Title: The Book of Cold Cases
Author: Simone St James
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Release Date: March 15, 2022
Length: 352 pages, 10hrs 44min
Genre: mystery, thriller
In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect—a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.
Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases—a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.
They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the copy!
Damn! This book was a ride an a half! One that I enjoyed from start to finish. This book was creepy, thrilling, and kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved the added element of paranormal happenings and I think it was done quite well and the ending was satisfying but also still a bit rough.
There was really only one big downside for me that is preventing it from getting a full five out of five. The mystery itself was technically solved around half way but there was still the after effects and dealing with the knowledge. This being said, I think it would have been more dramatic if the big reveal had been a touch later than it was, might have upped the suspense. If I'm being super picky, then I would say that the ending wrapped up a little too neatly, but it somehow fit.
This being said there are so many other things I could say about this book. Not only did it deal with PTSD, trauma, divorce, alcoholism, and infertility, and so many other things (trigger warnings for these as well as murder) but this book handled them in a very real and raw way. I never felt attacked by the writing and instead was drawn more into the characters and their own personal problems. Shea is relatable as a true crime lover and as a woman who is attempting to get over the trauma of parts of her childhood. Her story is heart-wrenching in its own way and I think it gives her more credence as a character. Our other narrator is Beth, who is such a complex character and whose layers we keep pulling off as the story goes along. She is the perfect challenge for Shea and I loved the grey morality she brought to the table.
Overall, this book was captivating and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It dragged me into the story and was very keen on not letting me go. Though the big reveal didn't feel nearly as dramatic as it should have, I still think that this book was very well done. I give it a 4.5 out of 5.
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