PJ Tracy has always been in the top rank of writers of US crime novels with dark and twisted serial killers.

So if I call this ‘run-of-the-mill PJ Tracy’, I mean ‘darn good thriller that’s worth your cash if you like Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, Richard Montanari…”.

Ice Cold Heart doesn’t have any special concept or subject matter to put it up with the best PJ Tracy novels, it's simply an enjoyable, solid, turn-the-page case for Minneapolis detectives Magozzi and Rolseth with their computer-wizard friends.

As with previous novels various plot strands eventually come together, allowing the cops to work with the mighty Monkeewrench team, and one or more of them ending in deadly danger.

The Minnesota winter is, as usual, a major character, providing a grim and icy backdrop.

A sadistic killer entices an unhappy suburban wife into a date, promising 50 Shades of Grey-style excitement, and the next day she’s found dead and ravaged in an empty house.

Magozzi and Rolseth’s investigations reveal a previous murder, and links to both in underground club and a mysterious artist notorious for sexually-sadistic artworks.

Meanwhile Roadrunner, one of the Monkeewrench team, saves the life of a woman trying to track down a former war criminal who may have gone to ground in Minneapolis.

Unsurprisingly the cases are linked, and it appears the warboss is not only indulging his violent obsessions but rebuilding his East European crime empire in the American city.

David Knights