the coldest of cold

Gibson Vaughn is in trouble. After 18 months in solitary in a CIA black site prison, he's just been dumped on an airport runway in the snow, without any cold weather clothes or gear. But it could be worse. It was worse. During those 18 months alone, he had given up. He didn't think he'd ever be out again. But he is, so he has a chance at living again. And he's going to fight for that. 

With the help of some strangers willing to show kindness to a military vet down on his luck during the holidays, Gibson makes it home, or to the place where home was once. Now it looks completely different, and he can't figure out if his memory is playing tricks on him or not. Turns out his old house was set on fire, and the new owners built a new house from scratch. 

Gibson doesn't know if his wife and daughter are okay or not. He has no home. He has nowhere to turn. But the thing about Gibson Vaughn is that he's resourceful. So he finds an old friend, so he has a place to crash until he figures out his next steps.

But his biggest problem is his new companions. His erstwhile honorary sister Bear is hanging around, asking him to read to her and telling him to find his daughter Ellie. And his father is back. Duke Vaughn is bigger than life and angrier than ever. He keeps telling Vaughn to seek revenge on the CIA agent who sent him away. Why is it a problem that Bear and Duke are hanging around, giving him advice? It's because they're both dead. The time in solitary broke his mind, and he's not sure who to listen to or how to come back to sanity. 

The thing about Gibson Vaughn is that not only is he incredibly resourceful, he had friends who know this about him. So when some old friends need help with a new operation, he packs up to help, with Bear and Duke along for the ride. As Gibson fights with his old enemy to rescue a former colleague, he continues to fight with his hallucinations and with the part of himself that wants to resolve the past verses the part that wants to avenge the past. It's up to him to make the choices that will create a new future for himself. 

I really liked this book, but I did have a hard time getting into it. This was the first of the Gibson Vaughn books I tried to read, but it wasn't until I went back to book one in the series, The Short Drop, and then read through book two, Poisonfeather, that I could really get into this one. So don't start with this one. Go back to the beginning. The first two books in the series leave a lot of threads hanging, and this one helps tie one or two of those things up. I would not recommend this as a stand-alone book to read. But if you do go back to the beginning and read them all. then you'll find that these books are immensely readable, interesting, and (even though I hate this word), unputdownable. Even better, try the audio versions narrated by James Patrick Cronin. They're fantastic! 

Galleys for Cold Harbor were provided by Thomas & Mercer through NetGalley, with many thanks. Although, after listening to the first two book s of the series on audio, I bought this one also.