Oline H. Cogdill / Sun Sentinel (Florida)

“Heart of Ice” by P.J. Parrish (Gallery Book, $7.99)

A gripping plot seamlessly melds with a very personal look at a man at the crossroads of his life and a family wracked by secrets and lies in the excellent “Heart of Ice.”

The 10th novel in P.J. Parrish’s Louis Kincaid series, “Heart of Ice” soars as a story about a man reclaiming his life and how so much of what we care about can be lost by carelessness, misplaced priorities and obsession.

Like many of us, Louis has reached a point in his life where he needs to make a change. And like many of us, the changes that propel Louis meld his personal and professional life.

The young private detective wants to return to law enforcement, to regain the authority and the respect that carrying a badge brought him. But more important, Louis’s concrete decisions about his personal life take priority. He wants a real bond with Lily, the 10-year-old daughter he only recently found out about. The Florida-based detective also needs to find out where he stands with Joe Frye, his girlfriend with whom he’s been having a long-distance relationship.

Louis has brought Lily for a three-day trip to Michigan’s picturesque Mackinac Island just before the remote tourist area shuts down for the winter. After their trip, Louis will travel to nearby Echo Bay where Joe is the sheriff. But the vacation has barely begun when Lily falls on top of a skeleton in the basement of an abandoned hunting lodge.

While he is sure this is a decades-old homicide, Louis decides not to get involved, wanting to concentrate on his daughter. But Lily urges him to help and Louis sees this as a way to win his child’s respect. The remains are that of a wealthy industrialist’s teenage daughter who vanished in 1969. The case doesn’t move smoothly for Louis, who is dealing with a family forever stymied by the young woman’s disappearance, an inexperienced local police chief and an arrogant state investigator who once worked with Joe.

Parrish, the pen name of two sisters, Kelly Nichols of Michigan and Kris Montee of Fort Lauderdale, delivers a gripping peek into the private and sometimes messy life of a wealthy family, a story that surprises with every twist. “Heart of Ice” also delves into the lives of those who call Mackinac Island home while showcasing the area’s charming Victorian atmosphere. Kincaid, the heart of the series, matures with each outing and “Heart of Ice” forces him to make some hard choices.

“Heart of Ice” marks the most welcomed return of Louis Kincaid after a two-year hiatus. Parrish also is releasing this month a Kindle-only novella “Claw Back” that takes place in the Everglades and is a kind of prequel to “Heart of Ice.”