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A Cold White Fear: A Meg Harris Mystery    by R. J. Harlick order for
Cold White Fear
by R. J. Harlick
Order:  USA  Can
Dundurn Press, 2015 (2015)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

A Cold White Fear is the seventh in a mystery series starring redhead Meg Harris, who survived an abusive marriage that left her with some issues.

Though I had not read previous entries, I quickly took in enough of her back story to follow events. She is now happily married to Eric Odjik, currently running for Grand Chief of the Grand Council of First Nations. They live at Three Deer Point in a rambling Victorian cottage in western Quebec, left to her by her great-aunt Agatha and bordered by the Migiskan Anishinabeg Reserve.

As the novel opens, Eric has left for meetings in Regina after a quarrel with Meg, whose insecurities made her jealous when she spotted him with another woman. She is alone aside from her young friend Adjidamo ('Jid') and puppy Shoni, getting ready for the holidays. Then, two strangers arrive, seeking succor. One of them, Larry Whiteduck, is badly injured. After she lets them in, they lose electricity, making it impossible to call and ask for medical help.

But it soon becomes clear that the sinister duo do not want any contact with authorities. As Meg works on Larry's injuries, she discovers that he was shot. And his heavily tattooed (with snakes!) companion, Viper, becomes increasingly more demanding. Meg tries to send Jid for help, and then follows herself, but they're intercepted by another, even more vicious bad guy, Slobo.

From there, the fear and violence escalate, especially after more of Viper's associates arrive - why have they all come to Three Deer Point and what is their objective? The story develops rather slowly, but holds readers' interest as we wonder how Meg, Jid and Shoni will make it through this terrifying invasion.

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