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Book of Cold Cases, The de St. James
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Book of Cold Cases, The (2022 original; edició 2022)

de St. James (Autor)

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5972432,896 (3.82)19
A Most Anticipated Novel by PopSugar * Crime Reads * Goodreads * A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel. In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect--a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.   Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases--a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea's surprise, Beth says yes.   They meet regularly at Beth's mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she's not looking, and she could swear she's seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn't right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?… (més)
Membre:gillisandgould
Títol:Book of Cold Cases, The
Autors:St. James (Autor)
Informació:Berkley - Us (2022), 352 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Location: Home, Connor

Informació de l'obra

The Book of Cold Cases de Simone St. James (2022)

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» Mira també 19 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 24 (següent | mostra-les totes)
A little disappointing compared to The Sun Down Motel, but still an entertaining read overall. ( )
  SarahMac314 | Aug 12, 2022 |
When I encountered the synopsis for this novel I was immediately captivated by the story’s potential, and once I started reading I enjoyed the double-timeline, double perspective narrative, which managed to fuel the tension that runs throughout most of the book.

Shea Collins holds a run-of-the-mill job as a doctor’s receptionist by day, while at night she indulges her passion for unsolved crimes, managing a blog called The Book of Cold Cases, where she explores those crimes in well-researched detail. Shea’s keen interest might look somewhat obsessive on the outside, but the readers’ perspective changes once they discover that she survived a brutal assault in her childhood, one that left its mark on her and her ability to connect with strangers.

The small town in which Shea lives is usually a quiet place, but forty years ago the community was shaken by the case of the Lady Killer: two men had been viciously murdered by a woman leaving cryptic messages on the scenes, and since rich heiress Beth Greer had been seen fleeing the area of one attack, she ended up being investigated for both murders. Worse still, the ballistic exam matched the bullets of both homicides with the ones that killed Beth’s father in his own home, a few years before the Lady Killer started her spree.
Lack of any incriminating evidence ultimately led to Beth’s acquittal, but the small town never forgot, and Beth’s detached, unconventional behavior never helped clear the suspicion hanging over her.

One day, Beth comes for a doctor’s appointment where Shea works, and once the younger woman recognizes the famous patient, she asks for an interview for her blog and - quite surprisingly - Beth agrees, starting a series of encounters between them that take place in the old Greer mansion, a place that seems frozen in time to a few decades prior, and where weird phenomena cast a creepy pall over an already uncomfortable setting. As the meetings progress and the two women form a sort of bond (calling it ‘friendship’ would indeed stretch the truth), Shea understands that Beth is hiding something, maybe manipulating her for some mysterious reason, and at the same time, the flashbacks into Beth’s past show the evidence of a very unhappy family and one burdened by secrets and unspeakable truths…

The Book of Cold Cases started a bit slowly, and at times it lagged a little, but it never failed to keep me intrigued and compel me to get to the bottom of the mystery: the story is a very atmospheric one, in both temporal lines. The present, where Shea keeps pursuing her investigation with dogged determination, is dominated by the relationship between these two women who might appear quite different on the surface, but in reality have had to deal with traumatic events that have changed their perspective on the outside world. The past, where we learn about Beth’s previous life, blends her personal history (and that of her family) with the media’s intense focus on the murders and Beth’s alleged guilt: in this instance, particularly, one can see how public opinion can be influenced by circumstances to the point that they set themselves in the role of judge and jury. In the late ’70s - the time in which the murders occurred - a young woman, and a rich one, living alone and minding her own business was evidently too unconventional not to attract automatic suspicion and cast Beth in the role of murderer, and the “help” from the press, with the plethora of copies-selling misinformation bandied about, was certainly instrumental in establishing that image.

The overall picture is indeed an engaging one, but in my opinion it was marred by two factors which spoiled my enjoyment a little: one is the supernatural component, which to me seems… pasted on, for want of a better word, and adds little or nothing to the tenseness of the story. True, the scary manifestations described in the book - the faucets that open on their own, the appearance of blood on the kitchen’s floor where Beth’s father was killed, and so on - add a chilling element to the story, but they are not fundamental in the solution of the mystery, nor do they truly serve to enhance the weirdness of Greer House, whose function as a portal to times past comes from the frozen quality of its decor and furnishings. The other problem came for me from the too-early discovery of the killer’s identity: given the successful creation - up to that point - of a mood of suspense and mounting dread, this untimely revelation robbed the story of some of its momentum and left me a little disappointed.

Still, since the novel hinged on the interactions between Shea and Beth and the almost osmotic relationship established by their meetings, I found enough material in this novel to keep me engaged until the end, and - more important - to kindle my curiosity toward this author, whose other works I intend to explore in my next reading forays. ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Jul 29, 2022 |
TW/CW: Murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, paranormal creepiness, ghosts

RATING: 4/5

REVIEW: The Book of Cold Cases is the story of Shea Collins, a true crime blogger who manages to get an interview with Beth Greer, a woman who was tried for a double murder forty years before. Although she has always been obsessed with the case, the personal connection opens her eyes to a whole world she didn’t know, and dangers she didn’t know existed.

This book is really creepy. About halfway through, I had to put it down because it was nighttime and I was starting to hear things in my house! St. James does a really good job with the creepy atmosphere and ambience, although this isn’t really a paranormal story.

