Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Can you take out the angry eyes, Mrs. Potato Head, and just let me talk to you?"
When a child’s bones are found boarded up in the wall of a bar, Olivia Wainwright instinctively knows that these are the bones of a child who saved her life 12 years ago. Olivia was kidnapped out of her home and tortured when she was 15 years old. When the kidnapper killed her, a young boy, Jack, preformed CPR and brought her back to life. Olivia was able to escape and her kidnapper was killed avoiding arrest. She was never able to find Jack again though. Now 12 years later, Olivia works for Xtreme Investigations. Her near death experience left her with a very dark and dangerous gift. Olivia has the ability to relive the last couple of minutes of someone’s death. Olivia never believed that her kidnapper was working alone and now with Jack’s body found, she is even more convinced that her kidnapper is still out there and still killing. Olivia believes if she can touch Jack’s bones, she will finally learn her kidnappers true identity and bring him to justice. But first she has to convince Detective Gabe Cooper.
Detective Gabe Cooper is the lead detective in charge of the boy’s body. A victim of abuse himself, he will do anything to find out who tortured and killed this child. When Olivia comes to the station to identify and offer her psychic services, Gage is stunned by her request and rather put out that a woman he finds so attractive would be involved in what he feels is nothing more then a con game. When he finds out about her past he is deeply troubled and saddened and after serious consideration, allows her access to Jack’s body. Gabe is horrified by what Olivia experiences by using her gift and this only further cements his attraction and commitment to helping her bring the killer to justice.
Cold Touch is a dark, twisted, physiological thriller that left me chilled and shaken as I read what Olivia and the kidnappers victims go through. The second book in her Extrasensory Investigation series, Ms. Parrish once again sweeps us up and drops us into the mind of a sick sadistic killer who’s cunning and viciousness leaves a trail of despair and heartbreak where ever he goes. Being a mother, this story hit me a harder then normal. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around what would I do if I my child had been kidnapped and the case became cold.
Ms. Parrish has a gift for building a nail biting suspenseful story that leaves you hanging on to every little word. She pulls no punches and allows you no time to accept before tossing you next challenge. Smooth flowing with minimal fillers-this story grabs you and doesn’t let go till the end. It does start out in the past with us reliving Olivia’s final moments the jumps forward to the present and introduces the protagonists. Steady pacing and tense hard action flies us all the way home. The romance and the suspense blend effortlessly together. There is no beginning or end to each; they are equally important to the overall arc.
Olivia and Gage have incredibly steamy chemistry between them that clicks from their first meeting. Well written dialog and intense scenes make it a joy to watch their romance come alive. I loved watching Gabe’s protective streak come out concerning Olivia. Gage instantly sees what her co workers never did-the sheer emotional damage that her gift causes her. While he wants to protect her, he doesn’t coddle her. He recognizes her strength and celebrates it and her. Though Gage feels that his background and hers won’t mix well, Olivia doesn’t give up. She senses that her and Gabe are meant to be together. I love how Ms. Parrish allows us to verbally see the physical attraction Olivia feels towards Gage. She has no qualms about ogling the fine physique Gage has and admitting to all the things she’d like to do to him in bed. Very sensual and hot.
Her secondary characters are very well developed and personable. They slip effortlessly under you skin and into your heart. We see many different relationships here that are tested by the events unfolding. Ms. Parrish handles each and every one of them with the respect and concern they deserve. She shows indelible strength that some people have that allows them to triumph over anything. I enjoyed seeing Olivia’s work mates and going more in depth into their gifts and back stories. They definitely impact the story in many, many ways. I hope they will each get their own book.
As we get closer to solving the mystery there are some very emotional moments I did not expect that left me shocked and saddened. The duplicity and deception that is revealed leaves you reeling at the implications. I really like the underlying theme of the story that focuses on victims of kidnapping and abuse. Ms. Parrish lets us see that it’s really up to the victim in how they choose to deal with and live the rest of their lives. Some will succeed and some will fail. The ending is an intense finale that answers all our questions and wraps everything up nicely. Ms. Parrish also leaves us with an intriguing epilogue that lets us know this isn’t the last we have seen of Gabe, Olivia and the rest of Xtreme Investigations. I am looking forward to the next in this series; to be announced.