“A fractured marriage. A silent family. A secret worth killing for.
When DC Cat Kinsella is approached by Joseph Madden for help with his wife, Rachel, there’s not much she can do. Joseph claims that Rachel has been threatening him, but can’t – or won’t – give Cat details as to why. Dismissing it as a marriage on the rocks, Cat forgets about it.
That is until Naomi Lockhart, a young PA, is found dead after a party attended by both Joseph and Rachel, and Joseph is arrested for the murder.
Joseph says his wife is setting him up.
His wife says he didn’t do it.
The trail of evidence leads to even more questions . . .
Adulterer. Murderer. Victim. Who would you believe?”
I am delighted to welcome you to the blog today and to my review of Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear – my third #15BooksofSummer review. Stone Cold Heart is the second book in the Detective Cat Kinsella series (the first being the brilliant Sweet Little Lies) and it’s published in paperback today! Wishing the author and Zaffre, the publisher, the happiest of publication days. I received a free eARC of Stone Cold Heart but this has in no way influenced my review.
I loved Sweet Little Lies so I have been eagerly waiting for this follow up novel to appear on my bookshelf. And oh boy, it did not disappoint! Caz Frear’s characters are utterly brilliant. I fell a little bit in love with Cat Kinsella after reading the first book in the series but now, after book two, I’m totally smitten. The way Frear writes her characters is so charming and with shedloads of warmth and humour that you can’t help but fall in love.
The team are called in to investigate the murder of 22-year-old, Naomi Lockhart. Naomi hasn’t been seen since attending a fireworks party held by her boss at her home on Saturday night. The team struggle to come up with any concrete links. That is until Cat recognises a familiar face. Joseph Madden, coffee shop owner and all-round creep. Madden had cornered Cat earlier in the Summer and after his failed attempts at flirting with her, he confided that his wife was out to get him. Cat, feeling it was no more than a lover’s tiff, advised Madden to report the incident to his local police station before making her excuses and NEVER volunteering to do the coffee run again! But now Madden is their only suspect in the murder of Naomi Lockhart despite his repeated claims of innocence. Will Cat be able to tie together all of the loose ends and make sure a killer is brought to justice…?
I love Cat Kinsella, I think I’ve already made that clear. But I also love her supporting cast – particularly her DS, Luigi Parnell and her DCI, Kate Steele. They are a brilliant team and one I want to return to again and again. Parnell and Steele have a lot of history between them and it shows. The way they both keep an eye out for newcomer, Cat, is just wonderful to witness. Frear’s books have so far had brilliant plots to keep the reader gripped but oh boy, her characters are a delight. It’s not just these three though. Joseph Madden and his sliminess ooze from the page. Cat’s father and her ‘uncle’ Frank both play a pivotal role in the book and you’re never really sure how much to trust either of them (definitely don’t trust Frank!). And Cat’s gorgeous yet exasperated boyfriend, Aiden Doyle, who shows us Cat’s softer, more vulnerable side. What a superb cast of characters!
This book can be read as a standalone. However, there are several mentions made of Maryanne Doyle and the focus of the first book in the series, Sweet Little Lies. The reader isn’t really given any details about this case but those involved are highlighted. It doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story and if anything it will make you want to read Sweet Little Lies if you haven’t already done so!
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Stone Cold Heart and Sweet Little Lies are both strongly recommended by me. Frear has a way of writing believable characters, people you would want to hang out with at the pub after work (well, some of them anyway!). I had a great time playing amateur detective with this one and, in the end, got it completely wrong…sort of. I thoroughly enjoyed this compelling, character-driven police procedural and, if you’re a fan of crime fiction, I suggest you get yourself a copy and meet the brilliant DC Cat Kinsella for yourself.
I chose to read and review an eARC of Stone Cold Heart. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear was published in the UK by Zaffre Books on 27th June 2019 and is available in paperback, audio and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | BookDepository | Goodreads |
Caz Frear grew up in Coventry, England, and spent her teenage years dreaming of moving to London and writing a novel. After fulfilling her first dream, it wasn’t until she moved back to Coventry thirteen years later that the second finally came true. She has a degree in History & Politics, and when she’s not agonizing over snappy dialogue or incisive prose, she can be found shouting at Arsenal football matches or holding court in the pub on topics she knows nothing about.
Author Links: | Twitter |