Click here to return to the main site.
While on leave on the colony planet of Volhynia, Commander Elena Shaw meets and spends the night with Treiko (Trey) Zajec. In the morning when one of her shipmates, Danny, is found dead the local authorities try to pin the murder on Trey. In order to save Trey, Shaw has to retrace Danny’s last twenty-four hours to discover a secret that has been kept for the last twenty-five years...
The Cold Between (2016. 518 pages) is a debut science fiction/fantasy novel from the American author Elizabeth Bonesteel.
The tone of the book is very uneven as the tale tries to decide just what sort of story it would like to tell. The first two chapters introduce our heroine in a form of Mill & Boon space frontier bodice ripper. I understand that Bonesteel has to make some form of connection between her and Trey so as to explain why she would be willing to go so far to save him after what is little more than a one night stand, I’m just not sure that including so much detail made her choice anymore logical.
Elena is one confused woman and as a reader I also started to get confused with whom she had had a relationship with. Trey we know but it would seem that she had recently had a relationship with both her captain and the victim.
Bypassing her bedroom antics the book gets down to the central theme of something odd happening around a nearby accident site, an accident in which the captain had lost his mother. This part of the book works well as the investigation into the murder brings Trey and Elena closer to the truth of what had happened twenty-five years ago and why people would be willing to kill to keep the secret.
As it turns out the secret, when it is finally revealed, is a little disappointing. With the entire universe to play with, with infinite possibilities, the ending is a bit of a let-down. Instead Bonesteel spends a lot of time exploring the relationships between the character, something which will either grip you or leave you cold, personally I found myself in the latter camp.
It not a bad first novel, although it lacked focus on what it was trying to be.