"Cold Cold Heart" by Tami Hoag


I hadn't previously read anything by Tami Hoag, but I am always searching for great new authors. Ms. Hoag certainly fulfilled my expectations. I loved COLD COLD HEART. Dana narrowly escapes a serial killer at the start and tries to focus on rebuilding her life while adjusting to 'after Dana.' 'After Dana' is disfigured, no longer beautiful, unfiltered, no longer politically correct, dark and suspicious, no longer sunny and optimistic. While sent to her childhood home to recover, her childhood best friend's disappearance resurfaces in the news. Afraid to face her demons, she becomes obsessed with remembering the details surrounding her friend Casey's tragedy and figuring out what happened to her. It leads her into the path of a different monster, and she must once again prove that where there is life, there is hope. Dana's actions and reactions while dealing with traumatic brain injury and PTSD were real and believable. Her friend's childhood boyfriend, John, also had these issues after fighting in two wars. Always a suspect for the disappearance of Casey, his highschool girlfriend, being forced to return to the town brought him back into the spotlight as Dana's return stirred up memories of the unsolved case. John was one of my favorite characters. I had figured out who was in the barrel before the author even revealed the barrel, and I thought I knew who was responsible for Casey's disappearance. Still, the author kept just enough doubt and suspicion to make me second-guess myself until the moment everything became clear. Good job; great book!