03 December 2011

Review: The Ice Cradle by Mary Ann Winkowski & Maureen Foley

The Ice Cradle is the second in the Ghost Files series by authors Mary Ann Winkowski and Maureen Foley; the first being The Book of Illumination. Anza O'Malley and her son Henry return in this novel, when Anza accepts a bookbinding commission on a small island community, Block Island.

One of the elements I really like about this series is the main character's occupation of bookbinder. Weaved throughout the story are references to bookbinding techniques and materials that are irresistible to book-lovers and bibliophiles.

Anza has been hired to preserve, bind and exhibit the letters, reports, photographs and artefacts surrounding the sinking in 1907 of the passenger steamship Larchmont just off the coast of Block Island. Of the 200 passengers, only 19 survived and those with an interest in preserving history will enjoy these elements of the story.

When Anza arrives, she walks into an island divided over wind turbines. She learns that half of the island's residents are in favour of the construction, the other half against, and a ghost informs her that they plan to build the turbines right where the wreckage of the Larchmont lies on the seabed!

All this is happening at the same time her young son sees his first ghost, and Anza is trying to find reasons local fisherman doesn't stack up to Henry's Dad.

This is a fabulous read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although you will need to be open to paranormal themes to enjoy this one. The Ice Cradle is terrific as a second installation in the series but also works as a stand alone novel. Light and easy, with a feel good ending, most readers will enjoy this one. I look forward to the next in the series!

My rating = ***1/2

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