Dead Cold

An Emily Stone Thriller

Fiction - Thriller - General
402 Pages
Reviewed on 07/17/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers' Favorite

Jennifer Chase’s Dead Cold is the sixth of her Emily Stone thrillers, with a seventh in the pipeline. Emily and her partner, Rick Lopez, are ex law enforcement officers who’ve decided that rather than deal with the humdrum of everyday law enforcement, with its highs and lows — thrills and spills one minute, acute boredom the next — they’d ditch the routine and become 24/7 thrill-a-minute good guys, superheroes almost, tracking down villains, solving crimes, leaving the local cops to claim the glory of yet another mysteriously solved felony. In this episode, a Californian community is beset by a disturbing spike in gruesome homicides. There’s a serial killer out there who not only ensnares and tortures victims, but cuts them into neat sections and displays them in a macabre formation for all to see. The local police are flummoxed, with Detective Danny Starr doing his best, but being thwarted at every turn by one of the cleverest killers he has ever come across. Enter Emily Stone and her partner, Rick, and this time they enlist the assistance of a friend, Jordan. Together the intrepid trio sets out to track down the killer. And this time it’s easier said than done.

Dead Cold is not for those with weak hearts or nervous dispositions. Every page will have your heart pumping so much you’ll feel like you’re running a marathon. The story gets off to a cracking start in the prologue with high speed action from the first line. Jennifer Chase introduces us to real, three-dimensional characters, those with whom you can empathise, those you can love, hate, root for. Chapters aren’t numbered but rather they are headed with a date and time, a device which helps to keep up the frenetic pace throughout the story. The writing is visual so, as you flip through the pages, it will feel like you’re watching a movie and as the story is multi-layered, you won’t lose interest. The concept itself is unique. Most American thrillers involve police officers, FBI agents, spies, or private detectives, not people working clandestinely and happy to allow regular law enforcers to take all the credit. So, if you’re an adrenaline junkie, put on your seat belt and start reading. When you get to the end, if you’re not already familiar with this author’s work, you’ll be taking note of her name and reaching for another Emily Stone adventure.

Christian Sia

Dead Cold: An Emily Stone Thriller by Jennifer Chase is a crime thriller that explores the complexity of a criminal mind and showcases police investigation at its best. A serial killer is taking lives in California and he leaves behind grisly clues, evading capture, taunting the police and manipulating them. Skilled detective Emily Stone needs more than her forensic knowledge to be able to catch the killer. Read on to discover the risks she takes and the ultimate surprise that will shock everyone at the end of the story.

The twists in the plot start from the very first chapter with the liberation of Kayla, held by a killer. Without water and with no food for three days, “escape was impossible. Tears streamed down her face as she sat in the darkness and waited for the man to return. There was no other choice—but to wait.” But then things change immediately to the reader’s and to the character’s surprise as the protagonist comes in to rescue her. But it’s just the beginning of the surprises that punctuate this page-turner.

The prose is excellent, overflowing with emotional insights and psychological intensity. The characters are very compelling and I love the portrait the author creates of the protagonist. I enjoyed the fact that the lead investigator is a woman and she comes out well-explored, frail and tough at the same time. The plot is strong and it is developed with a lot of suspense to keep readers intrigued and excited to know how it ends. Dead Cold: An Emily Stone Thriller is an excellent thriller, exciting, and beguiling.

Marta Tandori

Gripping…chilling…sinister…gruesome… The list of adjectives goes on, but no matter how you describe it, Dead Cold by intrepid writer Jennifer Chase will grab your attention and won’t let you go until the last page has been read.

Do the research, plan the attack, get in and get out safely – hopefully, with the victim alive and breathing – all under a cloak of anonymity. That’s always been the modus operandi of vigilante detective Emily Stone. Emily, along with her lover and partner, Rick Lopez, pick and choose their cases, only contacting law enforcement when it’s time to send in the cavalry or when absolutely necessary – but absolutely always anonymously. However, it seems as though this time, an unusually gruesome case beckons to Emily, making it unable for her to resist. A man’s severed and frozen thigh has been found in a park and 30-year-old Detective Daniel (Danny) Starr has caught the case. Acting on a hunch during his initial investigation, Starr quickly orders a further search of the area. This yields the discovery of two severed feet, leading Starr to wonder what else is out there. Soon Starr and Emily, Rick, and her friend, Jordan, are all playing a dangerous game with a sadistic killer.

Chase’s protagonist, Emily Stone, has more courage and chutzpah than your average superhero. Her fearless take-charge attitude, her willingness to put the safety of others above her own, and her single-minded determination make her the perfect protagonist and an effective foil for Detective Danny Starr, whose innate introspection and intelligence add even more substance to an already gripping tale of murder. The author makes her readers work right along with her characters in Dead Cold and does not believe in tempering the imagery of a gruesome discovery. Chase uses her words effectively, builds tension naturally and has an innate knack for planting a seed and letting her readers’ imaginations do the rest. There’s plenty of action, but it’s balanced nicely with intelligent dialogue and a great cast of supporting characters. If you’re going to read one great book this year, read Dead Cold. It will leave you anything but…