Book Corner

Book Review: Winter’s Curse

Knowing someone will die is the worst curse…

A bank robbery turns into a blood trail as a pair of unhinged masterminds hack their way through a list of the most notorious US heists. The copycat crimes, emulating famous robberies, escalate as the FBI work with local law enforcement.

But the federal team has problems of its own. Sun Ming, Winter Black’s partner and nemesis, has her own agenda, while Winter can’t keep her mind off The Preacher, the notorious serial killer who murdered her parents and holds the key to finding her missing little brother.

To make matters worse, Winter must attempt to hide her ever growing abilities as the “gift” The Preacher gave her years before turns into a curse that threatens to destroy her, body and soul.

I’m really digging Mary Stone’s work, specifically, the Winter series.

And I just discovered that she has more than one series – it’s now my mission to read every last word of her work.

I really like Winter Black. She has a tough exterior but a caramel filling (soft, but sticky) – when it comes to certain people. I really like how Stone keeps Winter a mystery. Yes, you get to know Winter, but only bit-by-bit. This is my second Winter Black story and though I have a good grasp of Winter’s back story I don’t really feel like I know HER fully – yet. And I like that. It keeps me reading and guessing. She doesn’t seem predictable or stale.

I really like Stone’s style of writing. She writes from several points-of-view which I wasn’t sure I was a fan of, until I read her work. I feel she does a really good job of keeping all of the POV’s separate without getting too sloppy about it and I’m going to try and adopt her style of writing in my April Camp NaNoWriMo project. (Did you realize that’s coming up soon??)

I haven’t really a big fan of multiple POVS, but after watching Sarra Cannon’s YouTube videos and reading Stone’s work, I think I’ve been converted.

I really appreciate the richness and the fullness of Stone’s stories. I appreciate getting the villain’s POV as well as the two men in Stone’s life. I also love we occasionally get The Preacher’s POV as well. And I’m looking forward to reading more about the potential love triangle between Winter, Aiden and Noah.

This cat-and-mouse story had me on the edge of my seat. It was also really cool to read about a female protagonist, antagonist and female competitor – the females had the spotlight in this story and the male characters were more supporting.

It was refreshing. I appreciate strong females in stories. And I think Stone does a really good job of making Winter relatable in her toughness but at the same time, doesn’t make her too soft. This may not be for everyone, but personally, I love it. I find Winter fascinating and I want to know more about her.

The only thing I wished had been different was the fact that we didn’t really find out why the female antagonist felt so compelled to pull off her copycat crimes. Though Heidi was highly intelligent and a complete sociopath, I wanted to know the reason why she spent six long years planning these heists and what the motivation behind her doing so was. Either I missed it, or it wasn’t given to us.

Another fascinating element of Winter’s story is her “gift.’ She has visions that are so strong at times, they knock her unconscious. In addition, she has the ability to see “red” dots whenever there is something evil lurking about which helps her stay on the heels of the bad guys. Why does she have this gift? Will it end up killing her? How is this tied to The Preacher? There are a lot of questions, I’m looking forward to reading more of her story and learning the answers.

In addition, I really thought the relationship between the two criminals in this story was unique and different, too. Heidi blackmails her accomplice into helping her with her heists and again, the significance of her doing that wasn’t made clear. It wasn’t enough to spoil the story for me, sometimes there is no explaining crazy, disturbed people, but it left a small hole in the story that I had difficulty overlooking.

I also really enjoyed the way Stone starts the story – with yet another POV. This one was from one of the victim’s from Heidi’s first crime – the bank heist. Again, an interesting way to start the story and one I fully intend to try in my stories.

If you enjoy the mystery/thriller genre, then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Mary Stone’s work. You won’t be disappointed.