Book Review: Cold Woods by Karen Katchur

Cold Woods (Northampton County #2)Cold Woods by Karen Katchur
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cold Woods is the second book in the Northampton County series by Karen Katchur. I read the first book last year because it took place not too far away from where I’d gone to college years ago. When I stumbled upon the second book in the series on NetGalley last week, I immediately requested the book as I’d really enjoyed the first one. While the two book are part of a series, you can easily read them separately, but as I always recommend, read them in order to have the best possible experience.

The weather is often not a friend to crime. Sometimes it distorts the time of death or covers a body for decades, but at others, it can be helpful for preservation of clues. Katchur latches on to this theory and shares an explosive suspenseful thriller about a ~30-year-old murder. Everyone assumed the victim had just run off, but the truth was hidden in the deep snowy woods… along with two key clues and a myriad of problems. Three women each with a daughter. Their husbands or fathers left years ago for various reasons. The women helped each other, but their daughters weren’t sure what to do. One escaped. Two stayed. Of those two, one accepted her fate, and the other fought it. Fast-forward to the present when one of the mothers has passed away. Then the dead body is discovered in the woods. Who is he? Who killed him? What secrets are these six women hiding?

The connection between the books is Detective Parker. In the first book, he fell for a witness and compromised the case. Now, they’re together, but something isn’t working out properly. He’s afraid of screwing up again. His new partner doesn’t want to let it happen, but she’s got her own baggage. As they investigate the case and learn to trust one another, history might repeat itself somewhere along the way… and it’s usually not a good thing. Wow! What a roller coaster ride where I truly couldn’t decide which of the six women killed the victim. Even though one has recently died, the story is told in two different time frames, so we have a stronger picture of what happened ‘back then.’

All I can say is my gender is full of creeps! I know stuff like this happens in reality, and often it’s so fictionalized we don’t quite know truth from lie, but honestly… why are men often drunken idiots? I’m a happy drunk. Not that occurs frequently, but still! I felt for the women in this story. A single man had an effect on so many lives, any one of them could’ve been the culprit and I would believe it. Ultimately, the truth comes out, but not necessarily to the right people. I love those kinds of dramas — when someone confesses to protect someone else, and it may or may not be true. When we finally get the full story, it was highly satisfying… kudos to Katchur for delivering a palpable sequel that kept me guessing the entire time I read the book.

There better be a third installment. I’m not hugely fond of the detectives, but the author’s writing style, connections between characters, minute focus on details, witty yet troubling dialog, and innate understanding of why people do the things they do… all coagulate as a riveting story I couldn’t put down. I read it in three hours without taking any breaks longer than a few minutes to refill a water glass or nod when someone asked me a question in my house. “Leave me alone, I’m reading a good book,” I once countered. When that happens, you know it’s solid writing and story development. When’s the next one?

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


  1. Ha! So you are a (rarely) happy drunk Jay? LOL Well that’s the best kind of drunk of course. Now excellent review here! And I don’t think one gendre or another are creepy I think individuals are creepy or not 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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