Heart of Ice
The novels all feature three protagonists, and the plot revolves around their interactions with each other, with an intriguing web of crimes that eventually connect: Cassidy Shaw, a crime reporter; Allison Pierce, a federal prosecutor; and Nicole Hedges, an FBI agent. Wiehl is a legal analyst for Fox News, a Harvard professor and a former federal prosecutor. Wiehl’s background in law and journalism are obvious influences on the story and subject matter.
The antagonist is Elizabeth Avery, a beautiful 32-year-old redhead who thinks nothing of stealing, lying and even killing to get what she wants. The book uses this character to explore its key theme: what is a sociopath?
Elizabeth has “reinvented herself” numerous times, always remorselessly using people to get ahead. Her current goal is to marry Ian McCloud, a wealthy divorced defense lawyer she’s been dating for two months. And she will stop at nothing to get him.
The story is set in Portland, Oregon. The novel uses an omniscient third-person narrator, so that the reader knows quickly that Elizabeth is evil—something that the characters in the book do not realize right away. The suspense comes from wondering if Elizabeth will get away with her malicious intent, whether the characters will be fooled by her.
Other characters, all of whom—spoiler alert—eventually get taken down by Elizabeth, include:
Joey, who has known Elizabeth since they were both children in an abusive boarding/reform school, where she was known as Sissy Hewsom. Joey is an arsonist whom Elizabeth blackmails into burning down a house and even killing.
Clark, the store clerk with a bad case of acne, whom Elizabeth entraps and uses in terrible ways.
Jenna, the ambitious young intern who works at the same station as Cassidy, who’ll do anything to get on camera and scoop the more experienced reporters at the station.
Other characters include:
Lindsay, Allison’s drug-abusing sister who shows up at her door asking for a place to stay. As someone who has simply made mistakes in life, she serves as a foil to the sociopath characters who deliberately and remorselessly hurt others to get what they want.
A parallel plot to explore the sociopath theme is provided by the investigation and prosecution of a series of killings. Colton Foley, a med student, is accused of the murders.
Lis Wiehl on Wikipedia
April Henry on Wikipedia
Lis Wiehl's bio on Fox News