Where Blood Runs Cold, by Giles Kristian, is out now
Where Blood Runs Cold, by Giles Kristian, is out now

What would you do if you witnessed a cold-blooded murder whilst your young daughter slept peacefully just a few steps away from where the crime took place? Would you freeze up entirely? Try to intervene? Or grab the girl and try and make an escape, knowing that if you're caught, you and your child will both end up in the ground?

That's the conundrum one man must solve, in the chilly setting of the unforgiving Norwegian mountain landscape. With no right answer, we go on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance with overprotective father Erik Amdahl, and his daring daughter, Sofia.

Though the novel has quite a relaxed opening, there are themes of family tension woven throughout the few dozen pages that hint at some of the internal and external battles we'll see the characters face. With a history that involves losing his other daughter due to a tragic accident, we empathise with Erik's protective nature but, we also feel for Sofia, who wants a little more freedom as she grows older, yet is left feeling suffocated.

Visiting the country as part of his wife's work, as well as enjoying the trip as a family getaway, there lies a tension in the background of proceedings, as a move to modernise the local area is pushed back against by locals who feel it would destroy their culture. Of course, when money is involved, some are willing to go further than others to get what they want.

Blissfully unaware of the trauma that lies ahead, Sofia pushes her father to take her on a promised ski excursion, aptly-called the 'Long Ski', through the wilderness in an experience that would take many days to complete. Back and forth on whether or not he is willing to take his surviving daughter on the journey, Erik eventually gives in, realising that he cannot shield his little girl from the world forever.

Whilst the dangers of mother nature are what Erik thought would prove to be the biggest obstacle to navigate, it is a gang of murderous individuals intent on shaping the surrounding areas in their own ideal image that turn what is supposed to be a bonding moment for a father and daughter, into a gruelling cat-and-mouse chase.

Author Giles Kristian does an impeccable job of enveloping the reader within the freezing cold surroundings of which his novel is based. I know I was left scrambling for a blanket at certain points, as both the build of suspense and the incredible descriptions of the location left me almost shivering.

He also doesn't get too technical when it comes to discussing the various aspects of skiing. You won't be scrambling for a dictionary or guide to the sport if you're unfamiliar.

I do feel as though the ending of the book came out of left field. That's not to say it was disappointing; you just certainly won't see it coming. For many, that will be a positive thing, as it's completely unexpected. For others, it may feel utterly unrealistic. I fall somewhere in the middle.

Overall however, this is definitely a thriller that's worth your time. If you're a fan of the genre, you're not going to be left wanting more. A worthwhile and exciting read, from beginning to end.

Where Blood Runs Cold, by Giles Kristian, is available now.

RELATED: Seven things I'd like my readers to know about me, by Giles Kristian

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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