Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
Published by Berkley on March 15, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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 wasn’t sure what to expect as to whether The Book of Cold Cases would be a bunch of short stories but it is all one cohesive read. A few different cases were connected together than was previously known. The detailed work was done by Shea, with the help of a detective Michael, who is an ex-cop.
Shea has her own secrets from her past which keep her from connecting with people. She is divorced and doesn’t get out much, preferring to work on her cold cases. She’s never met Michael in person but he’s become a close friends of sorts. Shea doesn’t trust people very much. There is a romantic element with Shea and Michael as the story evolves.
I was worried about Shea at times because she is dealing with crime and trying to uncover criminals who may prefer to stay hidden. She does a great job of asking questions and ferreting out more details and threads to pull further information.
She gets a huge break when Beth Greer agrees to be interviewed. Beth was acquitted of the murders of two men in the area forty years ago. Beth also gets others, like her attorney, and a police detective to talk to Shea. All of this was great and Shea did a good job of assimilating the information.
We get some flashbacks to what happened in 1977 which are partly the story Beth is telling to Shea. But our flashbacks seem more detailed.
It went a little off the rails for me when Shea went to Beth’s house when she knew Beth wasn’t there. The paranormal parts during the interviews and especially this visit, were a step too far. Shea ends up solving a bunch of crimes and changing her life in many ways for the future. I found the ending very satisfying with the closure of multiple cases.
- Series on Saturday: Audio series @Rachel_Aaron @vikasadam @AndreaPenrose @KevinHearne @luckylukeekul @KelleyArmstrong #KateHandford @veschwab @booknarrator @HoJay92 @BaileyCarrVOICE #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 10, 2023
- Demons of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison @BurningBunnies @AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub - June 8, 2023
- 🎧 All The Sinners Bleed by SA Crosby @blacklionking73 @alazarrewhite @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 6, 2023
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I’m really looking forward to this one as I enjoyed her last book. I’m also holding out for the audiobook. Glad you enjoyed, Anne💜
I debated about taking the audio ARC but I have a higher load of audio already and needed a few eARCs for this month. I hope you enjoy it too.
I’m behind with my reading this month but want to squeeze this in if possible. I’m curious about the supernatural part!
I’ve enjoyed her books and there always seems to be a small paranormal bit.
Gosh, I need to read a St. James book. I keep seeing great reviews for her work. This one sounds great, of course… I think I have had The Sun Down Motel on my list forever.
Great review. 🙂
Thank you. I enjoyed both but this one might be a bit better although it could also be getting recency bias since they are both really good.
I’m not a big thriller fan, but this sounds interesting… Are there paranormal aspects to this story or is that a spoiler?
There are very small paranormal aspects. It seems similar to the ones in the Sun Down Motel for me. I would say more mystery than thriller.
This was my first book by her. I was tracking with Shea fine until she thought it was a good idea to go by herself into the house (like every dead horror movie heroine ever). LOL It ended great and I want to go back for her older books now.
Agreed! I thought she was just going to quick get some DNA but no she decides to throw things out etc. It was TSTL in any case.
I usually like St. James’s books, but I haven’t read this one yet. Great review!
Thank you. There’s just a touch of paranormal about it.
This sounds interesting. I hope to read this author someday.
The books I have read are mostly mystery with maybe romantic elements and small amount of paranormal aspects.
I have a copy of this one and am excited to read it. I really enjoyed her last book. Hopefully, I will like how she handles the paranormal in this book.
I hope you enjoy it. It’s primarily a mystery. The paranormal and romance elements are minor.
I loved the paranormal bits….lol
yes but I couldn’t believe them so they seemed kind of campy.
Oh this one sounds good, I used to love that TV show and how they uncover things that happened before dna and all the advances of today intrigue me. Thanks for sharing
Thank you Debbie. I will say this doesn’t focus on DNA very much. It’s more talking to people who are not old who wouldn’t talk before.
I do enjoy St. James mix of mystery/thriller with a bit of paranormal. I have this and I hope to start it today. I also chose it for my BOTM so I have a hard copy as well. Love the eerie looking cover.
I really enjoyed it and I hope you do also.
I don’t read many police mysteries, but this one sure is intriguing.
Well this one only has a loose connection to the police. The main character is a true crime blogger and she gets some help from an ex-cop turned PI. I enjoyed that different viewpoint but worried for her safety.