Book Title: Thin Ice
Part of Series: No
Author: Alexander Keena
Available at: Smashwords
Number of words (approximately): 57 797
Star Rating (of five): Three
A group of students leave a remote hotel in a snowstorm. A suspicious car causes them to crash, leaving them stranded on the ice of a lake. The situation worsens as the personalities of the people come to the fore.Extract:
- “It’s the country, isn’t it? There must be a farm or something?”
“We’re on the edge of the moors. There are no farms here… just… Moors,” Sam said, looking straight at Matt.
“Well there’ll be a Petrol station… or something.”
Sam looked cynical. “I doubt it.”
“Oh, let him go if he wants,” Mya said, without even looking at him properly.
“I wasn’t asking for permission,” Matt said and, with that, he turned away, “you stay here and hold hands or something, losers’.
Without any thought to what he was actually doing, Matt began striding out across the ice. They’d all realised the inherent danger in wondering off onto the moors but only Sam had actually considered that there was a more obvious and far more immediate threat.
Matt had got about five feet when that threat became a reality. The ice started to emit faint splitting sounds, which seemed amplified because of the silence in the air and the sudden danger it represented.
“I wondered if the ice was strong enough,” Sam said calmly.
“Come back, it’s too dangerous!!” Essie yelled.
Matt paused but then continued anyway. He’d only got a few more steps when there was a much louder series of cracks from below. Almost defiantly, he kept going… Until, a few feet later, the ice in front of him actually split across and freezing water welled up through the rift. With nowhere to go, Matt stopped in his tracks.
“DON’T MOVE!” Essie yelled.
“WHAT IF ALL THE ICE BREAKS?” Mya screamed, panicking as she looked at the ice beneath her.
”Then I guess we’ll all get wet, won’t we,” Matt said, glancing back at her without moving the rest of his body.
Essie crouched down and looked along the ice towards Matt, “Just stay there for a moment, okay.”
“What, till I sink you mean?”
It was obvious something was going on and, inside the wrecked car, Lisa tried to turn to see what was happening but found she couldn’t.
“WHAT’S GOING ON?!”
“Nothing, don’t worry,” Sam said quickly, as he bent down next to Essie, “What are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking… he’s only got one way to go.”
By now, Matt was getting impatient and rather agitated, ”So what do I do?! I’m not just gonna stand here while you have a fucking meeting!”
“Walk back this way,” Essie said, standing up, “BUT… very slowly.”
“But that’ll crack the ice here!!” Mya said, with no interest in how she sounded.
“Don’t worry, bitch… if the ice does break, I’ll try to fall backwards.”
Although Matt was generally full of himself, even he was fully aware of the dangers of falling into freezing water and, very carefully, he turned back to face the way he’d just come. As he looked at them watching him, he didn’t really know if any of them really wanted him to make it back, and if he’d sunk into the lake right there and then, without a trace, he was sure none of them would have cared too much. This made him feel both angry and confused. As far as he was concerned, HE’D been the one helping them all out by giving them a lift and it was HIS car that was totalled. If anything, HE was the biggest victim there. -
Structure: The book is formatted pleasantly, making for easy reading. The language used is largely colloquial English, adding to the atmosphere of the story, without impeding the flow.
Content: The build-up of the characters is good, the story gripping, leading me to read the book in one sitting. There is an interesting series of twists at the end.
Reviewer’s Comment: The story is gripping and the characters credible – I have known people just like these, and found it easy to relate to them. The ambiance is well-described, with an ability to put the reader into the scene. The structural failings noted above are minor in the whole picture, and the book is certainly worth a read. The publisher describes the book as a psychological thriller, and that is certainly accurate. I think that this book will remain on my bookshelf for another read with a cup of hot chocolate some cold winter’s night.