Just as a murderer dumps his corpse into the lake across Valley View in Lily Dale, Bella Jordan happens to be at her window, not quite realizing what she’s seeing. Unbeknownst to her, the killer spots her silhouette and prowls straight to her door. That is, until he’s interrupted by a black cat. A superstitious gambler, he takes off, but Bella’s seen too much, and he vows to return.
Jiffy Arden, a neighborhood kid looking for the black cat and stumbling across the killer, begins to have premonitions of being kidnapped during the season’s first snowstorm. Sure enough, when it strikes, he vanishes, never arriving home from the bus stop. While her son, Max, believes Jiffy has been kidnapped, Bella is convinced he’s just wandered off as he typically does… until a body shows up in the lake.
Now everyone is pulling out all the stops to find the missing child, identify the victim, and collar the killer. And fast, because he’s coming for Bella next in Dead of Winter.
My Thoughts: Bella Jordan is the central character in Dead of Winter, and as she continues to grieve the year-ago loss of her husband Sam, while trying to manage Valley View Inn, the ancient home she is renovating, she also must keep her six-year-old son Max safe.
Max’s best friend Jiffy is mischievous, unsupervised most of the time, and the kind of child who can pull another into his pranks.
When Jiffy goes missing, right after a body is found in the lake, it is easy to imagine that the killer stumbled upon him. Was he kidnapped by the killer, or is there more to the story?
Misty Starr, Jiffy’s mother, does readings, and some of her recent clients have had dark auras. She has also been fighting with her husband, Mike, a deployed soldier. Do any of these characters figure into the missing child scenario?
Lily Dale is an interesting village with quirky residents, including several who seem to connect to the Other Side. A quick read that kept me fascinated, this one earned 4.5 stars.