Review/Giveaway – Zero Degree Murder by M.L. Rowland

zero degree murder
Zero-Degree Murder
(A Search and Rescue Mystery)

A Brand New Series!
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 7, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425263662
E-Book File Size: 1796 KB


Search and rescue expert Gracie Kinkaid risks her life on a daily basis to save strangers. But going up against a coldhearted murderer is one kind of danger she’s not prepared for…

Gracie Kinkaid is the only female member of her Search and Rescue squad. When they are called out on Thanksgiving to find some missing hikers she is not surprised when she is not named the leader of the 2 person team, but she thinks it will be a routine mission so she doesn’t push the fact that she has more experience.

Things go quickly awry when an early season blizzard hits the search area. They find one hiker who is hurt and he thinks someone tried to kill him and Gracie believes him. Her partner heads back to a place where their radio has reception to call for backup. This lives Gracie and the hiker alone on the mountain. She needs to use all of her knowledge to keep them safe all the while wondering if a killer it trying to find them and permanently cover his tracks.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An excellent start to what is going to be a great series.

Grace is between regular jobs but she volunteers with the Timber Creek Search and Rescue. She has the talents and training to excel at this but can’t settle down to an occupation that pays a salary. I think this sells the character a little short. It gives her time to go out on the rescues but she is clearly a very strong, smart woman that can handle herself. Maybe after this rescue her confidence will build. I know in stories like this the protagonist has to be an amateur but Grace could probably have quite a career in any of the emergency services. I can really see this character growing as the series continues.

The suspense starts in this story from page one. Hiking in the mountains has many dangers from getting lost to slips or falls that could be deadly to animals looking for a human snack. Adding a killer to the trail amps everything up to a high level or terror. The author uses the short chapter format that also adds to the feeling that you just can’t put the book down. She also describes the scene and the scenery vividly making it very easy to picture in your mind. I have learned the author was part of a search and rescue team herself and her knowledge and experience shine through in this story.

I highly recommend this one. The only drawback was that I read this during the frigid “polar vortex” and it takes place during a blizzard in zero degree weather so it truly gave me the shivers. 🙂

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About This Author

How far would you go to save the life of a stranger? Dangle on a rope over the edge of a cliff? Sleep outside in the winter with only a sleeping bag? Jump out of a helicopter into four feet of snow on the side of a mountain?

M.L. Rowland has done all of these things and more, all in the line of service as a mountain Search and Rescue volunteer.

Born, raised and, except for one year of high school in Hawaii, schooled kindergarten through college in the midwest, Rowland comes by her adventurous spirit honestly. Her mother pioneered for women’s rights in the early 1960’s. Her father—a neurosurgeon and marine scientist—was a world traveler and member of The Explorer’s Club. After college, Rowland lived and worked in Florida, Missouri, Connecticut and New York City, finally settling in the mountains of southern California where she joined the local Search and Rescue (SAR) team.

During her almost twelve years on Search and Rescue, Rowland participated in hundreds of search and rescue missions and trainings, including technical ropes rescues, helicopter insertions and evacuations, and searches for lost children, hikers, snowboarders, mountain bikers and criminal evidence, in mountain, desert and urban environments. She served as the team’s Training Officer and participated in community events and public speaking engagements. Trained in land navigation, and desert and winter survival, including avalanche awareness and self-arrest, she holds a certification in tracking from the State of California.

Rowland is an avid political activist, naturalist and environmentalist. She is an accomplished painter and loves to snorkel. She has traveled to all fifty United States and throughout the world, including a rustic camping safari in Kenya. As often as possible, she hikes and explores the slot canyons of Utah.

Rowland lives with her husband and their chocolate lab at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in south-central Colorado.*

*From Berkley Prime Crime

Find out more about M.L. Rowland here.

Are you taking part in my Alphabet Soup Challenge?
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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14 thoughts on “Review/Giveaway – Zero Degree Murder by M.L. Rowland

  1. Thanks for the giveaway. Next to romance, this is my favorite genre. I love a good mystery and like that this one seems to have a great story line for the beginning of a wonderful series!

  2. Now this is a series I could become addicted to. Lots of action and a tough female protagonist. Bring it on!
    Thanks for your review. Makes me want to read it even more.

  3. I was wondering how I was going to fulfil the Z of the Alphabet Challenge! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  4. This looks good–I always like getting in on the ground floor of a new series. I chuckled when I read you read it during the Polar Vortex!! And here we go again….!

  5. I am a complete and total mystery fan. This book sounds like it’s right up my alley.

  6. Sounds like a good book. As I look out the window, the ice is not as bad as the books cover.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win!!

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