Cold Cold Heart
By: Tami Hoag
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Publication Date: 1/13/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag delivers a shocking new thriller.
Dana Nolan was a promising young TV reporter until a notorious serial killer tried to add her to his list of victims. Nearly a year has passed since surviving her ordeal, but the physical, emotional, and psychological scars run deep.
Struggling with the torment of post-traumatic stress syndrome, plagued by flashbacks and nightmares as dark as the heart of a killer, Dana returns to her hometown in an attempt to begin to put her life back together. But home doesn’t provide the comfort she expects.
Dana’s harrowing story and her return to small town life have rekindled police and media interest in the unsolved case of her childhood best friend, Casey Grant, who disappeared without a trace the summer after their graduation from high school. Terrified of truths long-buried, Dana reluctantly begins to look back at her past. Viewed through the dark filter of PTSD, old friends and loved ones become suspects and enemies. Questioning everything she knows, refusing to be defined by the traumas of her past and struggling against excruciating odds, Dana seeks out a truth that may prove too terrible to be believed…
Talented Tami Hoag, delivers COLD COLD HEART, with a likable heroine with PTSD and TBI, for a roller coaster page-turner crime suspense, leaving you guessing the identity of a brutal and clever mystery killer.
Dana Nolan was a beautiful, successful, and promising young TV reporter until a notorious serial killer tried to add her to his list of victims. She has recently survived a horrible tragedy; lucky to be alive, and suffering from physical, psychological, and emotional scars. Her mind still does not work correctly and her smells, food interests, and overall personality has changed somewhat. She also struggles to remember routine tasks as she searches for the right words. Currently reading about Doc Holiday in The 9th Girl.
Leaving her disfigured and panic stricken, she returns home to heal and try and stay out of the public eye, as everyone wants an interview to learn of all the horrific details, and she wants to forget them, not relive them. Upon returning, her mom is overbearing and protective and soon finds out her former best friend, Casey Grant went missing and Dana was one of the last people to see her. She becomes obsessed with solving the mystery and tracks down the cop who worked on the case and he is a little freaky (but funny), and he wants her to help him solve the case. However can she trust him?
A multi-layered riveting thriller, we also meet another character, John Villante, who suffers from a head injury while serving in Iraq, and dealing with PTSD. He had a horrible childhood with a monster for a father, was the high school football hero, and happened to date her best friend, Casey who went missing years ago.Poor John cannot catch a break, no matter where he turns, he cannot keep a job, due to his past and connections with his dad. Everyone suspects him for any crime which turns up, looking for a suspect to blame. Loved the dog, his new companion.
In addition, her dad died years ago and her mom is married to Roger, which is running for political office. She does not trust his motives and there is some sort of connection with him and her missing friend. Her mom is caught in the middle between ongoing fights between Roger and Dana.
We also meet Dana’s old boyfriend, who is now on the police force. From Texas he is quite the charmer and seems to want to spend time with Dana as he is always around; however, she is not interested in a relationship, but does want answers surrounding her friend, since they were all friends at the same time, when her friend goes missing.
There are numerous suspects, and Tami keeps you guessing as to who is evil or good; trustworthy or not. Dana is afraid to reveal too much to anyone as they could be the bad guy. As she gets closer to the truth, the danger intensifies, leaving you page-turning into the night, to learn the fate of this array of characters.
I listened to the audiobook and Julia Whelan delivered an outstanding performance. What I enjoyed about Tami’s writing is her crisp narrative, vivid descriptions, and she does not take you out on a limb and leave you. Every person is integral to the overall storyline. She peels back layer by layer with precision with enough humor to keep it engaging. I also enjoy strong emotional human dynamics mixed with my murders, drawing you into the character’s personal life. Loved Dana’s and John's character - hope we hear from Dana again, in the future.
Loved the book! Shocker guys, COLD COLD HEART, was my first book by Hoag; ironic since she is in my own backyard(we both reside in Palm Beach County). If not presently traveling in NC for a work consulting project, would be home and could meet her in person, as she tours some of our local spots in the Palm Beach area, promoting this book. As usual, I seem to start with new releases and work my way backward. Finding many of the new women’s fiction books are crossing over many genres with suspense, crime, mystery, thrillers and drama – FUN, FUN. This was a perfect mix.
On a side note: Enjoyed Tami’s personal story of TBI, as also highlighted in Lisa Garner’s new upcoming, Crash and Burn, I just finished. Very intriguing, and sure this can be frustrating and debilitating.
Delighted to discover this newfound author, Tami Hoag, no stranger to the female crime thriller audience, as a bestselling author. Have already purchased her other audiobooks in the series and look forward to reading more; she has been added to my favorite author list!