Deep Freeze
January 20, 2024

Book Review

Deep Freeze

reviewed by Erin Clemence

In a desolate world, destroyed by power and the quest for greed, how far would you go to obtain immortality? What, and who, would you risk? Michael C. Grumley delivers a scientific mystery that uncovers the answers to some of humanity’s greatest questions with his new novel, Deep Freeze.


Army veteran John Reiff is killed after the bus he is riding on crashes into a frozen river- or at least, that’s what everyone believes. So, when he wakes up twenty-two years later in a medical laboratory, he has some obvious questions. His doctors seem to know very little, only that he is part of a very prolific experiment that will have a tremendous impact on humanity. But John, too, has some secrets he’s keeping and when the dangerous people behind the “Program” seek to cut their losses, John knows he has to use every skill he has to stay alive.

Grumley’s novel plays out like an action-packed Hollywood movie, with shifty alliances, government corruption and life-altering scientific experiments and it is every bit as gripping and addicting as something on the silver screen. John has a Jason Bourne vibe that instantly makes him likable, worthy of empathy while still being incredibly bad-ass, and readers will quickly find themselves rooting for him.

The novel starts with the bus crash and Grumley paints the desperate struggle for life in the icy cold waters in such an immersive way that I instantly got chills. Right away, there is tension and suspense and by the first page it becomes far too late to turn back.

There is scientific language in the novel, of course, but Grumley manages to keep it generalizable, providing the reader with information without inundating them with indigestible language and terminology. The process of gene sequencing, cryogenics and the reconstruction of the human body is outlined without becoming all-encompassing and Grumley provides exactly the right amount of information to make his plot line work without losing a readers’ attention.

The chapters are short and yet they are jam-packed with drama and hard-core action. The terrifying depictions of the post-apocalyptic world they now live in really cuts to the core and does not go beyond the realm of possibility, which adds a layer of unsettling turmoil to the plot.

Deep Freeze was an instant page-turner, and it comes as no surprise that John Reiff will be returning in subsequent novels in this burgeoning series. The ending hints at more to come from Reiff and his friends, and I’m excited to see what comes next.

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