Deep Freeze

Deep Freeze

by Lisa Jackson

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Overview

Her Biggest Fan...

When she wakes up, she's very cold. Colder than she's ever been in her life. She can't move or speak. And then she sees him. The one who took her. And before she dies, she wishes she could scream...

Is About To Become...

Former movie star Jenna Hughes left Hollywood for an isolated farm in Oregon to get away from fame. But someone has followed her—an obsessed fan whose letters are personal and deeply disturbing. And while Jenna's already shaken up by what she's seen on paper, she'd be terrified if she knew what Sheriff Shane Carter is investigating. It's a shocking case that started with the discovery of a dead woman in the woods. Now two more women are missing, one of whom bears a striking resemblance to Jenna...

Her Worst Nightmare...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781420139334
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 11/24/2015
Series: West Coast Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 134,874
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

LISA JACKSON is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over ninety-five novels, including You Will Pay, After She’s Gone, Deserves to Die, You Don’t Want to Know, Running Scared, and Shiver. She is also the co-author of the Colony Series, written with her sister and bestselling author Nancy Bush, as well as the collaborative novels Sinister and Ominous, written with Nancy Bush and Rosalind Noonan. There are over thirty million copies of her novels in print and her writing has been translated into nineteen languages. She lives with her family and three rambunctious dogs in the Pacific Northwest. Readers can visit her website at www.lisajackson.com and find her on Facebook.

Read an Excerpt

Deep Freeze


By Lisa Jackson

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2005 Susan Lisa Jackson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4201-3934-1


CHAPTER 1

This Winter


"So you're concerned about the coming storm," Dr. Randall said calmly from the chair near his desk. He'd positioned his body so that there was nothing between himself and his client but an imported rug covering the polished wooden floor of his office.

"I'm concerned about the winter." The response was angry, but coldly so. The man, tall and taciturn, sat near the window on a padded leather chair. He stared straight at Randall with a hard, unforgiving gaze.

Randall nodded, as if he understood. "You're concerned, because —?"

"You know why. It seems that things always get worse when the temperature drops."

"At least for you."

"Right. For me. Isn't that why I'm here?" Tension was evident in the stiffness of his neck and the bleached knuckles of his clasped hands.

"Why are you here?"

"Don't patronize me. None of that psychobabble doubletalk."

"Do you hate the winter?"

A beat. A second's hesitation. The client blinked. "Not at all. Hate's a pretty strong word."

"What would you say? What would be the right word?"

"It's not the season I don't like. It's what happens."

"Maybe your concern about things being worse at this time of year is just your perception."

"Do you deny that bad things happen in the winter?"

"Of course not, but sometimes accidents or tragedies can occur in other months. People drown while swimming in the summer, or fall off cliffs while hiking in the mountains, or become ill from parasites that only breed in the heat. Bad things can happen at any time."

His client's jaw became solid granite as he seemed to struggle silently with the concept. He was a very intelligent man, his IQ near genius level, but he was struggling to make sense of the tragedy that had scarred his life. "I do know that intellectually, but personally, it's always worse in the winter." He glanced to the window, where gray clouds were muddying the sky.

"Because of what happened when you were a child?"

"You tell me. You're the shrink." He cut a harsh glance at the psychologist before offering a bit of a smile, a quick flash of teeth that Dr. Randall supposed would be considered a killer smile by most women. This man was an interesting case, made more so by the pact that they had agreed upon: There would be no notes, no recording, not so much as a memo about the appointment in Randall's date book to indicate that the two had ever met. The appointment was cloaked in the deepest secrecy.

His client glanced at the clock, reached into his back pocket, and pulled out his wallet. He didn't count out the bills. They were already neatly folded and tucked into a special compartment.

"We should meet again soon," Dr. Randall suggested as the money was left on a corner of his desk.

The tall man nodded sharply. "I'll call."

And he would, Dr. Randall thought, idly pressing the fold from the crisp twenties as his patient's boots rang down the steps of the back staircase. For no matter how hard the man tried to convince himself he didn't need counseling, he was smart enough to realize that the demons he was trying to exorcise had burrowed deep into the darkest parts of his soul and wouldn't be released without the proper coaxing, the treatment he so abhorred.

