Cold Snap
Grade : A

Toni Anderson is back with the third installment of her wildly readable Cold Justice – Most Wanted series, Cold Snap. Just in time for the oppressive heat of summer, it’s an old-fashioned tale of murder and mayhem set in Deception Cove, Maine, off the frigid waters of the winter harbor where a dead man is found floating. Once the suspense starts, it doesn’t stop until the very end. That makes it my favorite kind of story.

We met FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) Operator Grady Steele earlier in the series, and this time he’s one of the main attractions. He’s a compelling character with a strong sense of duty and honor that have replaced a youth misspent on dares and stupid teenage attitude. His accomplishments are easy to see in his professional life; it’s his personal life that occasionally trips him up.

It was hard to explain that unsettling mix of bone-deep self-confidence walking secretly hand-in-hand with a perfectly disguised and well-hidden sense of insecurity. It kept you on your toes, that was for damn sure.

When he returns to Deception Cove for an undercover operation, people in the small community give him a wide berth. For one thing, they assume he’s the same troublesome kid from a decade ago. For another, a cloud of suspicion surrounds his reason for being home.

Brynn Webster is another fabulous character, full of conflict and inner turmoil, and a hesitancy to let down her guard. She’s come home to Deception Point to take care of her family’s restaurant so her father can help care for her mother as she battles cancer. Brynn’s a graphic artist who has put her life on hold to help, but she’s really taking refuge after her deadbeat husband left her for another woman and cleaned out their bank accounts. Trust is a huge factor in Brynn’s decision-making process, and any lack thereof is immediate grounds for dismissal. Yet for some reason, she trusts Grady.

Grady and Brynn intersect in their hometown just as the FBI has a bead on a criminal it’s been after for three decades – a former FBI agent gone rogue, who murdered his own wife and two young sons, and whose fingerprint shows up in the investigation of Deception Point’s recent bank robbery. Eli Kane has been on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for twenty-seven years, and as the small community is about to learn, has been living amongst them the whole time.

This high-concept story of hidden identities and mysterious agendas is chock-full of details to unpack on every page. The robust cast of characters ensures a LOT of shit happens in every chapter, so forget about reading it slow or doing anything else once you start reading. Anderson crafts amazing characters who are easy to connect with, on both sides of the law. Obviously, I was rooting for Brynn and Grady to wind up together and survive the odds, but at the same time I wasn’t totally against Eli Kane.

This is, hands down, the best book I’ve read this year. It’s thrilling, and it was such a pleasure to read! If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, surviving against the odds, police procedurals, and tales of retribution and redemption, Cold Snap is the book for you.

Reviewed by Dolly Sickles

Grade: A

Book Type: Romantic Suspense

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : July 5, 2023

Publication Date: 06/2023

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