  To stop him, Grove must find an explanation for the killing spree and discover his inexplicable motivation.

Bonansinga is a masterful writer.  His prose is clean and smooth.  There are no wasted words or superfluous dialogue tags, so readers will fly through the text without interruption.  Show prevails over tell, thus drawing readers closer into the action.  The backstory is never dumped on the reader, since its elements are strategically positioned throughout the story to tantalize the reader and prepare him for the unexpected conclusion.

The action takes place in interesting locations across the country.  The author takes readers along for the ride via lush and evocative descriptions.  The supporting characters are well-drawn and work together seamlessly, even the less likable. 

The plot is fast paced and never bores.  However, at times one might want the pace to slow down in order to luxuriate in the hints of romance and the unforeseeable, unfolding outcome.  Realistic enforcement procedure creates an aura of authority.

“To paraphrase the Bard, there’s far more in heaven and earth than you’ve ever dreamed, Agent Grove” (Father Carrigan).

One astounding plot twist that makes this mystery unique requires a willing suspension of disbelief that would make Coleridge proud—the inclusion of the metaphysical.

At a time when science and its uncompromising sensibilities rule, Bonansinga’s readers are compelled to accept the possibility of subtle supernatural elements.  Those who may hesitate to accept such content might do well to examine books such as Field Guide to the Spirit World by Susan Martinez, Ph.D. and Self Deliverance by K.A. Schneider.  Both books could serve to urge readers to rethink long-held convictions.

Frozen is a novel that is recommended for readers of mystery, crime, and the supernatural.  The only downside of the novel is the fact that it ends too soon.

Feild Guide to the Spirit World

Self Deliverance, by K.S. Schneider

Frozen (The Author’s Cut) by Jay Bonansinga goes one step beyond the conventions of the everyday tale of FBI versus a serial killer.

Book Title: Frozen

Book Author: Jay Bonansinga

  • (5)
    Plot
  • (5)
    Characters
  • (5)
    Complexity
  • (4.5)
    Literary Quality
  • (5)
    Setting
  • (5)
    Originality
Overall
4.8

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