Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Barb's Book Review... Chilled


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***Spoiler Alert***

Talk about a good start. There is a plane down in the Oregon in the Cascade Mountains. The Madison County search and rescue team is assembled. Jim Wolf, Thomas Todoroff, deputies with the Sheriff's office, Ryan Sheridan a cop from another county and Brynn Nealey; a forensic nurse with her dog and they get an update. A small plane carrying a convict that was being moved has gone down.  The Sheriff (Patrick Collins) informs them that Alex Kinton was being sent from the US Marshall to accompany the team. The moment Alex shows up he couldn't help but notice Brynn. The only woman on the team. He is caught a few times staring at her more than is sociable. This was not going to be a quick S&R mission. It would take days, the cold and wet making it miserable (more so than usual) for them all. Makes for fun times when you are not really sure what you just got yourself into.

Darren, the convict in the plane starts to wake up. Pain eats him up and the small amounts of snow beats in on him as he starts to move around. Still cuffed it was limiting his movement... at first. The US Marshall who had set beside Darren was dead in his seat. There was no front to the plane as Darren looked for the pilots. What in the hell had happened? Darren searches the dead Marshall’s pockets for the keys to the cuffs and removes them. Then he pulled the gun from his holster and pulled the holster on himself. (That never ends well.) Now free and armed he exited the plane, or what was left of it. As Darren explores the crash site, he comes across the cockpit. The Co-Pilot was dead, and the Pilot was half dead. He was in bad shape. On death’s door. After snatching the pilot’s duffle bags and stealing the co-pilot’s coat her was all set. He could run now.

Things heat up more when two US Marshalls show up at the scene where Sheriff Collins is waiting to hear from his team. US Marshall, Paul Whittenhall, the man from the conversation this morning about adding a team member to the S&R mission was now in front of him along with deputy Marshall Stewart but Whittenhall seems confused by the way he is greeted by Collins. Confusion turns into dread. Something is wrong here. As the team moved through the forest, a few challenges had been made, a few accidents but the ones that were sweating was the US Marshalls at the base camp. Kenton was actually a former Marshall. Collins demands answers but tempers flared. Collins needed answers now. Was his team in danger?
When Air Force Pilot, Major Liam Gentry shows up things get tense. Liam was grounded, no helicopters were in the air because of the almost white out conditions but he had a vested interest in the S&R teams well being. Brynn was his ‘girlfriend’. When they discover who the convict on the plane was they all freak internally. The killer on the plane was, for all they knew, loos in the woods. His team had no idea what they were heading into. But Liam, being a force of nature of his own was able to get Whittenhall to spill the deets on Alex Kinton. Seems Alex was intent on getting Darren a lethal injection. An obsession that drove him to a nervous breakdown and causing him to lose his job with the US Marshall’s office.

Alex’s younger brother, Samuel, was one of Darren’s victims. Vengeance is alive and riding him hard. (And I can’t say I blame him.) Alex does eventually tell Jim the truth -once they locate the plane and find Darren is missing as is the Marshall’s gun and jacket- about why he is there. He isn’t a Marshall anymore but he is there to take Darren down. He can’t allow him to make it out of the woods alive. Not after all he has done. As time passes they try to assess the best way to get out of here and go back to base camp. With Ryan being sick, they aren’t sure he is going to make it out or not. Alex wants to go after Darren. And now. They decide, after he tells them all who was on the plane and thanks to Brynn to stay the night using the section of the plain available as suitable shelter. Then they will see what happens in the morning. But no matter what Alex is determined to keep Darren from getting out of these woods.

