No Colder Place by S. J. Rozan

No Colder Place (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith #4)No Colder Place

by S.J. Rozan
Series: Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #4

Hardcover, 288 pg.
St. Martin’s Press, 1997
Read: June 5, 2014

Rozan was able to tap into her day job here and use her knowledge of architecture, construction — particularly the idiosyncratic way that construction is done in NYC. Bill, and the tune/atmosphere Rozan uses for his books, is able to be pensive, reflective, and almost poetic in thinking about the act of building. Lydia wouldn’t be able to do that. This type of thing is a real advantage to switching POV characters the way Rozan does.

The series feels different when Bill is at the center, and I found myself liking it more this time than last. I feel bad for him as far as Lydia is concerned. When the novel is told from her perspective, there’s something quixotic about his pursuit of her, and you can give a sympathetic chuckle when he tries. But from his point-of-view, it’s just sad.

There is just so much unsaid about Bill. The retreat to the cabin. His piano playing. Why he won’t move on from Lydia. Rozan’s walking a fine line between having an enigmatic character and just withholding information. I do want to see and learn more about him, but I’m not feeling cheated (for now).

Anyway, I should focus on the case in this book. Again we have Bill going undercover (also again, thanks to someone from his murky past) — with Lydia providing backup and support. This time on a construction site plagued by robberies, a disappearance — and perhaps a little bookmaking or drug dealing. Naturally, it doesn’t take long for things to get ugly and far messier than he’d expected. It’s deftly told with the right amount of twists, turns, and danger. Plus interesting and compelling sporting characters, and not your everyday detective novel crimes.

Come to think about it, that’s one of the best parts of this series — the crimes they are hired to investigate are not your typical mystery novel fare. Yeah, things eventually return to the mainstays (murder, blackmail, etc), but they start in interesting places.

No Colder Place is worthy entry to this series, and I’m ready for the next one.


3.5 Stars

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