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A Tanner Sequence Novel

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CCF homicide investigator Kyle Tanner and his girlfriend are on their way to Pluto, en route to a new life together. Just one little death to check out in the asteroid belt first. But when you're as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life. Or end it.

The mystery is a strange one—one man dead, a cryptic message his dying breath. Still, Tanner's ready to wrap it up until another gruesome murder shakes him to his core. The discovery of a microscopic bomb near his own heart offers the first faint clue, but the clock is ticking. He has four days….

A desperate search for answers takes Tanner to The Freezer, an isolated facility on one of Jupiter's moons. With anti-CCF dissidents targeting the facility, a team of scientists conducting experiments the military would rather remain hidden, and a mysterious man in white hunting him on the ice, Tanner will have to choose his allies carefully. Putting his faith in the wrong person will leave him bleeding out in seconds.

98,000 words

307 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 2014

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About the author

Timothy S. Johnston

9 books23 followers
Timothy S. Johnston is a lifelong fan of techno-thrillers and science-fiction thrillers in both print and film. His greatest desire is to contribute to the genre which has given him so much over the past four decades. He wishes he could personally thank every novelist, screenwriter, filmmaker, director and actor who has ever inspired him to tell great stories. He has been an educator for nearly twenty years and a writer for twenty-five. Timothy is the author of The Furnace, The Freezer, and The Void. He lives on planet Earth, but he dreams of the stars.

Visit www.timothysjohnston.com to register for news alerts, read reviews and learn more about his current and upcoming techno-thrillers. Follow Timothy on Facebook and Twitter @TSJ_Author.

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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
Profile Image for K. Pimpinella.
Author 4 books10 followers
March 16, 2021
The intrigue and action never stop, and the clues and hints are there. What more could you want in a thriller? For me, science and tech, which of course this series has lots, Jupiter and Europa in this book particularly. I also saw a changing protagonist, he's growing, he's changing as he learns things about his world and himself. This book is not just a plot driven story, there's good character development and growth, making it hard to put down. The moment I finished, I was already purchasing the next, and last in the Tanner Sequence ... with plans on checking out Johnston's other series when I'm done.

A lot of books deliver great scenery, interesting plots, but I'm finding with Johnston a good balance of both and I get immersed in his books. I forget what's around me and suddenly I'm on the frozen landscape of Europa. I also have to point out, for once when the protagonist asked the antagonist his motives the reply was ... "None of your f****** business!" So yeah, some realism in there too! And it made me laugh. Not that anything else wasn't realistic, Johnston has done his research well and has captured the planet and moon extraordinarily well.

One of my favourite lines from the book ... 'Just lie on the ice. Jupiter will watch over you.' At the time in the book when this line came out was perfect. It made me pause, but in a good way. I felt something, and if anything, THAT is what a book should bring to its reader.
Profile Image for Brannigan.
1,247 reviews8 followers
August 25, 2014
Originally posted on The Qwillery.com

The Freezer is the second book in a science fiction thriller series by Timothy S. Johnston. Johnston shows great skill in blending different genres. With both books set in outer space, science fiction is the main genre but then Johnston adds in other genres that add more dimensions to the story. There's a military aspect with the CCF, a council ruling everyone in the known galaxy with a iron fist. Our hero, Kyle Tanner, brings a nice noir-flavored gumshoe detective to the book, and the mysteries for both books have a medical slant to each of them. And lastly there’s action and thrills. That makes it easy for anyone with a pulse to find something to like in his books.

It's not necessary for the reader to have read The Furnace before jumping into the second book. Johnston does a great job of giving the reader enough information about past events to keep them from being lost or as a nice refresher for those of us who read the first book a year ago when it first came out. As the mystery is all important in a murder mystery, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the book by the fact that I hadn't figured it all out. I figured out a few things along the way, which I think we all enjoy, but there was enough that surprised me and kept me reading to find out who did it.

Johnston is a master of setting in The Freezer. You quickly get lost on the frozen moon of Jupiter. The environment acts as another character in the story as it changes and evolves with the mystery. Johnston is wonderful at not just using the setting as a backdrop for his stories but also immersing the characters in it and making them struggle to survive it. This is where most of the action and thrills came in the book and some of my favorite scenes were encased in the setting.

My only complaint of the book was about the timing of a certain character's death. I felt like it happened too soon. I would have preferred to have a little more time with the character so I could feel more invested in what it meant for Tanner to lose that relationship. I do, however, like how Tanner coped with the death as the story progressed, but I still think it would have had more of an emotional impact for me if I had had more time with the character.

On a side note, I'd like to mention one of my favorite aspects of the The Freezer is actually a sub-plot of the story that can also be found in The Furnace. It deals with the CCF and the way it rules the galaxy. I hope I'm not misreading the signs, and if I am I hope this might become reality, but I really want Tanner to change his allegiance and start a rebellion against the CCF. He would make a great rebel leader fighting the good fight.

The Freezer delivers what it promises as the thrills and mysteries ramp up and don't stop until the end, leaving you to catch your breath until the next book in the series arrives. There is violence, some strong language, as well as suggested adult situations, so I would recommended it to adult readers. I'd also recommend it to anyone looking for a quick escape in a hard environment. It's also good for those of you who like a challenging mystery to solve and conspiracy-junkies to speculate on what's in store for Tanner.
Profile Image for Kelly.
274 reviews181 followers
April 14, 2021
From the official blurb for The Freezer by Timothy S. Johnston:

CCF homicide investigator Kyle Tanner and his girlfriend are on their way to Pluto, en route to a new life together. Just one little death to check out in the asteroid belt first. But when you’re as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life. Or end it.

There are three key phrases here. The first is: ‘Just one little death.’ There is no such thing as just one little death, not for Lieutenant Tanner, because ‘when you’re as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life’. Which brings us to the third key phrase: ‘Or end it.’

