Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Book Critique 2016 – 11/02/2016: Cold Blooded

Note: It's 2017 and I still have two months of reviews to go from 2016. I am hoping I should be able to finish it soon but we have to wait and see how far into 2017 this will go into. :)

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here
For all books in this series: Go here

Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: Bone-chilling thriller with the touches of romance, lust, twisted minds and above all the paranormal side of human mind - a perfect medley to enjoy the read despite the shivers it leaves in the reader's spine.

Cold Blooded is a 2002 crime thriller by Lisa Jackson (born Susan Lisa Jackson) and second in her New Orleans Series with Detectives Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya. Someone had left a few books in the office cafeteria to be taken. Of the three or four books that were left I liked the snippet at the back of the book and picked it. Having never read her before, it was more of the gut feeling with the snippet that made me read it. And my gut was right this time. Here is my review.

Olivia Benchet comes to Detectives Rick Bentz and Rueben Montoya after she had one more episode of the visions of a killer murdering a woman - this time she has more tangible visions than before. Although being mocked as a resident nutcase, she still comes to these two only because she had read about them solving the recent bizarre murders in Crescent City. She tells them about the vision of a killer who calls himself priest, chains a woman- he calls Cecilia - to the bathtub, kills her with three strikes to her neck and then burns the building. Although he takes her report, he knocks it off as a nutcase considering her background, but his gut thinks something else. And true to that a few minutes after Olivia leaves, he is called to a scene of crime that came exactly out of her mouth.

Just like her Grannie Gin aka Virginia Dubois who had been famed as a voodoo priestess and is said to have visions, Olivia had inherited the same sight - except she sees the crime after the fact in fragments. Was she having a psychic connection with this killer? Why is that so? Does she know who it is? Could the killer have been Olivia's father Reggie who had just been released from prison after serving 22 years for killing someone? Despite his stand that Olivia could be a nutcase, Detective Bentz gets attracted to her. And he is more than determined to identify this connection between Olivia and the killer when she sees another vision of him following a young woman. Who could that woman be? To top it the killer knows that Olivia can see him. Can the killer also see Olivia or just sense her? Will she be the next target for him? Will Detective Bentz and Olivia act upon their feelings?

In the meanwhile Kristi, Rick's daughter, goes on a date with one Brian Thomas - a grad student - but she has her doubts on Brian. Yet she goes with him on a date. A bit rebellion, a lot more gorgeous with a quick brain Kristi is the pride of Rick. And there is a lot to patch between both of them. Will they reconcile with their feelings towards Jennifer? Will Kristi finally come around to Rick?

Along their investigation, the Detectives cross paths with various people, some on their side, some not and some a bit weird - Ramsey John Dodd (Olivia's grandmother's lawyer who settles her estate after her death), Bernadette Benchet (Olivia's mother), Hairy S (Grannie Gin's pet dog), Stan Pagliano (works with New Orleans Fire Department), Kristi Bentz (Rick's daughter), Brian Thomas (grad student, TA to Dr. Zaroster and dating Kristi), Chia (Grannie Gin's pet parrot), Detective Brinkman (Rick's co-worker), Reggie Benchet (Olivia's father and Bernadette's first husband), Melinda Jaskiel (Rick's immediate supervisor), Father James McClaren (One of the priests at St. Luke's), Sarah Restin (Olivia's former business partner), Leo Restin (Sarah's husband), Ted Brown (Olivia's ex-fiancée), Oscar Cantrell (Bernadette's second husband), Monsignor O'Hara (Belonging to the church that Fathes James belongs to), Dr. Samantha Leeds (host of the radio show Midnight Confessions), Trish LaBelle (another radio show host) and Marta Vasquez (Detective Montaya's girlfriend).

The plot although is wicked thriller, it basically gives away the final motive if the killer in the prologue itself. However, author has spun the plot so well that one still digs deep to see why the killer has chosen that path even though the reader knows his final intentions. A very brave concept if I may say so to reveal that in the beginning of the book itself. With twisted brain of the killer, a psychic who can see what he does, a cop who is has his own demons to fight - what a mix in the plot making it all more spine-shivering.

A bone chilling thriller I must say with a touch of romance, love and human emotions that a killer normally doesn’t understand, Aah but don’t forget the paranormal side of the plot too which is what adds more to the mystery. Another author adding to my collection of books, no doubt.

Spoiler Alerts:
1) The plot reflects on some of the past from the first book and perhaps some for the future books (having not read the first book, cannot confirm what belonged to past book or future books):
a. Detectives Rick Bentz and Rueben Montoya had solved the bizarre killings in Crescent City a few months prior to this plot and had connected them Dr. Samantha Leeds - host of the late night radio show "Midnight Confessions". This is covered in the author's 2001 book Hot Blooded.
b. Dr. Jeremy Leeds is one of Olivia's professor at Tulane University where she is studying Psychology. The character must have appeared in Hot Blooded novel since the Detectives speak about him in connection with that plot.
c. Jennifer Bentz - Rick's ex-wife - has been murdered. Not sure if that plot started in Hot Blooded or ended or if it would continue in future books. There is more to this character than shown in this book.
d. A sub-plot involving Father James McClaren, Detective Rick Bentz and his daughter Kristi Bentz also carries on where we know more about the friction between Rick and Kristi and the causer behind it. We have to wait and see if they come to terms with it and how they handle it.

2) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character / Geographical Errors:
a. On Pg. 27, line 12 - author uses the word "git" in the statement "Someday, honey, you're gonna git….". Although git is a valid word meaning "an unpleasant person", here it doesn’t suit the context. Perhaps the author meant to put "get" instead which makes more sense.
b. On Pg. 178, author depicts Oscar Cantrell as Bernadette's husband number two. However on Pg. 190 she depicts him as Bernadette's husband number three.
c. On Pg. 265, second line, the author spells "Montoya" as "Motoya".
d. On Pg. 276, last line, an additional "he" is at the end of the line.

3) Detective Montaya's girlfriend Marta Vasquez goes missing and doesn’t get solved at the end of the plot. Perhaps it is for another book in the series.
4) Curious also to see the fate of Sarah Restin and her no-good husband Leo Restin. Will they appear in another book?
5) Unanswered questions about Bernadette and Reggie perhaps will be answered in a future book.
Tags: books, critique by amateur, new orleans series, reviews

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