Pros: Fantastic tension & pacing; wonderful plot twists; great romance; made me cry!
Cons: Can’t think of any!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
There are a few authors whose work I instantly fell in love with as soon as I was introduced to it. Shiloh Walker was one; Leslie Parrish is another. So far I’ve not been even a tiny bit disappointed when one of their books crossed my desk—and since often I have no idea what the latest review book will hold for me, it’s wonderful to have a few authors whose work I know I’ll enjoy. While I tend to prefer non-paranormal romantic suspense, I have to admit that Leslie’s Cold Sight, the first book in her new “Extrasensory Agents” series, was truly enjoyable. I think my recent spate of reading romantic suspense combined with that little bit of bias led me to wonder at first whether I’d end up enjoying Cold Sight as much as her “Black CATs” series, but I needn’t have worried—I read the entire book yesterday, and during the latter half I couldn’t put it down!
Aidan McConnell is a psychic who used to work missing persons cases, until he was made the scapegoat in a botched investigation and he retreated from the outside world, moving to a small town and keeping to himself. That small town, however, has its own dark secrets, secrets which reporter Lexie Nolan is determined to expose. She believes the spate of missing girls in town is due to the work of a serial killer, but everyone seems determined to believe they’re just runaways. She’s been demoted, she’s in danger of losing her job, everyone in town blames her for stirring up fear… and another girl has just disappeared. Lexie is determined to find Vonnie before it’s too late, and Aidan is her last hope for help. Convincing him to get back in the game, however—not to mention trust a reporter—is a whole other matter.
The tension between Lex and Aidan—both great characters—is kept at the perfect level. Aidan has excellent reason to hate reporters, and Lex doesn’t really believe in psychic powers (she mostly wants Aidan’s help because her boss and mentor thinks highly of him, and because Aidan also has a reputation as a very good investigator independent of any psychic abilities). The conflict between them isn’t stretched out too far, thankfully, since there’s plenty of plot-based conflict to make things hard on them. It doesn’t take long for each of them to realize they’re attracted to the other, but that doesn’t make a romance easy. Touching anyone is difficult for Aidan due to the mental connections it opens up for him. And Lexie plans to get the hell out of this town once the bad guy is caught, so she knows she won’t be around him much longer.
Leslie has a talent for snarky, flirty dialogue, and it definitely shows, particularly during the more character-oriented first half of the book:
“Okay, so why are you calling?” he asked, not sure he wanted to know.
“I got a call last night from a reporter.”
“We don’t use that word anymore, remember?”
“Oh, sorry. I mean, I got a call last night from a lying, manipulative media cockroach.”
The pacing and plot are the best part of Cold Sight, particularly in the latter half of the book. The tension ratchets up steadily. The stakes climb higher. There are some truly devastating shocks and surprises, a couple of which had my jaw on the floor. And yeah, I cried at least once. (*sniff*) There’s definitely some adult material in here—the town’s secrets get pretty dark, and the killer is portrayed with unflinching harshness. Not everyone necessarily gets a happily-ever-after; this is definitely not a light pick-me-up book. But it is a fantastic story.