Homicide investigator Kyle Tanner has reached that unenviable point in his career where he’s too good at his job. He’s solving crimes that point to cracks within the system. It’s inevitable that one of those cracks is going to widen enough to swallow him at some point. It’s a natural process that will be helped along by those he has pissed off.

So, that one little death? It looks natural…except for the fact the victim manages to raise suspicion with his dying breath by saying: ‘He did it…killed me…finally got to me…’ Turns out he’s right. An autopsy reveals a microscopic bomb near the victim’s heart. When a second murder shocks Tanner to the core, he asks for a scan and…guess what? Yep, he’s got a bomb near his heart, too. He’s got four days to live. Four days to solve the case.

I’d be asking for my money back. Obviously, this station is infested with microscopic bomb bugs or something. Tanner has a different take on things. The bomb is a clue and an invitation to visit the Freezer, an isolated facility on one of Jupiter’s moons. There, Tanner works to solve several mysteries. First of all, the scientists at the Freezer are not looking for traces of life in the ice. Not unless they’re REALLY bad at their jobs. So, what are they doing and which one of them is a killer? Second of all…actually, I’m not going to elucidate any more points. You need to read the book for yourself to find out what Tanner is up against.

Like the first novel in The Tanner Sequence, The Freezer is a mystery that gathers more kinks as it unravels. Bodies start piling up with the clues and the harsh environment becomes an additional foe, especially when the facility is compromised. The final resolution is another Hail Mary that might have the reader believing Tanner has his own guardian angel or you could just decide that he’s very, very good at his job. Perhaps a little too good!

I really enjoyed this thrill ride. The mystery kept me guessing, the science was interesting and, as before, the science fiction elements felt authentic. Johnston has built a very vivid and compelling world, one that can carry as many mysteries as Tanner can withstand.

Written for SFCrowsnest.
Profile Image for Viking Jam.
1,110 reviews16 followers
July 23, 2014

Publisher: Carina
Publishing Date:
ISBN: 9781426898853
Genre: Scifi
Rating: 4.2/5

Publisher Description: CCF homicide investigator Kyle Tanner and his girlfriend are on their way to Pluto, en route to a new life together. Just one little death to check out in the asteroid belt first. But when you’re as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life. Or end it.

Review: Cover art is cool.

This was a solid, entertaining read. There are multiple characters of interest but not too many that it bogs the story-line down. This is the future where nanobots extend life and repair damage. They are also used to kill in various ways by the dreaded CCF that controls just about everything. Kyle is a CCF investigator who gets manipulated into a plot by the dissidents that are working against the CCF. Kyle’s hottie wife is killed (who saved him from a life of loneliness x10) by the dissidents in order to lure him to Europa.

Only fall downs were when Kyle plays “Colombo” or Sherlock Holmes to a captive audience explaining why he is so smart and figured everything out. He thereby divulges investigative and proprietary information. Kyle tells himself on a regular interval that “He is not stupid!”. Also all the Ph.D.’s are awed by Kyle’s deductive reasoning skills to the point where they exclaim “incredible”. Yawn. Nothing like characters tooting someone else’s horn.

The action was really good and fairly believable. I liked the nanobot tech and the alien Europa environment. I hope that this series continues so that Kyle may expound and involve himself more in the dissidents struggle against the CCF. Will make for an interesting series if it gets there.
Profile Image for Star.
1,288 reviews63 followers
October 1, 2014
Kyle Tanner is back in action after the events in THE FURNACE when a scientist dies on Ceres, but the investigation soon turns Tanner’s sight to finding a murderer. His own. With four days until the microbomb in his heart completes its deadly work, Tanner must travel to The Freezer on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. The Freezer is an isolated research facility looking for signs of life under the ice, but there is something more sinister at work. Can Tanner figure out who the murderer is before he is their next victim?

THE FREEZER blends true science, science fiction, and a thrilling mystery. Tanner has a huge personal stake in solving this mystery and he is quite unsure of whom he can trust, beside himself. Readers will see deeper into Tanner’s psyche as his emotions play heavily into his judgment during the investigation. The science, which obviously plays a vital part in the story, is presented to readers in such as way to make it understandable and enhances the plot. Tanner himself is a complex character and his orders put him in a delicate position between his duty and the truth. THE FREEZER is an exceptional story of murder, intrigue, and cutting–edge science.
Profile Image for Daniel Ruffolo.
69 reviews2 followers
October 14, 2020
The Freezer is the second in a series of science-fiction mystery/thrillers starring Lt Kyle Tanner. Trying to solve a murder while racing against the clock of your own impending death makes for a tense and thrilling experience, but that can only do so much with a shallow cast of characters, unbelievable plot, and somersaulting story contrivances to bring it all home to roost. A book that started off with a lot of potential, and then devolved into heavy-handed social commentary and nearly arbitrary plot developments. Competent, but nothing to radio back Earth about.

Read the whole review at Strange Currencies
Profile Image for Julian White.
1,355 reviews4 followers
August 13, 2016
Much as before - but this time in a cold environment (Jupiter's moon Europa). A deadly threat and the small research team are isolated with no communications. The plot is a roller-coaster and ends with two last-minute surgical treatments before an epilogue wraps up the story. Tanner is more human than in the previous book, as he is now in a relationship, filling a void in his life.

The society depicted is vividly realised - and not at all comfortable to visualise inhabiting.

One more to go!
Profile Image for edifanob.
613 reviews55 followers
September 23, 2014
As good and as spectacular as the first book in THE TANNER SEQUENCE.

It starts with a bang and then you need a lot of hot tea to escape tha cold. This is more than a simple scifi crime.

A rollercoaster ride packed with action and emotion
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews

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