Cold to the Touch

Crooked Lane. Apr. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9781639107759. $29.99. M
DEBUT Twelve days before Christmas when a body is found, ravaged by scavengers, Anchorage homicide detective DeHavilland Beans catches the case. He’s stunned to recognize the victim, Jolene Nilsson, a barista at his favorite coffee shop. Beans and Jolene often talked about their childhoods growing up as multiracial children in small villages in the remote Alaskan Bush. Even before the coroner can gather details from the body, including the unusual murder weapon, another victim is found. She was another barista, but this time found on federal land, so the FBI sends in an agent. While the Anchorage police try to quash media rumors of a serial killer, Beans worries about a friend dependent on pills, another one caught up in the disappearance of a bookie, and his own sister, who just started a new job as a barista. The one thing the Anchorage police department doesn’t have is time as they race to stop a murderer who targets young coffee-shop workers.
VERDICT Alaska in the winter and a likable protagonist come to life in this excellent, fast-paced police procedural. Suggest for fans of Harlan Coben or Lissa Marie Redmond.
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