The Book of Cold Cases – Book Review

Title:- The Book of Cold Cases

Author:- Simone St James

Date published:- March 15th 2022

No. of pages:- 350 pages

Genre:- Thriller/Supernatural

Rating:- 4.5/5 stars

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, 2017Shea 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?

I have made a point of reading all Simone St James books after I enjoyed reading The Sundown Motel and The Broken Girls. Just like her two previous books, the Book of Cold Cases has a thriller background with a supernatural element in it.

Shea Collins is a true crime blogger and gets a chance to interview the mysterious and elegant Beth Greer, who back in the 1970’s was accused of being the “Lady Killer”. In the late 1970’s, the “Lady Killer” murdered two men by shooting them at gun point, leaving behind a message – AM I BITTER OR AM I SWEET – LADIES CAN BE EITHER. Shea herself had experienced a near death experience as the hands of a pedophilic serial killer. But as Shea goes to Beth’s gloomy mansion, she realizes that something sinister is inside the mansion.

The first few parts of the book was interesting. Like her two previous book, I was kept at the edge of the seat and was quiet unputdownable and felt like I was watching a horror movie. The story is told from the perspectives of Shea and Beth, where Beth’s part is divided to her childhood in the 1960’s to her arrest as a Lady Killer and acquittal in the 1970’s. I was literally hooked into the story and the author has done a good job as always of making the reader immersed into the story! Beth’s story was particularly interesting and so was Shea’s as she and the private detective Michael work together to see if Beth was a real killer or if someone else was framing Beth as the killer.

But here’s the thing, I almost gave the review five stars but I realized, I didnt like the ending. The story felt intense and unputdownable but the ending kind of ruined it for me, hence I gave 4.5 stars.

If you have not read Simone St James, I suggest you read The Sundown Motel, before reading this book. I am not saying this book is bad–it was intense and gripping and really good, altough in my opinion, ending could have been better.

Simone St. James is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel and The Broken Girls. Her debut novel, The Haunting of Maddy Clare, won two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada.

Simone spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives just outside of Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled rescue cat.

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