Monday, April 1, 2013

Review of Polar Night by Julie Flanders

Hi Everybody! And welcome to anyone visiting from the A to Z Challenge! I'm not in it this year, but I support you all. Thanks for coming by. While you're here, check out my review of Polar Night by Julie Flanders. And, make a quick stop over to my Inspiring Thoughts and Pictures Blog for an inspiring quote and photo to brighten your day.

Okay, here we go!

Today I'm reviewing Julie Flanders first book, Polar Night. It's a paranormal thriller, and I'll tell you straight out that it's not a genre that I'm typically drawn to - sometimes, but not often. But that's okay, right? After all, some of you might say that a book about a boy who wishes to live in a Christmas village isn't usually your cup of tea either!


What's really fun, though, is when you read a book that  isn't something you think you'd normally be drawn to, and you end up pleasantly surprised because YOU LIKE IT. That's what happened to me with Polar Night.

I liked it. I really, really liked it.

Julie pulled me into the story quickly and I didn't want to stop reading. And she has created two characters that have tremendous appeal - our hero,  Danny Fitzpatrick, and our villain, Aleksei Nechayev.

Danny is a classic cop hero  - he's  from Chicago, self-exiled to Fairbanks, Alaska after events that have left him badly damaged emotionally. He's working cold cases, drinking too much and barely holding himself together. The great part about that is that it makes him a guy with nothing much to lose, and that of course, makes him willing to take risks. And, it's not that our villain, Aleksei is a likable bad boy, no, indeed. But he is definitely compelling

A current missing woman case leads Danny to make a connection with the cold case he's working. Pretty soon, he's on to something BIG, but where it leads him is a whole lot bigger than he - or we - expected! That's all I'm going to say, because saying more would take away surprises, and Julie has done a great job with her surprises. 

She's also vividly captured Alaskan winters and used that very effectively to create setting and mood. A former insane asylum in a remote Alaskan location ... well, it doesn't get much more unnerving than that.

It feels to me like Julie has left space for a sequel, or even a series. I think that Danny Fitzpatrick could develop into a classic cop hero along the lines of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch. The potential for his  long-term redemption - or total defeat - is fun to contemplate. I don't know what Julie's plans are for him - if any, but I'm hoping we haven't heard the last of Danny Fitzpatrick. 

Click here to go to Julie Flanders' Blog. She's participating in the April A to Z Challenge

Click on the book cover above to go to Polar Night on Amazon.com: Or, click here: 


24 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this review, Melissa. You're just awesome! And I'm so glad you liked the book. Reading this was definitely a great way to start off my week! :)

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    1. Julie - the review will be up all week - so let your visitors know.

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  2. I really need to buy this book! Great review, Melissa - and well done to Julie for writing such a great book :-)

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    1. It's a fun read Annalisa - she kept me guessing!

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  3. I, also, am not drawn to the paranormal, but this book was compelling - I couldn't put it down. I love the visual pictures Julie writes with words. This was a great read.

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    1. Hi Barb - all the more kudos to Julie for winning us over!

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  4. Ooooh. I am going to have to stop reading blogger reviews and author tours and other sneaky tricks to entice me to add to my humungous unread pile. This does sound great. Drat it.

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    1. I know ... you can never ever be "caught up." :)

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  5. I'd read this book just based on the cover. It's stunning!

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  6. Sounds like a great read! I love this genre anyway. Yet another book to read...gah lol. Thanks so much for visiting me earlier. :)

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    1. Hi Tracy - I know what you mean! So many books, so little time!

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  7. Former insane asylums make great settings for spooky books.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  8. Great review. Polar Night is on my Kindle :)

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  9. Great review! I've heard loads about this book. It's on my TBR list - must get to it!

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  10. Dear Melissa, a fine review and I went to Amazon but when I read the comments there I realized that the book is about vampires and I'm not drawn at all to books about them. So I'll give this book a pass unless you let me know that vampires are only a very small part of the plot.
    Peace.

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    1. Hi Dee! Yes, there are vampires. So if that's not your enjoyment, it won't be for you. And no, the vampire is not a small part of the plot!

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  11. I've heard lots of good things about this book :)

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    1. It's a good read - keeps you moving through it fast.

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  12. Wonderful review, and now I want to read the book even more :)

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