Splintered Ice: Stuart Yates
Life can often tear someone apart in many different directions. When a piece of wood chips and you get it caught in your finger which splinters off and remains lodged until you get it removed. At times people often feel that their lives are beginning to splinter, small pieces begin to be chipped away and the end result may cause someone to break away completely from their parent body, split into a larger or smaller group or even become so fractured it would require more than just a splint to repair the damage. Humans often find themselves in difficult situations and one young man named Jed learns the hard truth about his family just from listening behind closed doors. Young children never understand why their parents drift apart but Jed is old enough and realizes from a whispered conversation his mother is having that something is wrong, his life is about to change and the small pieces of hope that he prays will not disappear or fade are not splintering into many pieces as the stability of his family shatters in more ways than one.
Bullies have a hard time when someone decides to stand up to them and fight back. Watching the students give away their dinner to a boy named Watson, the adults stand away, let this happen until Jed decides that he’s had enough, won’t allow this to occur and fights back. The scene is quite graphic, the end result will make you wonder why no one came to his defense and the end result would change his life forever. The headmaster suspended him for three days, he returns home to find his mother has left for good and his father is torn to shreds in an emotional blanket of pain. Deciding that he was not going back to school he finds himself witnessing something unusual. Someone decided to go ice fishing, the ice cracks, the man falls under, the cold is shocking, the fear of death imminent and the hope that someone would rescue him not really a thought. But, Jed seems glued to where he’s standing and then finally something within him snaps and he decides to risk his life to help a total stranger. So, why would this man drag him under with him? Why would he risk hypothermia or exposure to cold water and not try to survive knowing that this person seemed to want to take him down along with him? The end result will definitely surprise the reader as Jed meets the man he rescued, they seem to befriend his other along with a lovely nurse and this just might bring him closer to his father.
Jed is young and tough, but he’s not that tough. He’s been framed for a murder he didn’t commit, and the guy he rescued from drowning seems to know too much. When his mother is kidnapped and Jed is threatened with death, it all becomes too much. Can he rescue his mum and save his life at the same time? The bodies keep mounting up, and the drugs and the hypnotism are working too well. Jed needs to get his act together if he is going to survive but what happens within the next chapter will change the course of his life forever.
Author Stuart Yates brilliantly intertwines and weaves many different threads together with several different characters. We meet his brother Matthew and we learn why his mother left Matthew’s father for another man. The abuse she took and the cruelty was too much for her to remain with his father. Added in we learn about the air raids during WWII, meeting Jed’s father and how saving Jonathan Kepowski’s life would do more than haunt him. As his brother asked him about this man and if they continued to connect, the author reminds readers of the Nurse that was caring for both Jonathan and Jed and her murder. As he was about to report the fact that he knew her the police arrive and the entire incident blows out of proportion as certain evidence surfaced letting readers know that even the police feel that Jed might have had a hand in this murder even though he claims to be innocent. But, instead of remaining calm, not appreciating being wrongly accused, what happens next shocks not only the police but his father too. The history behind his mother’s past is semi revealed but just what happened to Frank has not.
Lives can be splintered and crushed into smaller pieces, people finding themselves in different places as Larry Meres goes to visit his son in juvenile lockup and the conversation will make you wonder just why he went, whether he will support his son’s innocence and who might have planted the evidence to set him up. But, Larry Meres is human and meeting Hannah Randall at the prison might just ignite another flame while Brian Randall her son was locked up with Jed. Punching out a cop got him in lockup, others knowing about it respect.
When Jed gets releases the circumstances will definitely raise questions in the reader’s mind as to why the charges were dropped. Reflecting on what happened, meeting with his brother and his father’s brief encounter with Hannah Randall might just change the dynamics of all of their lives once certain truths are revealed. But, what really happened to Nurse Willis and who decided to kill her boyfriend too? What happened to the man whose life he saved and how will his mother’s past and actions reflect on the future? But, what is revealed will be even more startling as Matthew relates the final event about his mother and her lover. Just what happened to his father remains to still be revealed as the event is quite vividly described but another will come back and haunt Jed. Why and who would photo his father with Hannah Randall? Why would someone send pictures of the incident to her son? Just how will this all play out and what else will Jed have to face?
Events collide and then one-man returns and things begin to spiral downhill for Jed. Incidents happen and he cannot remember what he said or did and realizes that one man has a special hold over him while another wants him to do his job for him in a different way. But, things are not always what they appear to be and one police officer just might have more than one hidden agenda appearing to help Jed but is he really? What happens will surprise the reader as things start to take on more twists and turns when Brian Randall is released, he connects with Jed and the splinters start to form their own solid block of hard, cold ice that we hope does not melt.
One more encounter with the school bully and things take a seriously bad turn, Jed is arrested and then three murders are about to be pinned on him. But, Jed won’t buckle under pressure or interrogation. Just what will the end result be and what has author Stuart Yates not revealed in this seriously outstanding tale that will give you more than just chills down your spine but fear of being alone in Jed’s or Brian’s houses.
Images and outcomes are not always what they seem. Illusions can be created that can make you think you are experiencing one thing but really another. Mazes take you into a world where you need to find the right path to come out. When Jed decides to venture out with Jon and his friends one more time he does not realize what is about to him just might be the result of a well-orchestrated plot but not just created by Jon but someone else too. Murder seems to follow him wherever he goes. Innocent meetings, long trips that he agrees to without any thought to the consequences and then betrayals, lies, deceits and disloyalties come through as Jed learns the truth behind why his mother left, the end result of what happened to her lover and the hidden truth behind just who Matthew really is and much more.
One young man caught within the icy mirror of a slippery pond that would hold the key to the events that began to create his downward spiral. Just what was real and what others created? Who can be trusted and what does his mother reveal when she returns? When will Jed’s life turn around? Author Stuart Yates will keep you glued to the printed page, wondering who is going to be the next victim, who murdered all of these people and just how all the pieces of the icy splinters that have separated and melted in the pond will finally fit together and create a cold, hard truth that no one will believe.
Some endings bring closure and others leave you wondering what is next for Jed, Matthew and his father. Just what happened that caused this chain of events to skyrocket out of control? Where would the icy trail lead next and who was behind the entire plot to take so many down? More than just betrayal, deceit but revenge, hate and justice meted out in a unique and original way that only Stuart Yates can create in this frightening, beyond scary novel that let’s reader’s know that some splinters of icy are out there and the slippery slopes have not been properly iced over and both Jed and Matthew better watch their step.
Fran Lewis: reviewer