Stone Cold Heart

Harper. Jul. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9780062849885. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062849922. M
In this follow-up to Frear’s debut, Sweet Little Lies, Det. Cat Kinsella and partner Luigi Parnell investigate the death of a young woman, who recently moved to London from Australia and had very few social connections, leaving no obvious motive for her murder. The investigation eventually leads to Joseph Madden, owner of a coffeeshop whom Cat has previously encountered. His narcissistic behavior presents a vastly different image than who he really is, but does that mean he’s a murderer? Meanwhile, Cat’s contentious family dynamics threaten to expose her relationship with boyfriend Aiden, which she must keep secret owing to a conflict of interest with her career. Readers need not have read the previous book to enjoy the mystery, but some aspects of Cat’s behavior and personal relationships may not be as well appreciated. Frear once again excels at creating memorable characters and realistic dialog. Cat’s snarky attitude and youthful brashness are nicely balanced with her passion for justice and investigative skills.
VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of police procedurals with compelling detectives. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.]

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