Well written and interesting, this book was a fast read and held my attention to the end. I did figure out what happened a little early, but it was still fun seeing the different pieces falling into place.

I recommend this book to people who like creepy mysteries. ( )
  Anniik | Jul 22, 2022 |
The Book of Cold Cases is one of those books to which I approached with a bit of trepidation as, contrary to a lot of people, I was not a big fan of Sun Down Motel, and really hoped this one would live up to its hype. It certainly had a lot of elements that I enjoy: haunted, creepy house; eccentric character; mystery and secrets; and, of course, a crime committed in the past. All of these elements should have lent themselves to a creepy and fun story, but unfortunately, the whole thing fell flat for me and I wasn't a bit fan of this one either.

First of all, while I thought the two main characters were interesting, that was pretty much it. Neither of them grabbed my attention nor my sympathy so it was difficult to feel empathetic towards either of them. Dual time lines seems to be the rage nowadays, but I don't think it works in all scenarios as it lowers the level of tension and suspense, and I do feel that was part of the problem in this book. Both of the characters were okay as far as character development went, but the author didn't really go out of her way to make them likeable or sympathetic so I wasn't overly invested in what happened to them. To be honest, Shea got on my nerves far more than Beth. Furthermore, when Shea spoke about her childhood kidnapping, I actually thought it was worse than it was (not making light of the situation or her trauma), but there was a part of me that kept thinking she was being overly dramatic. I don't know why I felt that way as her situation was traumatic, maybe it's just the way her character came across the page?

I did like how the Lady Killer was introduced in the book, although I do think that the author's introductions are always quite strong, but they just don't quite live up to the strength of those beginnings. I like investigative work and actually found those nuggets to be quite fascinating, plus I liked how the information was doled out throughout the book. What I didn't like was how easily Shea got access to information as it just seemed too coincidental and too easy. Just because she is a blogger doesn't mean she has access to all these files and all these people; and people aren't just going to suddenly open up to her just because she's asking questions. There was so much of "I wondered if someone was going to finally ask that question..." scenarios that I got tired of it.

There were some elements of the paranormal in this story, and the author tried to put a creepiness vibe into it, but it didn't really work with the overall story. I'm the first person to grab a book as soon as I see anything resembling a haunted house on the cover, but I want there to be a link and reason for it, not just for attention purposes. The reason seemed forced and it just didn't work for me.

Verdict
The Book of Cold Cases was supposed to be a paranormal story, but I really feel like that aspect of the book was the weakest part, with no build-up and lack of overall story which made the ending quite disappointing. Unfortunately, this was my least favourite book by this author as I found the whole execution to be somewhat lacking. While the author's writing style is good, the entire book falls flat with regards to characters and story development. Unfortunately, this wasn't for me. ( )
  StephanieBN | Jun 26, 2022 |
Not bad! A solid chick noir. It gets a little drawn out and silly near the end, but I'm okay with that. For the genre, it was an entertaining book. I loved The Sun Down Motel.

Below the spoiler cut a seriously big spoiler. The suspense of the entire book relies on this bit, so if you are going to read the book, DO NOT click on the spoiler.

The spoiler flows into an area of my expertise, so it kind of annoyed me. Not enough to ruin the book, but enough to know that we are experiencing some serious generational misconceptions about how life was lived 50-60 years ago.

I had to laugh at how incompetent the author thinks the police were back in the day. It's a common theme now in books featuring murders that happened before the turn of the century - Like crimes never got solved on purpose. While I know that DNA identification plays a huge role in solving crimes today, crimes were solved without it. It often makes me grateful that we have hard core crime authors who were actually alive then to accurately describe the settings.

It's with that in mind that I chuckled at the resolution of the cold case in the book. The police in the book had to be utterly incompetent to have missed it in the 1960s and 1970s in a small/medium size city. Nosy people were everywhere then. A rich girl giving birth to a baby at a maternity home would not pass through the town invisibly. Most girls were sent out of town before their pregnancy was noticeable.

Also, a white baby would definitely have been adopted immediately during that era. There would have been no foster care. That was the nature of maternity homes in the baby scoop era. It is simply how it worked. A young woman didn't hand off her child to foster care. That kid went into the closed adoption system. Oregon was a closed record state, so Lily would have no record of either parent available. Records didn't become available to adoptees until 1998.

It's a forgivable mistake I suppose, but I wish that authors would do a bit more cursory research on what it was like to be a birth mother during the baby scoop era. The author came close to reaching the feelings, but minimized them by using foster care instead of the more traumatizing severing of all ties, secrecy and lies enforced by the government, not the families involved. Lies that are still maintained by government today.


Otherwise, the book was fun to read. I'm not particularly fussy about these books. They're a little thriller, a little horror and have a little crime mixed in. St. James is good at tying haunted places to crime and it's enjoyable. ( )
  rabbit-stew | Jun 26, 2022 |
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The Greer mansion sat high on a hill, overlooking the town and the ocean.
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A Most Anticipated Novel by PopSugar * Crime Reads * Goodreads * A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel. In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect--a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.   Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases--a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea's surprise, Beth says yes.   They meet regularly at Beth's mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she's not looking, and she could swear she's seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn't right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

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