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Dead Cold (Robert Payne Mysteries) (Volume…
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Dead Cold (Robert Payne Mysteries) (Volume 1)

by Ed Gorman

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Dead Cold is book one in the Robert Payne mystery series and it is an exciting mystery in a first of many. Robert Payne is an FBI criminal profiler who is hired to find out who killed the daughter of Nora Conners and he is paid handsomely for the job. When he temporarily moves to the small town in Iowa, he starts to find out that there is a lot of mystery and secrets hidden in the town to which he may have put his life in danger.

The opening of the book grabs you right away and introduces you to the insight of one of the characters. You know this is going to be an exciting story from the start when it propels you into the head of a psychotic. Conflict is strewn throughout the story as well. Conflicts within the characters and the situations that occur in the town. The reader is at the edge of his or her seat when something new and terrifying pops up while Robert is doing his investigation. You do not drown in the conflict either but want to revel in it, to become more involved in it and you want to see what explodes on the page in the end.

The plot is believable and conceivable. A desperate woman wanting to find out who killed her daughter is very plausible. It is a story that any reader can fall into understanding the premise. The author gives you so much more than that, however, when the story erupts in directions you are not ready to go until Ed Gorman guides you through it. With every answer that arises, there is a new question you must ask yourself. Subplots develop which entangle itself like a web – of lies, deceit and drama.

The setting is in a small town, closed knit community with a sheriff who is battling her own conflict while fitting in with the townsfolk. Secrets are kept tight lipped and some people are ready to kill to keep things silent.

The characters jump right off the page. Mannerisms and attitudes are true to life and the author makes you hate and love some of those characters. His descriptions fill your senses while you get absorbed in his every word. He uses them to show, not tell the story which makes Dead Cold brilliant in its execution. The dialogue is intelligent and depict the personalities precisely. They give off the small town feel and puts you in line with the story and the plot.

The book is told in the point of view of Robert Payne and for those moments that it has to switch, it does so in a smooth transition. This murder mystery is a welcome addition to the genre and an amazing story. Book one of the series is a great start to what I predict will be a loved series, deserving of a chance to be read as you will not be disappointed.
  jcandrew | Mar 2, 2014 |
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