Friday 22 July 2022

The Book of Cold Cases

Finished May 22
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

This book is centered on a young woman who was a victim of a crime in her childhood, and who now writes a true crime blog in her spare time. Shea Collins works as a receptionist in a medical office and has a trust issue due to her past experience. It is 2017, and Shea has lately been interested in a cold case from forty years ago. She lives and works near the area of the crimes, and finds herself visiting places connected with the case. 
The 1977 crime consisted of two killings of men. Both were shot at close range with the same gun. A wealthy young woman, Beth Greer, was seen leaving one of the crime scenes and was tried for the murders, but acquitted. When Shea runs into Beth by chance, she impulsively asks her for an interview and to her surprise, Beth agrees. 
This connection opens other doors and leads Shea to new sources of information on the crime. She learns a lot about Beth's family and her reclusive life, and she finds herself noticing things  at the mansion that Beth lives in that have no rational explanation, and make her very uneasy. 
One of Shea's fans is a local private investigator and ex-cop, Michael De Vos, and she has often bounced ideas off of him. She's never met him, but she has a connection with him, and this case strengthens that connection. 
She also has her married sister Esther, who lives nearby, and who worries about her. And there is the unexpected appearance of a stray cat, who Shea more or less adopts and who helps her make a breakthrough in some of the issues she has from her own experiences.
I found Shea a very interesting character, a woman who wants to overcome her issues, but doesn't really know how to. She's so used to putting up barriers in her life, that she finds it difficult to remove them. The cold case, and the mysterious Beth bring a level of the paranormal to the book, that makes it creepy in moments that leave you holding your breath. 
A great read. 

Wednesday 6 July 2022

The Heart of the Deal

Finished May 18
The Heart of the Deal by Lindsay MacMillan

This isn't a romance novel, although it does have romance. It is a novel of adult life. A story of a woman, Rae, working in a job that she's good at, but doesn't love. She's also looking for love, someone to connect with in a deeper way. The book covers five years of Rae's life from 25 to 30, and we see her grow, learn, and make difficult choices. 
She's old school and doesn't have a lot of faith in online dating apps, but her friends convince her to give it a go for a while, and help her write a profile. Her roommate Ellen found her boyfriend this way and believes that she can too. 
Rae is a data analyst in an investment firm, and her work is good as she truly understands the numbers she works with, but this isn't what she thought her life would be. She wants to be a poet, but doesn't know how to do that and still make a living. She also wants to start a family by her early thirties, but the lack of a man in her life doesn't make that look likely soon. 
So, as she tries dating with some of the men she meets online, she eventually meets Dustin, a man in the same industry who also has a poetical interest in life and who she can really talk to. It becomes clear early in their relationship that Dustin has struggles with depression, and this aspect to the novel takes it to another level. As Rae navigates her inner feelings and dreams and tries to make them real, she also sees Dustin as he really is, a flawed human being like herself, with his own issues. 
This book had a depth that I really appreciated and that made it impossible not to care about these characters. 
A great read. 

July Reviews for the 16th Annual Canadian Reading Challenge

 This is the place to link the reviews for books you've read in July 2022 that meet the requirements of the Canadian Reading Challenge. 

Have fun, read new authors and revisit ones you love.