“A Cold White Fear” by R.J. Harlick – Book Review

When Meg hears someone at her door during a blizzard, she is at first hesitant to let them in. She is miles from her nearest neighbour and has only a twelve-year old boy and a small puppy with her. However, her conscience overrides her trepidation when she learns that one of the two men outside is badly injured.


She should have never let them in!!!! It turns out that they are escaped prisoners, and one of them has a gunshot wound.  They enlist her aid in trying to patch up the injured man, and threaten harm if she doesn’t comply. The uninjured man is tall with myriad snake tattoos on his neck and face. Though the obvious name for him would be Viper, the injured man calls him “The Professor” because he was once a professor at McGill University.

Phone service is out and so is the electricity. Meg sends Jid, who was outside stocking the woodpile, to go get help.

At her first opportunity, Meg puts the puppy in a backpack and escapes by snowshoe. Though it is dark and the blizzard is worsening, she wants to reach civilization and report the two men.

After trudging through the storm for ages, she encounters another man who has her young friend Jid hostage.  Of course, he is an accomplice of the two men at her house, and he insists they return there. Turns out he is one of the leaders of a notorious biker gang and that the three men escaped custody together. When they return to the house, they tie Meg to a chair…

Circumstances worsen when the blizzard sends a tree crashing into the house…

Will Meg, Jid, and Shoni survive this ordeal?

I been reading a lot of books set in the U.K. lately, so thought it was high time I read one set in my home country of Canada. Mind you, this is a Canada very different from my own. For one thing, it is set 2,500 km north of where I live. For another, it is located next door to an Algonquin community.

When I first requested this title from NetGalley, I didn’t realize it was the seventh book in the Meg Harris series, but this time I can fully assure you that it reads very well as a stand-alone novel.

The setting was very well portrayed and I could easily imagine the dreadful weather, the beautiful house, and the frightening plight that Meg Harris finds herself in.  I loved her references to the puppy, Shoni, and to the young native boy, Jid.

I grew impatient that the men were with Meg so long – yet that was the point. I’m sure Meg Harris thought the time was dragging as well. The story was suspenseful, and the ending satisfactory. Fraught with danger and suspense – and spiced with Native lore, this novel is sure to be enjoyed by many.

3.5 stars which I will be rounding up for Goodreads, NetGalley, and Amazon.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Dundurn Press via NetGalley.

R.J. Harlick’s love for Canada’s untamed wilds is the inspiration for the Meg Harris mystery series.

In her former career R.J. Harlick worked for major computer corporations such as IBM and DMR Group, then with her own management consultancy practice. She was a member of the Canadian Institute of Management Consultants and held the CMC designation.

She is an avid supporter of environmental causes and worked for several years on the board of the Ottawa Valley Chapter of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

Originally from Toronto, and an alumna of the University of Toronto, she, her husband, Jim, and poodle Sterling divide their time between living in Ottawa and West Quebec.

Follow R.J. Harlick on Twitter.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Canadian fiction, Mystery fiction, NetGalley, Suspense and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “A Cold White Fear” by R.J. Harlick – Book Review

  1. skyecaitlin says:

    It sounds good, Lynne! I feel the same about books that take place in the States, especially those states nearby and also those on the West Coast.


  2. carhicks says:

    I am always looking for books set in Canada or by Canadian authors that are not depressing and fraught with angst. This one sounds like it fits the bill nicely and imagine my surprise to see that I actually have this one on my kindle. Wonderful review Lynne. I am adding it for May as April is already full.


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