Pride goeth before a fall, Randall thought as he slipped the bills into his own worn wallet. He'd seen it time and time again. This man, though he didn't know it, was about to tumble.


"Dad-gum dog — where the hell did ya run off ta now?" Charley Perry said around a wad of chewing tobacco. He was tramping through the wilderness, high above the Columbia, through old-growth timber and little else as the first light of dawn splintered through the trees. Winter was chasing down the gorge, and his stupid, two-bit spaniel had taken off again. He considered leaving her out here — she'd probably find her way back to his cabin — but a bit of guilt nagged at him, and truth to tell, she was all he really had in the world. Tanzy had once been a helluva huntin' dog, Charley mused, but like himself, she was half-deaf now and more than a little crippled with arthritis.

Squinting through the sparse brush, he whistled sharply, the sound piercing its way through the forest as branches rattled overhead. His gloved hands tightened over the barrel of his rifle, a Winchester that his daddy had bestowed upon him over half a century earlier when he'd returned from the war. He had newer weapons, a lot of them, but this one, like the tired old dog, was his favorite.

Damn, he thought, but he was gettin' nostalgic in his old age.

"Tanzy?" he called, knowing that he was chasing off any chance of prey. Stupid bitch of a dog!

He stomped up a familiar trail, his gaze scanning the ground for signs of deer, or elk, or even a bear, though they'd already gone into their dens for the winter. There had been talk in town of a mountain lion that had been seen near the falls this summer, but Charley hadn't come across any spoor that indicated the big cat was prowling these slopes. Charley didn't really know what cougars did in the winter but he didn't think they hibernated. Not that it mattered. Never, in all his seventy-two years of living in these mountains, had he ever seen one. He didn't figure today would be his unlucky day.

His feet ached from the cold, even in his wool socks and hunting boots. The shrapnel still embedded in his hip pained him. Still he hunted, searching these woods as he had as a kid with his pa. He'd nailed his first buck up on Settler's Bluff when he was fourteen. Hell, that was a long time ago.

A blast of wind hit him hard in his face and he swore. "Come on, Tanzy! Let's go, girl!" It was time to drive his battered Ford truck into town, pick up a paper, and drink coffee at the Canyon Café with the few of his friends who were still alive and healthy enough to leave their wives for an hour or two. Later, he'd do the crossword puzzle and stoke the fire in his woodstove.

Where the hell was that mutt?

He whistled again and heard a whimper, then a bark.

At last! He turned and walked down a sharp gully where Tanzy was suddenly going ape-shit, her nose to the ground around a decaying log. "Whaddaya got, girl?" Charley asked, as he stepped over a bleached-out snag and into a scattering of brush. His boots snapped small twigs as he inched his way down to the dog, bracing himself for a squirrel or weasel to dart out from what appeared to be a hollow log. He sure as hell hoped it wasn't a porcupine or skunk holed up in there.

A breeze stirred the branches overhead and he smelled it then — the rank odor of decaying flesh. Whatever was inside was already dead. No worry about it dashing out and scaring the bejeezus out of him.

Tanzy was barking her fool head off, jumping at the log and leaping back, the bristles of her spotted coat standing on end, her tail swatting the air.

"Okay, okay, just let me have a look-see," Charley said, lowering himself on one knee and hearing it pop. He bent down and peered into the cavity of the log. "Can't really tell." But something was wedged inside and it smelled bad. Curiosity got the better of him, and he shifted the log a bit, allowing the wintry sunlight a chance to permeate the darkness. As he did, he got a good glimpse of what was inside.

A human skull stared back at him.

Charley's blood turned to ice. He yelped and dropped the log.

It splintered against the forest floor.

The skull, with tiny, sharp teeth, strings of blond hair, and bits of rotting flesh attached to the bone, rolled into the pine needles and dry leaves.

"Jesus H. Christ!" he whispered, and it was a prayer. The wind seemed to pick up, shaking the snow from the trees, skittering across the back of his neck. Charley took a step back and sensed evil — from the darkest part of Lucifer's heart — lurking in the gloom of this forest.


