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Cold Day in July by Stella Cameron
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Cold Day in July

by Stella Cameron

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Stella Cameron has delivered a slightly better romantic suspense novel with her second effort in the Louisiana-set series. Cold Day in July takes place in Toussaint, a small bayou town, which had recently seen two young women get murdered, and though the latest looks like an accident, it might make murder number 3. Marc Girard, native son, returns to town with the notion that the most recently deceased woman might have been his sister in disguise. He begins his investigation with Dr. Rebecca “Reb” O’Brien, who examined all three bodies. Marc and Reb were also romantically linked in college, and this situation gives them an opportunity to rekindle their relationship.
Cameron seems to have a little trouble fitting romance into the suspense story. Marc in particular makes frequent awkward comments to Reb about their relationship and what he’d like to do to her, sexually, right in the middle of conversations about clues and suspects. Also, the two go back and forth quite a bit about whether they are going to actually engage in sexual relations. They start and stop the “action” (so to speak) about 4 times before finally getting interrupted by another character before being able to complete the act. This whole section was irritating to read. Marc is also kind of high-handed and controlling with Reb, but then they are in a situation in which it looks as though someone is trying to murder her, so I don’t really blame him for trying to keep her safe when it looks as though she’s going to do something foolhardy and put herself in harm’s way. In fact, now that I think about it, her insistence on being a strong, independent, intelligent woman who would also like to drive her motorbike out to the middle of nowhere in a rainstorm to check on a patient is pretty contradictory.
Also, the character introductions were a little confusing. So much backstory is revealed on many different characters in the first two chapters, that I later had a difficult time remembering who was who and what their relation was to each other. A little more spacing-out of character introductions might be helpful to Cameron in the future. However, I cannot fault her with the eventual resolution of the murder plot. I did not guess who the killer was, nor that person’s motive until it was revealed. There were some pretty strong suspects, so I applaud Cameron for this. It left me feeling satisfied, although at the beginning, I did not think I was going to rate it well at all. ( )
  EmScape | Dec 7, 2012 |
Bayou Book, more Touissant story
  readingchair | Oct 29, 2007 |
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Dead End is a significant expansion of the story originally published as COLD DAY IN JULY.
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When the murder of a singer in Toussaint, Louisiana, reopens a supposedly solved murder case, medical examiner Reb O'Brien is forced to team up with Marc Girard, and as passion rages between them, the secrets of the town are revealed.

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