Until The Ice Cracks brings us something a little different, in a police-style murder, mystery set in the Icelandic town of Eldisvik. Author Jan Turk Petrie takes us forward in time to 2068, where civil society has somewhat broken down and major cities like Eldisvik are sectioned off into different zones, depending on their safety for citizens. The orange, red and double-red zones are definitely not the place to be for sensible, law-abiding citizens. The red zones are patrolled by a mysterious group of special police, known as decoys. These decoys have had their DNA altered somewhat and are in command of special Fox Vixens who regard their human as their alpha. Little is known of the decoys but when one appears to go rogue, Inspector Nero Cavallo and his team must track down and destroy the rogue decoy before panic strikes the Free Zone. Cavallo is secretly a telepath, which gives him a distinct advantage in his detective work. Bruno Mastriano is also a telepath but he has been kidnapped by a ruthless gang determined to utilise his special powers to their advantage. With the Governor under immense pressure to achieve results, Cavallo must move quickly but it seems to Cavallo there is more going on here than just one rogue decoy.
Certainly, Until The Ice Cracks was a change of pace for me, as a reader. The exotic location of Iceland, with its short days and long, cold nights, if nothing else, made the story more interesting than your average futuristic police drama. Author Jan Turk Petrie clearly knows her Nordic setting well and the story is both realistic and believable. The various arcs weaved their way through the story well and the author did a good job of keeping them understandable and relatable. Despite being set forty-odd years into the future, the technology and science of the period was not greatly different from that of today, although definitely more advanced of where we are placed at present. In many ways the formal zones within Eldisvik are reminiscent of that which already exists within some of our inner cities. Clearly there are parts of the city that no law officer wants to patrol and when they are required to enter these zones, they do so fully equipped to handle anything. I found the story satisfying but the ending, which is a cliff-hanger and no doubts leads into the next book, less so. This is a personal choice thing. I know some readers like a cliff-hanger to excite them into their next purchase but personally I do prefer a conclusion, at the very least, to the arcs I have been following and invested in throughout the book. That being said, this is still a good, solid read and yes, I would like to read the next book so I can find out what happened.