Cold Run


Fiction - Action
236 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers' Favorite

He assumed a new identity, as per usual. This time, he was Cy Ford. Ford landed a job as an officer with the DNR in Michigan. Aloof and introverted, he was the strange one. But somehow, Ford and his colleagues, Jett and Avery, became drug mules for Niko Krowchuck across the Canadian/American border. Work was smooth until Oscar Easter, the Detroit drug lord, coveted Niko Krowchuck's territory. A pawn in the game of thrones between two elephants, the trio of Ford, Avery, and Jett, was caught in the middle. Unfortunately, Sheriff Anson got suspicious of the officers, especially Ford. When chaos erupted, Ford became a target, and he had to bolt. Oscar, Niko, and Anson all wanted him for different reasons. Who will get to Ford first? Cold Run by Michael Dault has the answer.

Cold Run by Michael Dault is a fast-paced and action-packed novel that I couldn’t stop reading. If you love stories about cartels, intrigue, and plenty of action, then this book is for you. Cold Run is a riveting tale of survival, betrayal, wit, and loyalty that got my adrenaline pumping. Michael is a talented storyteller who brought the characters to life with his descriptive narration. I loved the plot and unique storyline that never ran out of shockers. Ford was my most favorite character for his focus, resourcefulness, and survival instincts. Drifter Sam also endeared himself to me with his unassuming yet formidable personality. I fell in love with the sled dogs, especially North. His ferocity and loyalty until the end made me teary. Anson reminded me to prioritize family because they’ll always be there for me, even when all is lost.

K.C. Finn

Cold Run is a work of fiction in the action subgenre and is intended to be the first installment in a new series. It is aimed at the adult reading audience and was penned by author Michael Dault. The book follows conservation officer Cy Ford and his sled team as they patrol Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Unbeknownst to most, Cy has a side business using his sled team to transport drugs under the radar, but this Christmas he has decided to stop and enjoy the money he’s earned before he pushes his luck too far. Unfortunately, retirement is not an option when his former employers enter into a war and he is forced into one last deadly run.

There’s a fascinating psychological perspective in exploring people who willingly take dog sleds out over vast plains of ice in the middle of the night. A mindset that knows fear but doesn’t feel it from the inherent danger of their task, and a mindset that author Michael Dault has taken the time to understand and exquisitely depict in his lead character, Cy. The character leaps off the page and is a very realistic understanding of how people like Cy operate. To take someone who is accustomed to a very real daily danger and create a high-stakes situation enough to scare and challenge them is no small undertaking, but Cold Run manages to maintain a pace of adrenaline that not many other thrillers can manage for long. A must-read for fans of tense and exciting thrills, I recommend this book to all.

Pikasho Deka

Cold Run by Michael Dault is an action-packed crime-drama thriller set in the mountains of northern Michigan. Cyrus Ford lives a seemingly humdrum life as a conservation officer working for the DNR. But he has a secret life as a drug mule who smuggles meth for his Canadian boss, Niko Krowchuck. Ford and his colleagues, Jett Prevo and Avery Kinnomen, run a smooth operation alongside the Canadian border using their professional sled dogs to avoid suspicion. When a Detroit drug lord infringes on Niko's territory, a turf war breaks out in which Ford and his friends unwittingly find themselves embroiled. As events escalate further, Ford finds himself trapped between two rival drug organizations and with local law enforcement on his tail, leading him to fight for his life and freedom.

Author Michael Dault tells a gripping tale of a man trying to find a new life but struggling to overcome the baggage of his past. With crooked cops, warring drug lords, and world-weary men trying to carve out something of their own, Cold Run is a page-turner of a novel that reminds you of the Coen Brothers' hit 90s movie Fargo. Dault wastes little time in getting things moving as the plot maintains a blistering pace with twists and turns that keep you hooked from start to finish. The characters are well-realized with distinct motives that give agency to their actions and make them thoroughly riveting to read. The action scenes are described vividly in a realistic manner that clearly underlines the stakes. Highly recommended.