While Brynn makes it up the mountain to check on Ryan Alex, Jim and Thomas are left to themselves. All still feeling the sting of Brynn's wrath.  Alex decides to go up the mountain to where Brynn and Ryan are, he’s still not sure about leaving her alone fearing Darren could still be close. A little ways up the mountain they hear the helicopter. Brynn and Ryan start to wave their hands, then Jim and Thomas do. Which Alex sees when he himself starts to wave and jump around screaming. But he soon learns they aren't yelling at the copter anymore they are yellin’ at him. An avalanche is heading for him thanks to the copter. He manages to turn and then it hits. He makes swimming motions and disappears under a cloud of snow. The race is on for them to get to him and get him out of the snow. Twenty minutes later and a few frantic tears (on Brynn’s part) later they find him. Frozen but alive. Thankfully he managed to have an air pocket when he had stopped with the snow. Otherwise he would have been dead. When the avalanche too Alex under it also sent the pieces of the plane spinning into the trees. Carried off their backpacks and sent them God only knows where. They found Brynn’s while digging for Alex. So they are left with two packs for 5 adults and a dog. Its not enough to last.

The next morning after going to check the cockpit side of the plane for Darren, ‘cause Alex has a bad feeling they find a note written in blood from him. They really need to get out of here before Darren gets to Brynn or any of them. Alex, Brynn and Ryan will stay behind. Jim and Thomas will make the trek back down to base camp. They should only be one 24 hours then they can get help up to them all. They haven't seen the helicopter since its showing up yesterday so they think they lost their chance.

What they don’t know is that Liam (Brynn's boyfriend) and his brother Tyrone are in the copter and it went down. So not only do they have a rescue team they can’t reach from base camp but a rogue copter and two idiots that are lost in the freezing woods… with a serial killer. ( Yeah that’s not trouble. LOL ) Finally, while they wait for Jim and Thomas to return Alex tells Brynn the truth about why he was here. What Darren had done to his brother. Jim and Thomas make it back to the plane.. but they have two extra men in tow. They came across Liam and Tyrone’s downed copter and brought them into the plane. Tyrone was in bad shape but they were stuck until they could get out. Alex, Jim and Tyrone come up with a plan to see if they can get Darren to come out. As Alex trudges through the snow, Thomas behind him, out of sight of course. When  a shot rings out around his head he dives to the snow. Then follows the shots. Finding his friend, Matt, and his old bosses desk jockey, Stewart fighting. As things go on Alex shoots Stewart to keep him from shooting Matt.

When they head back to the plane he tells Matt what he thought the boss was up to. His conspiracy theory. Matt got what was going on. Why he did what he did with Darren while he was behind bars? Well.. he didn't want the other victim’s families to suffer. He was paying a penance in a way for not helping his brother. Self inflicting himself with pain to help others. The weather is supposed to be clear the next day, so they find out when they return to the plane with Matt. That means the copters will be out searching again. They will finally be able to go home. Question still remains though, what do you do with Darren? He is still out in the woods, waiting. Through the night Brynn wakes to find Liam is gone. Maybe he went to piss. But when its been longer than needed to hit the head (as the men call it) Jim, Thomas, Alex and Matt split up in groups of 2 and set out to find him. They leave Brynn, Ryan and Tyrone in the plane with the dog and a gun. When Alex and Thomas come up on Liam face down in the bushes, almost frozen they assess him and then they hear it. Gun shots. Alex has a bad feeling.

As he runs back to the plane (as fast as the snow will let him) he panics. When he reaches the plane he find Ryan bleeding, Tyron is extreme pain from being kicked in the head and blood all around the door. Keyana’s blood. Seems the dog attacked Darren when he barged in and was shot. But she was alive and following after Darren and Brynn. God, Darren has Brynn. He had a 15 minute head start but Alex has no time to waist. When he did catch up to him, it turned dire quickly. Thankfully Keyana was a big enough of a distraction for Alex to tackle Darren. They fought; hard. It was down to him or Alex and thanks to Brynn Alex was saved as Darren hit the ice cold water of the river.

They were safe and as Jim and Thomas came up on them the copters were heard. The rescuers were now rescued. Making it back to the bottom of the mountain and straight into the Sheriff’s trailer. (laughs) Seems the Sheriff had been busy while they were gone…

Now, that is all I can say. Except… I loooooooved this one. Ha. The heroine and the hero (Brynn and Alex) are just badass. The dynamic between them grew over the days they spent together. I kind of wish there was more of them after the rescue. Though it was a great ending. What I would have expected it to be.

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