In Tess Gerritsen’s Ice Cold, forty-two year old medical examiner Maura Isles is heartbroken. She is in a relationship with Daniel Brophy, a Catholic priest. However, their year-long affair has not brought either of them much happiness. Daniel is reluctant to give up his calling, and Maura is frustrated with his inability to make up his mind. After spending the night together, they part. Maura flies from Boston to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to attend a medical conference. There, she meets a former classmate, pathologist Doug Comley, who is divorced and has a thirteen year-old-daughter, Grace. He asks Maura to accompany him and his friends on a trip to a cross-country ski lodge. She agrees, but soon regrets her decision.