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Nate Burns, a former Baltimore city homicide detective, is the new police chief in sleepy Lunacy, Alaska. The job comes with a free room in the 'lodge', the town's multi-purpose inn, pub etcetera run by 'loose' flirter Charlene Galligan. Sole deputy Otto Gruber is among the failed local applicants. Shortly after Nate gets on sensual-bickering terms with Charlene's fickle, estranged daughter, pilot Meg, lost mountaineers find the frozen corps of Meg's dad Pat, missing for 15 years. State police sergeant Coben dubiously claims jurisdiction and flies out the body. Nate soon discovers nothing is as it seems after Lunatic newspaper editor Max Hawbacker is found shot, with a fake suicide PC note 'I killed Pat'. Uncovering more past secret proves dangerous for dogs, Nate and his job. Written by
This workmanlike adaptation of a Nora Roberts novel doesn't have much to recommend it, unless you're a sucker for cosy mystery yarns. There's the usual amalgamation of tragedy, skeletons in the closet, romance, obsession and a murderer and nothing much new to get excited about. I liked the snowy backdrop to the action but didn't care much for the square-jawed simpleton hero, Eddie Cibrian, and his cold-as-ice love interest Leann Rimes. Ironically, the two actors fell in love while filming, but they have zero chemistry on screen.
Rosanna Arquette appears, but is unrecognisable from earlier in her career, having gone under the knife. I'm not a guy who can usually spot the identity of the murderer in these sorts of films, but he was glaringly obvious here, even to me, right from the very beginning, so it was a chore to keep watching.
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