For the final act of her marriage, magazine editor Lilly Martin returns to Cleary, North Carolina, to close up the mountain cabin she once shared with her ex-husband, police chief Dutch Burton. But before she can get back down the mountain, a snowstorm strikes. Driving in the blinding snow, she hits acquaintance Ben Tierney, disabling her car and injuring him. The two of them are now stuck up at the cabin.

Dutch's life, meanwhile, has been spiraling out of control. As the chief of the town's small police force, he's been challenged to find a killer nicknamed "Blue" who may be responsible for the disappearance of five young women. When Dutch learns that Lilly is stranded up at the cabin with Tierney, his jealousy nearly drives him nuts. As for Lilly, she's starting to wonder if there is more danger inside the cabin than outside.

Both the weather and the confined setting give this creepy thriller a wonderfully claustrophobic edge. This book has plot twists aplenty and characters with more than a little excess baggage. Leave it to Brown to dish up pure terror and chills. (Aug., 416 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith