Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear

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Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The story follows on from Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear but reads perfectly well as a standalone. It's a chunky book, but a quick read as you won't be able to put it down. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336/12hours Date: June 2019
Publisher: Harper
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0062849885

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DC Cat Kinsella is back at the Met after a secondment to the London Mayor's Office: the hours were good but the job was boring. She's grateful to be back with the old team - her partner DS Luigi Parnell, boss DCI Kate Steele and DC Rénee Akwa. She's still not prepared to say anything about the identity of her boyfriend: the knowledge that she's in a relationship with Aiden Doyle, the brother of a murder victim and moreover a murder with which her father might have had some involvement could finish her career. Kinsella and Parnell are called to the discovery of the body of a young woman: Naomi Lockhart was Australian, just twenty-two years old and her body was discovered by her flat mate, Kieran Drake, an ex-offender.

Drake might have been involved, but the enquiry quickly turns to Joseph Madden, the brother-in-law of Naomi's new employer and the owner of a coffee shop just around the corner from police headquarters. Madden is insistent that he's innocent, that he was at home with his wife when the murder took place, but Rachel Madden contradicts her husband's alibi. Cat has the job of investigating the Maddens' marriage and the deeper she digs the stranger it becomes, particularly when she realises that Joseph Madden had approached her for advice before the murder. His wife, he said, had declared that she would make life difficult for him, but Rachel has all the hallmarks of an abused wife.

Stone Cold Heart is a very satisfying book. It might be the second book in the DC Cat Kinsella series but it reads perfectly well as a standalone (I just did!). I was surprised by how quickly I was pulled into the story. Caz Frear's plotting is deft and economical - there's an elegant structure in there but it's invisible until you finish reading and start to look back at how Frear did it. It's one of those books which you read to find out who did it and then read again to spot the clues you missed.

The writing is compelling - each page pulls you on to read just a few more. The style is easy and straightforward: Frear is obviously confident in her writing and it shows in the finished product. I liked the characters too: Kinsella's struggling within herself as she's keeping secrets which could harm her career (or even finish it) but it makes her more empathetic to the people she's investigating. They have their secrets too: are they so different? Luigi Parnell is on a health kick - he's even got a spiralizer - and he's looking decidedly better than he used to. Will he be able to stay the course? Will Kinsella be able to keep her family at bay? The story ends with a tempter for the next book and I'm certainly looking forward to it.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of Stone Cold Heart to the Bookbag. If you'd like to read the series at the beginning, start with Sweet Little Lies.

Buy Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear at Amazon You could get a free audio download of Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear with a 30-day Audible free trial at

Buy Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear at

Buy Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear at


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