Title: Stone Cold
Author: James Glass
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 STARS!)
Detective Rebecca Watson is tracking a vicious serial killer in Eugene Falls, Florida. As a distraction, she's dragged back into court for the retrial of a man convicted of murdering his girlfriend five years earlier. His defense attorney will use any means to get his client freed, including uncovering old wounds from Watson's past. As the case takes a few hard turns, nothing can prepare her for the world she's about to encounter, the past that haunts her, and the truth behind the serial killer's motive..
I recently had the opportunity to read an ARC of Stone Cold by James Glass.
Stone Cold is told from the first-person perspective of Rebecca Watson who, as the synopsis explains, is a detective. She’s dealing with the stress and anxiety of going through a retrial on a case of a convicted murderer, while also working on a new case trying to hunt down a serial killer. So she’s dealing with a lot, working off little-to-no sleep, and basically taking coffee by IV, until both cases come to a shocking close.
One thing that I enjoyed most about Stone Cold is that the chapters were short. It helped the story to progress faster. Plus, with shorter chapters, I feel like I read more in one sitting, because I’m like “oh, it’s only another 5 pages. Just another 5 pages. Just another 5 pages…” And then it’s 100 pages later and it’s midnight and I really should be sleeping.
I enjoyed this book, and it’s such a quick read that I just flew right through it. And then at the end my exact words were “That’s it? That’s all I get?” It’s not that it’s a bad ending. It’s actually a really good one. But I was at that point where I was invested and I wanted more. I didn’t connect emotionally with the MC (I’ll talk about that in a second), but I was connected to her story, so I wanted more of it—aka, I wanted it to never end.
One thing I can say about this book it’s that the title is fitting. I mean, being a murder mystery/suspense novel, the title definitely fits the genre and the subject. It also fits the main character. Not that I think that Rebecca is stone cold, but to me it felt like it. It’s just that it was such a straightforward book. It’s told in the first-person past so, in theory, we should get the main character’s perspective, and therefore emotional response to the events happening in the book. Instead, I felt like the MC was telling us what had happened kind of clinically. Kind of like I was seeing everything unfold, but not necessarily through the MC’s eyes, if that makes sense.
I understand that Rebecca Watson is a detective. Detectives are known for being strict and stuff, but she’s still human, she still has emotions and I just wanted to know what those emotions were! But I’m a reader that LOVES reading about emotion (it’s the romance writer/reader in me), and I understand that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
And it's not that I think the straightforwardness of this book is a bad thing—this book is very well written—I just prefer more of an emotional aspect when I read. But like I said, this is a crime novel and the MC is a detective, so it’s understandable that she’d give a basically a “report” of what is happening as she would do in her work, and not focus so much on the emotions.
This book definitely was a nail biter for me. Even though, like I said, I didn’t connect emotionally with the MC, Rebecca, I did connect with the story. I don't read a lot of murder/mystery novels, but I really enjoyed reading Stone Cold. While I was reading this I kept creating conspiracies, trying to guess what was going to happen next. This book has a lot of subplots moving around the main plot and it definitely made for an exciting read that kept me engaged.
Besides the emotional aspect that was missing a bit for me, my only other observations mostly consisted of grammar and punctuation. There are commas that are missing or misplaced here and there, but I’m so used to reading indie novels that it really doesn’t faze me anymore—I notice them, but I just correct them in my mind automatically as I read. There were some grammatical errors as well, but it’s (by far) definitely not the worse offender of the indie books I’ve read, and it doesn't detract from the read.
Everything considered, I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I give it this rating because, even though I would have preferred more emotion, it's one of those books that I'd pick up and read again because it's a quick, heart-pounding read and because there was nothing about this book that I really just didn't like. I would have preferred more emotion, but the book is still a good read and it's still engaging.
So, yeah, I definitely recommend Stone Cold, especially for people who like murder mysteries or who like stories that are more straightforward and not so much focused on the emotional rawness. It’s also a quick read so, if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, this is a good book for you.
Stone Cold is due to release on Wednesday, October 31st! You can pre-order the Kindle and paperback versions now on Amazon!
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