Review: John Shirley’s New GRIMM Novel, “The Icy Touch”

Review: John Shirley’s New GRIMM Novel, “The Icy Touch”

If you are fans of the NBC hit series, Grimm, you’re going to love this novel by John Shirley, “The Icy Touch”. It hits bookshelves today and you’ll want to add this to your book collection.

The back cover description reads:

When a torched body is found in an underground tunnel, Portland Police Captain Sean Renard takes one look at the victim’s burned claws and assigns the case to homicide detectives Nick Burkhardt and Hank Griffin. They soon discover that a criminal organization known as The Icy Touch is threatening Wesen into joining their illegal drug-smuggling operation, and brutally murdering those who refuse.  But as Nick closes in on the gang’s charismatic and ruthless leader, the Grimm uncovers an ancient—and deadly—rivalry…

Just like the show, the book’s opening lines are from a Brothers Grimm story, this one is from “The Robber Bridegroom“.

“Could you tell me whether my bridegroom lives here?”

“Oh you poor child,”  the old woman answered. “Do you realize where you are? This is a murderer’s den! You think you’re a bride soon to be celebrating your wedding, but the only marriage you’ll celebrate will be with Death!”

And so the story begins, with a flashback to Napoleon’s Waterloo and an interesting twist on that story just like the one used in the first season of Grimm, where we were shown old film reels of Hitler’s rise to power. We also saw that Hitler was a Wesen controlled by the Zakynthos Coins. In “The Icy Touch” Napoleon has the Coins and he’s just landed on the shores of France once more, after escaping the Isle of Elba. The first chapter ends with the battle at Waterloo, and lays the groundwork for this particular story which connects Nick Burkhardt to an enemy that has hunted his family for 198 years.

The book holds all the suspense and creepiness of the show, and I found myself wishing I could see this story played out there as well. It was well thought out and well written. All our favorite characters are in it: Renard, Monroe, Wu, Juliette, Rosalee and Hank. It takes place after Juliette was introduced to the Scooby gang so nothing to hide.

The story is written in the third person, but I loved being a little bit inside Nick’s head as he morphs into his full on Grimm. Listening in on Renard’s thoughts was also a treat. Monroe’s humor was intact as were the chills associated with some pretty gruesome deaths. All the Wesen that we’ve been introduced to on the show are present, including my personal favorite (insert sarcasm), the Spinnetod.

From Titan Books and NBC, The Icy Touch is available right now and I give it 5 out of 5 popsicles.

About Liz

Liz is a wife and mother of three from the Clarksville, TN area who likes being able to discuss her favorite TV shows with adults sometimes. She is addicted to the fairy tale themed TV shows that are so popular recently, such as Grimm, Once Upon a Time and Sleepy Hollow. Contact her at

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