Stone Cold Heart

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you to netgalley the publishers and the author for this ARC in exchanged for an unbiased review 

Great characters and exactly what you want from a thriller! brilliant read!
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Even though I did end up buying myself a physical copy of this book to read, I would still like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for providing me a copy of the read in exchange for an honest review. 

A tightly plotted book that me guessing at the end of every page! I loved Sweet Little Lies and Cat Kinsella, as a character, is really growing on me! Cant wait for the next book in the series!
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I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author Caz Freer.
This is exactly what you want from a crime thriller. I've read this on holiday and it was the perfect poolside companion. Nothing groundbreaking but does exactly what it says on the tin. 3.5 stars rounded up.
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The brilliant DC Cat Kinsella is back, in the new release from Caz Frear which follows on from the hugely entertaining Sweet Little Lies (read my review here).

Stone Cold Heart builds on the brilliant character of Cat, with her own issues (largely around her dad and his less-than-squeaky-clean history) and faults, but despite all this – or perhaps because of this – she’s a hugely likable character. I love her and the way she interacts with her colleague, Parnell, who is another brilliant character. There are lots of snarky comments and lines from Cat and her colleagues which made me laugh, as well as a satisfying lack of cheesiness or predictability in her relationship with boyfriend Aiden. We find out more about their relationship and Cat herself, on top of the information from book one, and although it’s not necessary to read the first book, I think it enhances the reading of this one.

Another great aspect of this novel is the tight, intriguing plot. Although focused on the investigation into Naomi's death, there's plenty more revealed as the team dig deeper, and a variety of people find themselves in the frame for her murder. There are multiple strands to the story which come together really well towards the end and left me feeling satisfied with the result, and excited to return again to this great cast of characters (whenever book three is released)!
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Witty, well-rounded and complex but realistic.
I much prefer novels with British police than Americans. Maybe this is because it's my country and I know where places are even if I have never visited, but mainly I believe it is because it's at my own pace. No running around with guns, car chases, jumping over desks and always making time for tea.

The story opens with the body of a young woman who is probably a murder victim. The rest of the book focuses on how the police apply the hairs and other forensic bits and pieces to the potential suspects. A forensic psychologist is brought in to explain narcissism and how the minds of such people work. All part of the police procedure in finding answers.

The pace is good as is the plot: there is no simple whodunnit to solve. Instead there is a cast of characters each with vulnerabilities and unlikable qualities and issues, so even a suspected confession may not be what it seems. As for the police, their investigation is illustrated through the eyes of a young female detective constable. Told in the first person, it is not a restricted viewpoint and there are not too many 'I's. She is a down-to-earth and affable copper, gets on with her older partner (her 'work-dad') and has a secret boyfriend whom she likes a lot. 

From the point of view of the police process, the story is complete within this book. However, to find out the issues surrounding the inappropriate romantic relationship and the awkward family bonds surrounding the woman detective, the reading of the first book in the series, Sweet Little Lies, is required. This was a very good read too, but I read it quite a few years ago and can't remember the details so much. 

All in all, a great read, recommended.

#NetGalley #StoneColdHeart
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Anything can be hidden in the dark reaches of London streets.
Cat’s father has always lived on the fringes of criminality. Perhaps this is what pushes her to become a police officer. When the body of a teenage girl from the west coast of Ireland is found, and the investigation is too close to home, Cat wants to walk away. She cannot. As time passes, Cat tries to put it behind her, to rid herself of the guilt and shame that washes over her whenever she takes her Sunday night call, whenever she makes love. But life plays these terrible tricks on us all, and the murdered girl stays with Cat. With fierce determination, she lives her life, trying to move on, because the truth could destroy her.

Cat’s daily coffee run brings her in contact with a coffee connoisseur who seems a bit too familiar for her liking. She cannot see a single crack in his veneer of sophistication. But the allegations he makes about his wife and a strange gift he offers Cat prompt her to give the bar a wide berth. However, when a young woman is found with a brutal gash in her skull, Cat comes face to face with the coffee bar Casanova. His link to this woman is unmistakable, but the investigation office must delve deeply into his life to find a motive. As with most murder investigations, the truth is never simple, and a network of lies, half-truths and conspiracy is uncovered. In parallel, Cat grapples with her own network of half-truths and the reader is almost convinced that she will come clean. 

If you enjoy reading pages of detective speak and squad room jargon, you will enjoy this novel. Frear has created several intriguing characters who seemingly have a motive for murder. A surprising twist at the end redeems the novel from a monotonous litany of surmises and hypotheses.


Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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Really enjoyed Caz Frear's debut, and was thrilled to see I'd been allocated a copy of this one too. She's got a real knack to delivering pacy narrative, with some great characters to boot. Highly recommend!
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This is a very well written and tightly plotted book with believable characters and a great story.  How refreshing to read after having ploughed my way through some pretty turgid books recently - this was a breath of fresh air.  Thoroughly enjoyable.
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This book is everything I expect from a thriller. Well formed characters, some you like some are horrid.  The story chops and changes around and I did not expect the end.  Great London based police thriller, with a side trip to Portsmouth.
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Lies, lies and even more lies before the murderer of a young Australian woman is revealed.  I haven’t read the first of this series so when family crops up don’t really know what has already transpired.  The interviews were good, thoroughly enjoyed those, but some of the things leading up to them were slow.  It was an interesting story, but not totally gripping.  The case is closed but the book ends with a cliffhanger but I’m not that invested in any of these characters, so probably won’t read any more.
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Caz Frear is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. 

