Cold Run by Michael Dault is a suspenseful thriller that is brimming with action. It follows Cy Ford, a seemingly quiet man who lives as a recluse and who’d rather be with his sled dogs than mingle with people. That is what is immediately noticed about DNR officer Ford, but his stable career and sense of self-effacement are a cover for his lucrative business as a drug runner. The winter months are those in which Ford makes a lot of money and he has made enough to secure his future. As Christmas draws near, he considers stepping out of the business, but when a turf war breaks out between his Canadian employer and a mobster based in Detroit, Ford finds himself caught in the fray. Will there any easy way or will he go down as well?
Michael Dault’s extraordinary storytelling skills caught me by surprise and the care he gives to characterization is another superior skill that lifts the entertainment quality of this story. The author's ability to create strong imagery and exceptionally detailed scenes grips the reader right off the bat. The first three sentences told me I was in for a ride, thanks to the beauty of the prose and the exciting imagery: “There was a peculiar smell. An eye-pinching aroma hung in the air and its intensity grew with the seconds. A pair of lifeless, soot-covered hands was draped above broad metal. One was twitched.” The characters are elaborately written, especially Cy Ford, and his connection with the sled dogs is impeccably explored. The atmospheric writing, the unexpected plot twists, and the author’s gift for crafting focused scenes are amongst the top qualities that transform this novel into a page-turner. It is briskly paced and it packs a hell of a punch. The world-building is cleverly executed and readers will have a strong sense of place while feeling a connection with the realistically imagined and stunningly accomplished characters. Cold Run is one of those rare books you read and want to read again, and I will be on the lookout for more books from Dault.