Frostbite is the title of British author, Dave Jeffery’s most recent release. Published in June 2017 through Severed Press, a backlog of books to read meant it has taken until now for me to finally get my head buried in it. Dealing with the famous, but not overly done, Yeti tale, I expect strong characters, an exciting and perfectly timed story and twists galore. All trademarks I have come to expect from this talented wordsmith.
I’m a big fan of Dave Jeffery, having fallen in love with his Necropolis Rising series. All three books (so far?) have been reviewed here on GBHBL. You can check out our thoughts on them by following the links for them here – Necropolis Rising, Necropolis Rising Necromancer and Necropolis Rising Dead Empire. Dave kindly also took some time out to have a chat with us and you can read that interview here.
Frostbite – It won’t be the cold that kills you!
Frostbite is initially based around one Grant Hastings. A tired and defeated man living in a room above a pub. Hastings was once very different. He was the leader of an elite special forces unit known as The Sebs. Multiple tours of duty have taken their toll on the man. He is struggling through each day no longer having the things that were most important to him. His mission, but importantly, his family. His wife and child have left him, being unable to handle his constant absence. Hastings is a career soldier. One who values the job more than life, more than family but now the job is over and the family is gone. He sits alone in his room when there is a knock at the door.
This in itself is unexpected by Hastings. Nobody knows him. Nobody knows where he is but he has a visitor. That visitor is Grace Appleby. Hastings reluctantly gives her 5 minutes before he wants her gone. She explains that she is ex special forces and has been set by her father, Marcus Appleby. She knows everything there is to know about Hastings and asks him to come and speak with her father as they want to make use of his skills. Hastings refuses, explaining that life is long behind him but an offer of 5 grand, just to have the conversation with her father is too much for him to turn down.
His plan, speak with the dad, refuse the deal and leave with 5 grand which he can send to his daughter. Finally do something decent for his ex family. Grace, her driver/extra security Johns, and Hastings head off to meet Marcus. Marcus is a professor of anthropology, a well to do man. He explains the mission to Hastings. Quite simply, his son has gone missing and he wants Hastings to find him. His son was last heard from on the Annapurna Range of the Himalayas in Nepal. Conventional methods of finding someone, like the police, are of no use here as the son is also in an area where he shouldn’t be. An area of religious significance to the locals. As Hastings prods further on the details, Marcus reveals to an incredulous Hastings that his son was searching for the fabled yeti.
Hastings think the professor, and his team, are nuts but it is a big pay day of 60k to try to find a person. He doesn’t need to believe the story. Just has a mission to complete. A mission that could provide for his daughter’s future. The realisation that he could help his daughter financially where he failed her emotionally is too important an opportunity to miss. He takes the job, on the condition that he can recruit the rest of his old team. The reformation of The Sebs.
Hastings heads off on his recruitment mission and soon has his team formed. Patrick Vine, Hayley Knowles and Hastings meet up with Johns, Grace Appleby and her father and head off. Tensions run high between the two groups, The Sebs and the Applebys, while Hastings tries to manage people and keep them on mission. They arrive in Nepal and get to work planning how to quietly get onto the mountain they aren’t meant to go on. Quietly doesn’t last for long though as the intended quiet search and rescue mission takes a turn for the worst when the group are ambushed trying to reach the mountain. A large shoot out ensues but the group make it through.
Already high tempers reach boiling point as Hastings demands to know what is going on. Appleby is now starting to come across a little more devious than he originally appeared. Like maybe there is an ulterior motive here but Hastings and his team have little choice now other than to carry on. The group make their way onto the mountain and start the ascent. Their journey up the mountain sees their whole system of beliefs challenged as they deal with the unthinkable. The unimaginable. With double crossing at every turn, danger in every snow drift, Hastings and his team may just have embarked on the most dangerous mission they have ever faced. Will they survive? Is the Yeti real? Can Marcus Appleby be trusted? Could there be other monstrous dangers hiding on this ancient mountain? You know what to do if you want to find out.
Frostbite is a relatively short book at just 138 pages but there is an avalanche of detail stuffed in. Once again Dave Jeffery absolutely delivers in regards to his ability to develop a character just deep enough so that you care before he happily rips them apart in front of your mind’s eye. The cold and bleak world the majority of the book is set in is gloriously detailed and imagined. Enough to give you Frostbite just reading about it. The twists and turns keep on coming which keep you on the edge of your seat and make it hard to stop reading for the night.
The main plot twist is a pretty huge curveball. Something that could have derailed the story but doesn’t. I admit there were a few paragraphs where I was a bit confused by where we were going but Jeffery’s exciting writing style quickly sucks you back in and you are back there struggling to survive with The Sebs.
Frostbite is an exciting adventure set in a bleak and dangerous landscape and that sense of danger jumps of the page and drags you into the book. A sudden change in direction may throw a few people off but if you do stick with it, and you should, you won’t be disappointed.
You can grab a copy of Frostbite via the links on Dave Jeffery’s own website here. You can also pick up this, and more from the Amazon links below. Keep up to date with news and releases from this author at his Facebook, Twitter or on his website. Be sure to give him a like and follow while you are there.
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Frostbite (Dave Jeffery)
The Final Score - 8/10