BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, June 11, 2018

Bea Reviews Cold Blooded by Toni Anderson

Series: Cold Justice #9
Publisher: Toni Anderson
Source: pr firm in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 12th, 2018
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Blurb from goodreads:

Searching for the truth… 

Disgraced investigative journalist Pip West is devastated when she discovers her best friend’s body face-down in a tranquil lake. When cops and federal agents determine that her friend overdosed then drowned, Pip knows they’re mistaken and intends to prove it. 

Special Agent Hunt Kincaid doesn’t trust journalists and has no patience for Pip’s delusions, especially since her meddling could reveal why the FBI is interested in her friend’s last days. The dead scientist worked at the cutting edge of vaccine research and might have a connection to a new, weaponized, vaccine-resistant anthrax strain that just hit the black market. 

…just turned deadly. 

Pip is thrown off her game by grief and her unexpected attraction to the handsome federal agent. Hunt battles the same unwelcome pull, determined to resist the heat that threatens to consume them both. But the more Pip digs, the closer she gets to both the sexy FBI agent, and to a bioweapons terrorist who’s more than capable of cold-bloodedly sacrificing anyone who gets in his way. 

My Thoughts:

I've been eagerly awaiting this book since I read the last one. This series has hooked me and I haven't finished all of the books yet. I'm slowly making my way through the earlier books, not rushing because I enjoy them so much an want to make them last.

"Cold Blooded" didn't disappoint. I love Pip's fierceness, her devotion to her friend, and her battle to uncover the facts. Then there was Pip's battle with herself, as she wavered between believing there was a possibility that her friend Cindy had killed herself and her fierce belief that Cindy would never have done that. It echoed the painful doubts and questions that people in real life undergo when a loved one kills themselves. It was painfully realistic and I appreciated that Anderson didn't gloss over it. No one ever wants to believe that a friend or relative could kill themselves but sometimes the signs are hard to see and we miss them. Pip was so sure that Cindy would never have done it but then in her grief, she'd wonder if it was possible, if she had missed the signs. It was hard to read at times but never felt gratuitous or like it was filler.

The local police are inclined to believe that it was suicide, which infuriates Pip, and she conducts her own investigation. Adding to her emotional stew is the fallout from an investigation she did for the newspaper where she was employed. There were complications and she left in disgrace. Then her friend dies and Pip is a mess.

Into this mess comes FBI agent Hunt Kincaid. He's trying to track down an anthrax strain and the people trying to sell it. Cindy worked with anthrax so he looks into her death but he agrees with the local cops that it was a suicide. He doesn't trust Pip because he doesn't trust journalists, and neither does his boss. It doesn't help that he got burned by a journalist and that incident causes his peers and his boss to question his judgment and assume the worst where he and Pip are concerned.

Neither Hunt nor Pip want to be attracted to each other and the investigations into the anthrax threat and Cindy's death complicate matters as does Hunt's inability to talk in detail about his work, but they just can't resist and I was rooting for them. They had to learn to trust each other and to figure out how to communicate and share without violating their respective professional boundaries.

"Cold Blooded" was a compelling story. I wanted to forget about work and sleep and just read. I was caught up in the search for the truth about Cindy's death and the search for the anthrax dealers. The story was fascinating, thrilling, and at times, heartbreaking. I may have cursed Anderson's name a bit near the end with what she did to one character.

The story wasn't perfect. There were times when the pace dragged and I really didn't get why Hunt's buddies and peers gave him such a hard time concerning Pip and the fact she was a journalist. Even  with his previous bad experience, their reactions felt over the top and extreme. It seemed more like a manufactured issue to create problems between Hunt and Pip than an organic issue. That was really my main problem with the story and I greatly enjoyed it. And if you are new to this series, this book introduces all new characters and has only a tangential connection to earlier books in the series so it works fine as a stand alone. You can easily jump in with this book. But be sure to go back and read the other books too for thrilling mysteries and passionate romances.

Reviews of previous books in the series:

#8.5 A Cold Dark Promise
#8 A Cold Malice
#7 Cold Secrets
#5 Cold in the Shadows

About the author - 

New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble's Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.

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