Cold Deceit
Grade : A

Toni Anderson is back with another nail-biting tale of romantic suspense that’s as smart as it is sexy. Cold Deceit is the second book in the Cold Justice: Most Wanted series and takes place in the Arizona side of the Sonoran Desert. It’s an exciting tangent to her exhilarating long-running Cold Justice series.

Forensic anthropologist Zoe Miller is shifting into the world of academia after a career spent in the field in Arizona. In her free time, she worked to identify the remains of undocumented border crossers who risked everything to pass through such dangerous territory. On this final foray into body recovery, Zoe discovers the wrong body in the wrong place and swiftly finds herself in the crosshairs of Lorenzo Santiago, head of one of the biggest narco-trafficking organizations in the world.

Enter FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) operator Seth Hopper who’s in the area on a secret assignment. His team is abbreviated given the nature of their mission, but when it’s discovered that Zoe and her team have been kidnapped from their roadside motel, Seth’s A-Team swoops in and saves the day with swift, lethal precision. Then the fun really begins because Zoe’s discovery is not one to be overlooked by the bad guys; plus, her mother is the Vice President of the United States.

It's no surprise that Dr. Toni Anderson writes characters that are intelligent and mobile and able to connect the dots with impressive speed and agility. The stakes are high in this fast-paced story, and there are tons of twists and turns, amping up the tension (and my anxiety) as I raced to the final page. I love how Anderson raises the stakes exponentially, pitting human against nature. I’ve hiked and ridden horseback through this area of the Sonoran Desert and can attest that the landscape is both beautiful and treacherous. In addition to the rattlesnakes and bobcats, the resident saguaro cacti can live up to 150 years and grow to be forty feet tall. At night they loom over you like the boogeyman. It gives you a sense of how brave the migrants hoping for a better life are, to cross this killer terrain.

Seth is a very endearing character. He’s a capable operative who’s strong and decisive but trusts his instincts where Zoe is concerned. He’s crazy about her, unwilling to hide it, and values her intelligence. Zoe has been around the security detail block and understands the importance of a protector like Seth, who is willing to trust her capability in the field and support her need for independence. I can’t wait to see what adventures the HRT finds itself in next. If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, police procedurals, and outdoor adventuring, Cold Justice is the perfect book to wrap up your year.

Reviewed by Dolly Sickles
Grade : A

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : December 29, 2022

Publication Date: 12/2022

Recent Comments …

  1. What kept me reading was the sheer unpredictability of the storyline. I knew David’s and Chelsea’s paths would cross again…

Dolly Sickles

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