"Charley Perry's a crackpot," Sheriff Shane Carter groused as he poured himself a cup of coffee from the carafe that simmered for hours on end in the kitchen of the sheriff's department. As soon as the last cup was poured from the glass pot, another was made.

"Yeah, but this time he's claiming he found a human skull up near Catwalk Point. We can't ignore that," BJ Stevens said. She was a short woman, a little on the hippy side, with three men's names. Billie Jo Stevens. She didn't seem to mind.

"Send two men up there."

"Already have. Donaldson and Montinello."

"Charley claimed to have seen Bigfoot a couple of times before," Carter reminded her as he headed through the break room toward his office near the rear of the Lewis County Courthouse. "And then there was the incident where he was certain a UFO had hovered over the Bridge of the Gods, remember that?"

"Okay, so he's eccentric."

"Nutcase," Carter reminded her. "Full-blown."

"Harmless."

"Let's just hope this is another one of his wild-goose chases."

"But you're going up to investigate," she said, knowing him better than he wanted her to.

"Yeah." Carter made his way past glowing computer monitors, jangling phones, cubicles, old desks, and filing cabinets to his office, a glassed-in room with miniblinds he could lower for privacy. His two outside windows overlooked the courthouse parking lot and Danby's Furniture Store across the street. If he craned his neck, he was able to peer down Main Street. He rarely bothered.

He set his cup on his desk and checked his e-mail, but he couldn't quite shake the feeling that there was more to Charley Perry's story than they knew. It was true Charley was over the top, an eccentric loner who lived by his own rules, especially when it came to poaching game, but he was essentially harmless and, Carter suspected, a decent enough guy. But every once in a while he seemed to freak out, or need attention or something. The Bigfoot fiasco had gotten him some press. Two years later he claimed he'd spotted a UFO and had been beamed aboard so that aliens who looked humanoid with huge heads could study him. Well, if the poor aliens had thought Charley was a prime specimen of the human race, they were probably sorely disappointed in humankind. No wonder they hadn't been back.

The phone rang and he answered automatically, managing to drink from his cup as he turned from the computer screen.

"Carter."

"Montinello, Sheriff," Deputy Lanny Montinello said, his voice barely audible for the bad cell phone connection. "I think you might want to come up to Catwalk Point. It looks like old Charley is right. We've got ourselves a body. Or, at least, most of one."

"Damn," Carter muttered, asking a few more questions before ordering Montinello to seal off the crime scene and keep Charley on ice. As soon as he hung up, he called the state crime scene lab, grabbed his jacket, hat, and weapon, then collected BJ. On the way he left messages with the Medical Examiner and D.A.'s office.

"What did I tell you?" BJ asked as he drove his Blazer up the winding logging road to Catwalk Point, a mountain that rose three thousand feet from the Columbia River basin floor. They'd been delayed, called to an injury-accident on a county road just south of town that had held them up for nearly two hours.

By the time they reached the end of the gravel-and-mud road, yellow crime scene tape had been strung around the area. Not that there was much chance of rubberneckers up here. Sooner or later the press would hear of it and converge, but not for a while. Carter pulled the hood of his insulated jacket over his head as he stepped out of his rig.

It was cold with the promise of winter, a snowstorm having been predicted for the next few days. The ground was nearly frozen, the tall fir trees shivering and dancing in the icy blasts of an east wind that roared down the gorge.

Carefully he and BJ picked their way down a sharp ravine where detectives from the Oregon State Crime Lab were already at work.

Pictures were being snapped by one photographer while another aimed a video camera at the ground. A grid had already been established over a wide area, the scene secured. Through the snow, soil samples were being collected, debris sorted through, a hollow log tagged. Bones had been carefully laid upon a plastic tarp. The skeleton was small, but incomplete. And the skull was odd, its teeth too tiny and sharp.

"What've we got?" Carter asked Merline Jacobosky, a reed-thin investigator with sharp features and an even sharper mind. Her eyebrows were slammed together over the tops of rimless glasses and her lips, devoid of any color, pinched together as she stopped writing on the pages attached to her clipboard and again surveyed the human remains.