Grant Leishman

Cold Run by Michael Dault takes us into the frozen north of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where it abuts into the Great Lakes and the Canadian border. Cy Ford is a man with a mystery and a past. He works as a conservation officer for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) out in the wilds of the peninsula, where access in winter is limited to snowmobiles and dog sleds. The department keeps two teams of sled dogs at their home base and Cy has come to love the dogs, as well as the outdoor lifestyle, during the three years of his employment at the remote station. Cy and his two fellow DNR employees, Avery and Jett, have a secret sideline that greatly supplements their income. They use the sleds and dogs in the frozen winter wastes to smuggle drugs from the U.S. across the ice-bridge to a Canadian drug distributor across the border. It has been a lucrative few years, for the trio, but for Cy, it is time to move on, especially given the many additional secrets this man harbors in his murky past. Getting out will not be as easy as Cy thinks, however, when a gang war over turf breaks out between his Canadian employer and the boss of the Michigan drug underworld based out of Detroit. Cy, Avery, and Jett will find themselves caught in the middle of two violent mobsters and it will take all their back-country skills and cunning just to stay alive.

Cold Run is a fast-paced, exciting thriller that literally gallops across the pages and draws the reader in completely. Author Michael Dault has crafted a plot and backstory to Cy Ford that just keeps twisting and turning, keeping the reader constantly guessing and trying to anticipate the next move. The three principal characters, Cy, Avery, and Jett, are well-drawn and easily identifiable and despite them nominally being “bad”, it is very easy for readers to empathize with them and their plight, which is a real credit to the author’s skills. Through the narrative, the author poses the question that all readers will no doubt contemplate – how would I have reacted to a similar lucrative offer to that made to Cy, Jett, and Avery? With both Jett and Avery being solid, local, and dependable DNR employees, with clear backgrounds, why did they suddenly decide to become criminals? I particularly appreciated that the author explored this issue and answered the question well. Cy Ford himself is an intriguing enigma and one that begs to be further explored in future novels in this series. I certainly look forward to exploring more of this man’s mysterious background in the next iteration. I can’t also help but wonder how much of a role the now retired Sheriff will play in the upcoming next book. I really enjoyed the constant tension the author generated in this story which made it a real delight to read and one I can highly recommend.

Marta Tandori

Running from your past is risky business but when you’re caught in the middle of a double-cross, the stakes can turn deadly. Michael Dault single-handedly delivers a spellbinding tale of lies and betrayal in Cold Run that will have you in its grip until the very end. Loner Cyrus Ford has built a new life for himself as a conservation officer for the Department of Natural Resources in Northern Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. While the pay is a pittance, Ford and his two co-workers have been supplementing their income as drug runners, using department dog sleds to transport the drugs between the U.S. and Canada. Unlike his two co-workers, Ford isn’t flashy with his ill-gotten gains and has an exit strategy when he’s saved enough. The only problem is Ford and his co-workers soon find themselves in the middle of a turf war between two enemies on either side of the border who’ll stop at nothing to get what they want – even if it means killing all three of them…

Michael Dault grabs your attention from the first paragraph and doesn’t let up on his grip. You’re in it for the entire thrilling ride. It’s hard to imagine that Cold Run, a story set in the backwoods of Northern Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, could have that much allure but the combination of an abundance of pristine snow, sled dogs with more intelligence than some humans, and the thrill of clandestine drug-running creates an intoxicating thrill ride of suspense. A huge part of that allure is thanks to Dault’s enigmatic protagonist, who has too many skeletons in his closet to count. The fact that he’s chosen to break the law yet seems to have admirable scruples makes for one very interesting main character. He’s a paradox at best, thinking nothing of taking another man’s life in the name of survival yet has a special affinity for animals, especially his sled dogs, that is sure to warm the most indifferent of hearts. Cold Run has plenty of violence and bloodshed and certainly isn’t for those with weak stomachs. However, all this is tempered by moments of tenderness and a visceral need for survival that make the acts of violence forgivable – and even necessary at times. A great read from start to finish!