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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Cold to the Bone by Emery Hayes

First in a new series about Sheriff Nicole Cobain, a former Chicago detective who left her old life for a small Montana town, Cold to the Bone starts with the discovery of a murdered young girl on a frozen lake. The battle to preserve evidence in the icy cold is Nicole’s first challenge, and then she must deal with the girl’s family, wealthy tourists who don’t seem to want Nicole to actually find the murderer.

This is one of those stories that gets really complicated, really quickly. A figure from Nicole’s past has actually started off the whole chain of events, but this doesn’t become apparent until much later; it looks from the beginning that there are two different things happening. It’s a biotech thriller and a domestic violence thriller rolled into one, and I actually really enjoyed the way the author slowly but inexorably pulled the two apparently disparate threads together.

Nicole is an intriguing character; a single mother, she’s revealed at the beginning of the book to have some sort of romantic relationship with a physician/ME, but he never appears again in the story, which I found a bit disappointing. I actually wondered if it was a later book in a series from the background given of the relationship, but I think it would have been better to start it off with the two of them just striking sparks and to have the ME appear later on, more than once, to start a progression towards a romantic relationship… if that’s where the author wants to take things. It surprised me he wasn’t in the book more, actually; I would have thought Nicole might have wanted to consult him on some of the fairly dense medical terminology which came up later on. Now I’m not saying a lady sheriff might not understand such terminology, but it seemed like a waste of a character with a specialty that could have been useful, AND should have been present for a romance arc which had already been hinted at.

I liked this; it felt very realistic in the ruthless portrayals of Big Pharma and the characters were well-drawn in. Nicole’s uber-competent and an excellent heroine, but did get slightly robbed at the end of the story when someone else got to play saviour; I thought she deserved more than just to be a witness at the climax. A good story but fell down a little bit in the end and in the failure of the author to properly explore a romantic interest introduced early and then dropped. Four stars, and I would like to read more in the series.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

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