“ON THE TOUGHEST REALITY SHOW ON TELEVISION
A KILLER IS HIDING OUT OF SHOT
Frozen Out is set to be a TV sensation. On a small ship off the coast of Greenland, eight contestants will push themselves to breaking point for a £100,000 prize.
The show is Tori Matsuka’s baby. After years working her way up the ladder, she’s finally launching her own production company with Frozen Out, and the late nights, the debts, the strain on her relationship will all be worthwhile. Everything is riding on the next twelve days. For camerawoman Dee, it’s a chance to start again after the tragedy that tanked her undercover journalism career. Not even Tori, her oldest friend, knows the full truth of why Dee left her previous job, and she plans to keep it that way.
But as errors and mishaps mount on set, tempers among the cast and crew start to fray. And when one of the contestants is found dead, only Dee realises the death wasn’t natural – and from what she’s seen from behind the camera, it won’t be the last. As the Arctic ice closes in around them and all chance of escape is cut off, it becomes clear that although the world outside wants them dead, it’s the secrets inside the ship that might cost them their lives.
Packed with suspense from the first page to the last, Freeze is a must-read for fans of Shiver, The Sanatorium and One By One. This thriller isn’t just chilling: it’s sub-zero.”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Freeze by Kate Simants. Freeze is published by Viper Books today (that’s Thursday 2nd March 2023) and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats. I chose to read a free ARC of Freeze but that has in no way influenced my review. My grateful thanks to Rosie at Viper Books for sending me a proof copy.
Freeze was a ‘must read’ for me! There are certain scenarios in fiction (reality TV, gameshows etc) and certain settings (the chillier, the better!) which really appeal to me. This book has both, it’s one of those reads where I felt I really was the target audience because it ticked all the boxes! Freeze is set just off of the coast of Greenland on a ship where they’re filming a reality TV show about leadership. There was no way on this earth I was going to let this one pass me by! Plus I’ve been wanting to read a book by this author for a while now so it was a win/win situation all the way.
Tori Matsuka is a rising star on the small screen. Her television career has gone from strength to strength so why not build on that and start her own production company, Tori Tells Stories. Her first show is Frozen Out, a reality series set off the coast of Greenland. The eight contestants will be pushed to their limits in freezing conditions with Tori at the helm, gently guiding them through the challenges. Tori’s best friend, Dee will be behind the camera, and with the help of a single researcher (tight budget!) they will film the entire series and broadcast at a later date. Sounds simple enough. There really is no way Tori can allow the project to fail. It would be the end of everything for her and her fledgling company. But the trip is riddled with problems, contestants withdraw at short notice, unfathomable decisions are made back in the UK, arguments are rife and tempers quickly begin to fray. And when a body is discovered onboard, it quickly becomes apparent that they’re stranded at sea with a killer…
Freeze is a compelling psychological thriller with well-written suspense and a vividly drawn setting. The author has excelled at creating a realistic, icebound backdrop which was constantly changing, affecting the journey the characters were on. It sent chills down my spine as it’s presented in such a way that it’s almost a living, breathing character in its own right. Which, as a fan of snowy thrillers, I loved! The fact that the Frozen Out cast and crew are stranded on a somewhat dilapidated boat miles from the coast of Greenland with the unpredictable weather, the possibility of becoming icebound and with a killer in their midst really heightened the tension.
The author gives the reader a chance to get to know the characters initially before things start to spiral out of control. The characters are a mixed bunch. All appear to be hiding something to some degree or another but how far are they prepared to go to keep their secrets hidden? The two main characters are Tori and Dee and chapters are told from their points of view. None of the characters are particularly likeable but that tends to be the case in psychological thrillers and for me, just adds to my enjoyment of the novel. Simants has done an excellent job in making the most unlikeable character, influencer and Tori’s ex, Wolf, a thoroughly despicable human being. He made my blood boil and I so appreciated how well he was written and the angst he delivered.
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. If you’re a fan of slow burn, locked room mysteries then make sure you get hold of a copy of Freeze. The tension ramps up beautifully as the reader approaches the denouement and I couldn’t tear myself away. I’m afraid I did manage to guess one aspect of the reveal but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book at all. The setting is perfection. The characters are wonderfully secretive and highly intriguing, I had to know what they were all hiding! And the plot moves at a compelling pace with tension building over the course of the book. All in all, a great icebound, locked room mystery which I enjoyed from start to finish. Recommended.
I chose to read and review a free ARC of Freeze. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Freeze by Kate Simants was published in the UK by Viper Books on 2nd March 2023 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | bookshop.org | Goodreads | damppebbles bookshop.org shop | damppebbles amazon.co.uk shop | damppebbles amazon.com shop |
Kate Simants is a writer of psychological thrillers and crime fiction.
After a decade working in the UK television industry, specialising in investigative documentaries, police shows and undercover work, Kate relocated from London to Bristol to concentrate on writing. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Brunel University (2007) and another in Crime Fiction from the University of East Anglia (2018), where she was the recipient of the UEA Literary Festival Scholarship. Her first novel LOCK ME IN was shortlisted for the 2015 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger, and is published by HarperCollins.
Kate won the 2019 Bath Novel Award with her second novel THE KNOCKS, which is published by Viper under the title A RUINED GIRL (released August 27th 2020).