COLD THREAT by Nancy Mehl
SERIES: Ryland & St. Clair #2
GENRE: Suspense (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: January 23, 2024
Twenty years ago, several people were murdered in Des Moines, and the only evidence left behind was a snowman ornament hanging ominously on a tree in the victims’ front lawns. With a suspect behind bars, the killings have come to an end–or so everyone thought. But now crimes with a similar MO are happening in a small Iowa town, and a local detective believes the killer is back and ready to strike again.
With little time left on the clock before they have another murder on their hands, private investigators River Ryland and Tony St. Clair must work alongside Tony’s detective father to find evidence that will uncover an evil that has survived far too long. As the danger mounts and the suspect closes in, it will take all they have to catch a killer–before he catches one of them.
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Wow. Wow. Wow wow WOW.
That basically sums up my reaction to the reveal of the serial killer’s identity. Gobsmacked once again, as I always am at some point in Mehl’s suspense novels. I thought I had it figured out this time – I should have known better haha. The author weaves such a delightfully complex plot that keeps me glued to the page and in awe of her ability to do so. In fact, I love it even more when I’m miles off base about the killer (which is almost always the case with her books) because I read so many suspense novels that it’s really hard to catch me off guard. And Nancy Mehl always does. Always. It just proves again how talented she is at crafting suspense.
I also really enjoyed the further development we see in River and Tony’s characters and their partnership … including a bit more hope for a romance between them in the future. The layers we added and further explored in Cold Threat fit well with what we learned about them in book one, and I thought River’s faith growth was especially meaningful while staying organic to her character. Tony’s parents are a delight – I absolutely loved his mom Beth and her penchant to feed everyone always. Lots of family banter that added well-timed levity to ease the tension of hunting a serial killer, but there were some very touching subthreads as well here. Also, Tony’s childhood nickname? Adorable.
Bottom Line: Cold Threat is another stellar suspense offering by author Nancy Mehl, with layered characters and several surprising twists. River and Tony make such a good pair, in life and in work, and I enjoyed watching their friendship deepen as they worked with Tony’s dad to solve a haunting cold case. The faith thread is touching and relatable, and it fits easily with the character development without distracting from the plot. The series arc of the obsessed serial killer after River is definitely still in play even though it isn’t the main focus of this book, and I look forward to watching how that all ends up in the final novel.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
Nancy Mehl (NancyMehl.com) is the author of more than fifty books, a Parable and ECPA bestseller, and the winner of an ACFW Book of the Year Award, a Carol Award, and the Daphne du Maurier Award. She has also been a finalist for the Christy Award. Nancy writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson.
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Bethany House is offering a print copy of Cold Threat by Nancy Mehl to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
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