"Off the top? White female, mid-twenties to thirties, I'd guess, but don't quote me until the M.E. releases her to the lab and there's a full autopsy. She'd been stuffed into that log over there." With her pen, Merline pointed to the hollowed-out cedar. "We're missing a few bones, probably because an animal or two dragged off parts of her corpse, but we're still looking. Already found an ulna and tarsal that were missing at first. Maybe we'll get lucky with the rest."

"Maybe," Carter said without much enthusiasm as he surveyed the forest floor and the craggy hillside that dropped steeply toward the Columbia River. The terrain was rugged, the forest dense, the river wide and wild as it carved a wide trench between the states of Oregon and Washington. Even tamed by a series of dams, it raged westward, whitecaps visible through the trees. If a body were ever dumped in the Columbia, there wasn't a whole lot of chance of it ever being recovered.

He heard the whine of an engine struggling up the hillside and glimpsed the M.E.'s van through the trees. Not far behind was another rig, one belonging to one of the Assistant District Attorneys.

Merline wasn't finished. She said, "Here's what I think is really odd. Check out her teeth." Jacobosky knelt and pointed with the end of her pen. "See the incisors and molars? That isn't a natural rot ... I think they've been filed."

Carter felt a whisper of dread touch the base of his spine. Who would file someone's teeth? And why? "To keep the body from being identified?" he asked.

"Maybe, but why not just pull the teeth or break them? Why go to all the trouble of filing them to tiny points?" She rocked back on her heels and tapped her pen to her lips as she studied the skull. "It doesn't make any sense."

"Maybe our guy is a dentist with a sick sense of humor."

"The sick part is right."

"Any ID?" he asked, but assumed the answer.

"Nothing yet." She shook her head and flipped over a page of her clipboard. "No clothes or personal effects, either. But we'll keep looking, under the snow, through the ice and into the soil. If there's evidence, we'll locate it." She squinted up at Carter as gray clouds scudded overhead.

"What's this?" Carter bent down and studied the skull with its grotesque teeth and gaping eye sockets. He indicated her hair. There was something clinging to the strands that were visible. A pinkish substance that he didn't think was flesh. It reminded him of eraser residue.

"Don't know. Yet. But some kind of manmade substance. We'll have the lab check it out."

"Good." He straightened and noticed BJ talking with one of the photographers as Luke Messenger, the M.E. arrived. Tall and rangy, with curly red hair and freckles, he made his way to the crime scene and frowned at the body.

"Only a partial?" he asked Jacobosky.

"So far." He knelt beside the bones as Amanda Pratt, the Assistant D.A. lucky enough to be assigned this frigid job, picked her way down the hillside. She was bundled in layers of down and wool and smelled of cigarette smoke.

"God, this is miserable weather," she said, her pert nose wrinkling at the partial body. "Jesus, would you look at that? Found in a hollowed-out log?"

"So Charley says."

"You can't believe a word out of his mouth," she said flatly, but eyed the scene.

"Maybe this time he's telling the truth."

Her eyes flashed behind thin, plastic-rimmed glasses. "Yeah, right. And I'm the friggin' queen of England. No, make that Spain. England's too damned cold. Jesus, we've got ourselves a regular party up here." She scanned the vehicles. "Is Charley still around?"

