The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
March 15, 2022, by Berkley Books
Review by Angela
I will pretty much read anything Simone St. James writes. After glomming her backlist a couple of years ago, I was eager to read her latest whodunit, featuring a true-crime sleuth and the one case that still baffles a small well-to-do community.
Set in Claire Lake, Oregon, The Book of Cold Cases starts out slowly by introducing Shea Collins, by day a receptionist at a medical clinic, by night a true-crime writer and blogger. Shea has her own complicated back story and childhood tragedy to explain her murder obsession. When a local woman, acquitted of a series of heinous crimes, walks into her clinic, Shea jumps at the chance to follow her. Beth Greer, dubbed The Lady Killer, offers her a chance of a lifetime… to get the interview that no one else has been able to obtain and possibly finally figure out a crime that has gone unsolved for forty years.
This book starts out at a slow, but steady pace, introducing both Shea and Beth. The timeline stays in 2017 until the clues start to stack up and Beth gradually reveals the truths of her life in the mid to late ’70s. Then the timeline jumps around between past and present day. I’ve mentioned before how this type of storytelling appeals to me and keeps me engaged long past a time I would normally take a break to catch some sleep or you know, go to work. There is so much more to this story than just a woman accused of a crime, as with any of this author’s books, there is an element of the supernatural. Greer House is just as much of a character as Shea and Beth, full of creaks and groans, mysterious footsteps, and a ghost full of vengeance who won’t let go of the past.
The Book of Cold Cases is an atmospheric twisty turny tale, which kept me on the edge of my seat until the final chapter. The ending left me satisfied, along with the small, but sweet romance between Shea and her private investigator friend. Beth remained a complicated, coldly calculated woman till the end. Her story finally told, and the truth discovered.
Final grade- B