Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review: Cold Cold Heart by Tami Hoag (audio)

Title: Cold Cold Heart   
Author: Tami Hoag    
Narrator: Julia Whelan   
Published: January 2015, Brilliance Audio    
Length: 12 hours 20 minutes  
Source: Publisher 

#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…

My thoughts: I was really excited for this book to come out - I've really come to enjoy Tami Hoag's books. In fact, she's become one of my auto-authors - I see she has a book coming out and it automatically goes on my list. She's also an author who's books I find work really well on audio, so whether it's through my audio contacts or my audible subscription or the library, I know I'll be in for a great listening treat, and this one was no exception.

This book really could have been a continuation of the last Kovac/Liska book, The 9th Girl, as Dana was the 9th victim of that serial killer. This explains why Kovac and Liska were involved, as Dana is the only victim to survive, but they really only play a small part in the beginning of the book. Not really sure if this is all needed, but it does tie it all together, especially if you've read the other book. (I did and I highly recommend it!!!) 

What follows is a remarkably chilling thriller. Dana is dealing with the physical and emotional wounds from her ordeal, along with major PTSD. She is definitely not the person she was before she was attacked and is struggling to come to terms with that, as is her family. As she convalesces, she becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her long lost best friend when a familiar face strikes a cord and reminds her of the past.

What I love about Tami Hoag's books is that I am constantly guessing as to who the killer is. Every time I think I have it, I am foiled. She introduces us to such rich, developed characters, some immediately likeable and some immediately unlikeable and suspicious. It was so hard to know who was trustworthy and who wasn't and I kept wavering on some of the characters, which kept me hooked on the story. I wanted to know who the bad guy was so bad and was so anxious for Dana as she got more and more involved in finding out what happened to Casey.

Another great story from Tami Hoag and I can't wait to dig into the next. Have you read any by her? If so, what's your favorite?

Audio Thoughts: Julia Whelan does a great job with the narration of this audio book. She is able to give each character their own unique voice and infuse just the right amount of tension and fear in the voices when needed. I find that really enhances mystery/thriller books. 



  1. I've read some of her books and agree that her stories are quite unputdownable or whatever the term would be for listening to them. I read her trilogy that's set in the '80's last year. The Oak Knoll series - first book is Deeper Than The Dead. I really liked it. And I see she has new book coming out in January - The Bitter Season. I guess I better get a couple of these you mentioned under my belt before then.

  2. Have it--haven't listened to it yet *sigh*

  3. Great combination (Hoag & Whelan)!

  4. This book was dark, amazing, and thrilling. I hadn't read any of the preceding books but that wasn't a problem. Hoag won me over with this book.


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