This novel was superb!

I enjoyed meeting all the new characters and even though I hated every single one of them, I was desperate for their stories to be told and for the guilty one to be found. 

I loved how the story all fitted together and justice was served at the end. 

However, that cliff hanger at the end! Will Uncle Frank be dealt with?

Bring on book 3 for me to find out!
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DC Cat Kinsella and her partner Luigi Parnell, who work for the London Metropolitan Police, are assigned to a case where Naomi Lockhart is found dead in her flat. All signs point to Joseph Madden, employee at The Grindstore coffeehouse, who Cat Kinsella has had a brief conversation with before about his concerns with his wife's behaviour.

The story follows the Met piecing together information, conducting police interviews and, like any good crime thriller, it's packed full of twists.

This is the second book in the Cat Kinsella series but only the first I've read. We learn a bit about her personal relationships which have probably been brought up in the first book but it was easy to follow along, reading this as a standalone. I love that the ending sets up for another book.
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I wish I had done my usual research and found out that this was the second book about Caz Kinsella.  On saying this I did not realise on reading the book it was not a standalone one and felt the author gave enough detail in the book on the previous one not to make me realise I was missing out on events in the past.  I will definitely read the first one and I hope there will be another one in this series as I found it was just how I like my detective stories to be and I need to know what happens in her love life and how your dad sorts out the threats made towards her.  She is from a very disjointed family and I wonder if she is as calm as she seems to be some of the time but maybe this is a mistake I have made and would not feel the same if I had read the first novel.  The main characters in this book were a mixture of likeable and not in the beginning and I did not get the right “killer” at all which is the sign of a good book
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Another excellent crime thriller.  Plenty of twists and turns.  Would thoroughly recommend to others and will definitely be reading more books by this author.
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Well written, gripping crime thriller. I really enjoyed the twists & turns of this story with the conclusion a surprise. The procedural aspects were really good too. The characters were well thought out. I look forward to future books by this author.
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An enjoyable romp, Stone Cold Heart gives Constable Cat Kinsella and her compatriots at the London Met police a new murder to solve. I felt instantly comfortable with these characters and their easy comradery. Even the characters being questioned came across as normal people with normal problems. I liked this story very much as it brought to mind Susie Steiner and Olivia Kiernan but in a more casual, chummy kind of way. Cat is a capable copper and full of bright ideas and enthusiasm. Easy to warm to as she juggles a boyfriend, a job, a shady family and some less than honorable mistakes on her part.

I haven't read the first book in the series so it might be a good idea to visit there before moving on to this novel. But it is not hard going without the backstory as there is much recollection of previous events to keep new readers aware of what transpired before. Stone Cold Heart is a good book from a promising series that will keep you guessing with plausible twists thrown in to liven things up.
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I haven't read the first book in the series, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of this one!

Caz Frear has given us a gritty police procedural set in London and revolving around a dysfunctional family, none of whom can be trusted!  The book is intricately and very cleverly plotted and I loved Ms Frear's writing style.  It is paced just right and immediately drew me in and didn't let go.

I love the character of Cat Kinsella, who has a very interesting backstory.  She's feisty but sensitive, and not afraid to break the rules.  I   loved the relationship between her and the older DS Luigi Parnell, who is a bit like a father figure to Cat, and who I found adorable.  I also liked the character of Cat's DCI, Kate Steele.

I will definitely be reading Book 1 to discover more about Cat's backstory, and future books will be snapped up.
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Initially I did not realise that this was the second book in the DC Cat Kinsella series but this book also works well as a standalone.
In 'Stone Cold Heart' we follow Cat and her team who are investigating the death of Naomi Lockhart, a young Australian woman who was working in London. Joseph Madden, a local coffee shop manager, is quickly identified as a suspect and coincidentally Cat knows Joseph through being her local barista. There was previously an awkward exchange between Joseph and Cat where he sought advice regarding his wife allegedly threatening him although was unable to provide any evidence leading Cat to question the validity of the claims. Joseph claims he is innocent and provides an alibi that he was at home with his wife at the time of the murder - an alibi that his wife will not corroborate. Cat knows there is more to this story and sets about to uncover the truth.
The story is told from the POV of Cat and she, along with her partner Sergeant Luigi Parnell, are wonderfully real characters with sharp and engaging dialogue throughout. Cat also has a very intriguing back story which is slowly being revealed - I imagine there is more to come from this series as the book seemed to end on a slight cliff-hanger.
Overall a very enjoyable read and an author I will look forward to reading again. 
4 stars and thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC.
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Naomi Lockhart is found dead from a blow to her head, in her flat. Circumstantial evidence seems to point to her boss’s brother in law as the killer, but DC Cat Kinsella delves deeper and uncovers links to an old case. Can she and the team find their way through the lies and misleading clues to the truth?

This was a clever story, with many twists and turns along the way, as all the characters have something to hide, including Kinsella. Running through the book was references to her father’s involvement in a girl’s disappearance many years earlier. I found the tantalising glimpses more annoying than intriguing as there wasn’t enough information to fully understand what had happened and I’m guessing this is leading to a sequel. For me, it made what would have been a really gripping ending into a disappointment.  I felt the book got bogged down in the middle, with not a lot happening, and probably could have been much shorter in length.
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Slow start with several unrelated threads but once the story got going it was an interesting and very complex murder mystery. Some good, realistic characters and unexpected conclusion.
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