What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.
On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.
Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.
Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.
The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.
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ESCAPE WAS IMPOSSIBLE. TEARS STREAMED down her face as she sat in the darkness and waited for the man to return. There was no other choice—but to wait.She hadn’t eaten anything in three days and had only a limited amount of water—her strength continued to fade with every hour. With her wrists and ankles secured with duct tape, her skin stung with pain every time she struggled to move. At least the man had peeled the tape from her eyes and mouth so that she could see something besides pitch-blackness.Even if she could escape, the only way to safety was jumping into the frigid water, but she could not swim and would drown before ever reaching the shore.The only thing thirteen-year-old Kayla Swanson thought about was home. Fond memories flashed through her mind of her parents, her little brother, and her dog Charlie. She was never going to see them again. Their smiling faces were forever etched in Kayla’s mind, and she constantly held them close to her heart.The boat rocked, and seemed to sway more violently as the tide flooded in and out of the harbor. Kayla could hear a consistent clanking noise above her as the boat rolled back and forth. The sound had a hypnotic quality, and kept her mind on something else besides when the man would return and what he would do next.Her lips were dry and cracked as she bordered on dehydration. Even her tears dried on her cheeks, leaving her skin stiff and drawn. Her body began to shake, not only from fear, but also because of the extreme exhaustion and the constant dampness all around her.The boat rocked more, but this time it shifted from the opposite sides. Kayla heard soft footsteps above, which she knew wasn’t her captor’s heavy walk. She strained her eyes in the darkness and thought she saw a thin shadow stealthily move along the upper deck.
Was it a ghost?
Kayla remembered a television series where a team of people hunted ghosts and they had said that ghosts could occupy any type of space, house, property, and even a boat.She blinked her eyes several times and hoped that she could catch a glimpse of the ghost again. With every ounce of declining strength, Kayla scooted her body closer to the narrow stairs leading to the upper deck.Painfully craning her neck, she strained to see something up in the darkness.The dark shadowed areas played tricks on her eyes—it was there, then it wasn’t.She waited for several minutes.Nothing appeared.The only sounds she heard were the usual boat noises she had grown accustomed to hearing. Whatever she thought she heard was gone now. It was most likely her imagination trying to give her some hope and a few moments break from her dire circumstances.As she relaxed her shoulders and leaned back against the wall, the reality of her world pressing down hard. Tears streamed down her face. She tasted the saltiness that settled around her mouth. Her last moments were approaching, and there was nothing she could do.
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.
I’m just going to start off by saying, WHERE HAS THIS SERIES BEEN ALL MY LIFE!?! Wow! I’m a huge fan of serial killer stories, so I was definitely intrigued after reading the synopsis and this book completely delivered! I’m now adding all the previous books to my TBR and can’t wait to get started from the beginning!
This is an exciting and intense thriller that is told from multiple perspectives, so that each adds layers to the growing suspense and builds anticipation for the final showdown. The majority of the story follows Emily as she tries to figure out who the killer is, while at the same time, you get to follow Detective Starr for the official investigation. We also get a little peak into the killer’s mind, which was quite unnerving. And finally, there’s Kayla’s, a former victim who was rescued by Emily years earlier and now Kayla is trying to find this elusive woman and thank Emily for saving her. I was not the biggest fan of Kayla’s point of view and when she finally found Emily, it was so cringe-inducing and off-putting to be unnecessary. Personal preference aside, some people may like Kayla’s contribution to the story, but in the end, I didn’t see how she brought any meaningful value. I ultimately felt that the pacing slowed way down when Kayla entered the story, but as you can tell from my rating, it wasn’t such a distraction to cause a problem with the overall storytelling. I thoroughly enjoyed that through these multiple points of view, the author created a perfect balance between the good and bad forces at play where crime is involved. I’m a big fan of reading about the shades of gray that dwell in between those two power dynamics and Emily and her team were a highly believable cast of characters to read about as they took us through the underbelly of vigilante justice.
This well written plot was fascinating to read and really set some high expectations for the rest of the series which I’m looking forward to getting started on! So if you’re in the mood for the dark, gritty, and dangerous, definitely give this book a read!
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