Wednesday, April 16

Deep Freeze – Lisa Jackson

Movie star Jenna Hughes was a phenomenon – between her figure (naturally big breasts, tiny waist, high and tight bum), her features (long dark hair fraing a heart-shaped face, large green eyes and a kissable mouth), and her acting ability (from her first role, in a Jodie Foster-like role as a young hooker, to the unfinished White Out), Jenna had massive box office appeal. Even now, a year after leaving Hollywood for the seclusion of small town Oregon, Jenna websites abound. But Jenna wanted something other than fame for her daughters and, though they’re pissed about the move, she thinks this is just what they need. It’s also what she needs, some time and space to reflect – on her failed marriage, on life in the public eye, and on the death of her sister on the set of the doomed film White Out. But Jenna hasn’t factored in the devotion of one fan, a fan who’ll stop at nothing to make her his.
The basic plot (vulnerable beautiful woman, scary cold world, power failures, isolation, creepy incidents, possible stalkers lurking behind every man) is far from original, but could have been a standout. The stalker has his unique motivations – which rotate around death, cold weather, immersion in icy water, mannequins in Jenna’s roles, abduction of substitutes as he perfects his technique, and there are no shortage of possible identities – is he the sheriff, the over-involved neighbour, the creepy son of the wardrobe mistress, the electrician/handyman…
Yet for some reason I really didn’t relate to any of the characters or become involved with the story. Maybe Jenna was just too perfect, though she’s portrayed as flawed in some respects. Maybe the tension just wasn’t finely drawn enough, though it was well done. Maybe it was the complicated back stories (Jenna’s marriage, her guilt over her sister in a story that emerges slowly through the novel, the killer’s past). More likely it’s the writing, though I can’t pinpoint what the problem was. Whatever the reason, though I finished Deep Freeze I didn’t particularly enjoy it, and I was pissed when I realised that it’s set up for a sequel. On which I’ll definitively pass. - Alex

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