"In one of the pickups — over there." Jacobosky hitched her chin toward a white truck idling near the end of the road. Montinello was at the wheel. Charley Perry was huddled in the passenger seat. "He's not too happy about being kept up here," Jacobosky added. "Making a whole lotta noise about wanting to get home and warm up."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Deep Freeze by Lisa Jackson. Copyright © 2005 Susan Lisa Jackson. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Deep Freeze 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 190 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deep Freeze by Liza Jackson delivers everything. The story is a refreshing break from cookie cutter romances. I was on the edge of my seat until the end of the book waiting to see how the story would turn out. Love it, and highly recommend this as a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Jackson is one of my favorite authors, and this book did not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was so awesome i could not put it down. Lisa Jackson kept my interest an wanting more. This was my first Lisa Jackson book an i wasn't disappointed. KEEP IT UP LISA!!!
Kelz67 More than 1 year ago
My first Lisa Jackson book was 'You Don't want to know', I have been hooked ever since! Her books keep you reading, are scary when you are reading alone at night, Deep Freeze will not disappoint.
JulesF9933 More than 1 year ago
if you like whodunits you have to discover Lisa Jackson. I love her writing and that she is so prolific...I don't have to work about what I'm going to read for a long time!
LC112648LC More than 1 year ago
Absolutely excellent read ... as usual Lisa Jackson has alot of suspense with twists and turns. Great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cuddle up with a warm blanket and a cup of tea because once you start this one you will be hooked. I couldnt tear myself away from it and finished it in one weekend. Lisa Jackson's style of writing is very descriptive, I actually felt like I was in a mountain cabin experiencing the fierce winter storm that she describes in the story. Jenna is a very believable character and so are her daughter's- especially the older one who is a teenager. The suspense and mystery kept me intrigued. There were a few too many characters introduced in the beginning that I lost track of but that is the only negative that I have. I did very much like the interactions between Carter and Jenna, the heat between them just leapt off the page at me. Cant wait to check out some more of Ms. Jackson's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many twists and turns keeping you on edge!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow - I've never read such a suspenseful book! Keeps you guessing, Over 400 pages Highly recommend.
charisme2003 More than 1 year ago
Book started out kind of slow but picked up and I could not put it down. Really good. Already reading next one, Fatal Burn.
nursgrl More than 1 year ago
This book will keep you going with suspense..very good story. Lisa Jackson pulls through EVERY time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another masterpiece by LJ. I haven't been disappointed by any of Ms. Jackson's books and Deep Freeze was no exception. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I just had to keep turning the pages. If all you want is a sappy romance novel then buy a harlequin...Ms. Jackson is a master of suspense with a tad of romance thrown in. Loved it, can't wait to get started on Fatal Burn.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was a bit slow getting started, but once it did I couldn't put it down. I would have liked to have gotten inside the character of Shane Carter a bit more. This book had alot of twists and turns and I am anxious for the sequel to it.
BellaFoxx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
SynopsisFormer movie star Jenna Hughes left Hollywood for an isolated farm in Oregon to get away from fame. But someone has followed her-an obsessed fan whose letters are personal and deeply disturbing. While Jenna's already shaken up by what she's seen on paper, she'd be terrified if she knew what Sheriff Shane Carter is investigating. It's a shocking case that started with the discovery of a dead woman in the woods. Now two more women are missing, one of whom bears a striking resemblance to Jenna.As a winter storm bears down on the Pacific Northwest, a merciless killer's grisly work has only just begun. Jenna is getting closer to meeting her biggest fan-one who wants nothing more than to see her dead.My review: Once again I found myself totally wrapped up in a book. Lisa Jackson has a very twisted killer in this book, who kills with the cold. Taking an obsessed fan to new levels, he abducts women with the same physical characteristics as Jenna (won't tell you why, that would be a major spoiler, but trust me it is creepy) and leaves dead bodies behind him and seems to be unstoppable.You wonder how he is able to do everything he does, but it is not revealed until the end and when everyone knows, then you wonder how can anyone stop him.Another thing I like about Lisa Jackson, is her endings are not all the same, like some authors that I have stopped reading. She has fresh twists to her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story but the author repeated herself so much I just felt it dragged out. Get on with it already! I remember what's going on...you don't need to recap every chapter like This is a tv series....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barnes and Noble please don't let kids put ratings on books.
lulu1950 More than 1 year ago
This book is only OK....the worst part is that is is a con to buy another book. There is no ending....just have to buy the next book. I personally do not appreciate that!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the worst books i have ever read in my entire life and i have read hundreds. I am embarrassed to have it in my library. Are there negative star ratings because this one is soooo bad it is not worthy of a star.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters are so unlikeable and pathetic, that i'm hoping the killer wins. It is rare for me not to read a book cover to cover in one sitting. I was determined to read this, since I paid for it. I've given up after a week. I'll never try to read another one, but for those poor followers who think she can write, would someone edit her crap. She repeats everything over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrific mystery