Book Review: Cold Woods by Karen Katchur

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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 four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. 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.

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31 thoughts on “Book Review: Cold Woods by Karen Katchur

    Patty Magyar said:
    April 23, 2019 at 9:24 AM

    I love “witty yet troubling dialog”…and I am imagining you sitting in your study in a comfy leather chair reading your afternoon away. I am off to look for these books!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 23, 2019 at 5:26 PM

      Both are good. I am glad to share them! Close…. mostly on the couch tho this time. Thanks. 🙂

      Like

        Patty Magyar said:
        April 24, 2019 at 8:27 AM

        Plus I just discovered that I actually have the first book! Hmmm…I didn’t imagine a sofa…I imagined a big leather chair and ottoman!

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 24, 2019 at 8:27 AM

        I wish! In my future house. Hard in the NYC apartment.

        Oh, good, hope you like the first one!

        Like

        Patty Magyar said:
        April 24, 2019 at 11:43 AM

        I know I will…I can understand space issues, too!

        Liked by 1 person

    The BookWorm Drinketh said:
    April 23, 2019 at 9:54 AM

    “My gender is full of creeps!” 🤣🤣🤣 my dear, dear Jay…. Are you JUST figuring this out?!?
    To be fair though… I’m pretty sure BOTH genders are full of creeps… Creeps and idiots.

    Liked by 1 person

    Beware Of The Reader said:
    April 23, 2019 at 3:34 PM

    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

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 23, 2019 at 5:31 PM

      True, and they’re getting creepier lately! I am not often drunk, but when I am, or at least when I used to be, more clothes came off and I was all smiles and fun.

      Like

    Noriko said:
    April 23, 2019 at 8:19 PM

    Wow, did this book have you say, “Leave me alone”? That speaks volumes how good this books is! Fantastic review, Jay!

    Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    April 24, 2019 at 7:30 AM

    Great review. I think I might like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    April 24, 2019 at 7:59 AM

    Great review. You really pulled me into the story and already had emotions being tugged.
    Happy drunks are the best. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    Shalini said:
    April 25, 2019 at 12:18 AM

    I loved the passion in your review… I am a horny drunk and drink very rarely…. 😂 😂 Most of my days are spent as – leave me alone, 8 am with a book.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 25, 2019 at 7:15 AM

      Yes, I tried for a bit of humor in this one. I love twists in the end I didn’t expect.

      Liked by 1 person

        Shalini said:
        April 25, 2019 at 9:33 AM

        Will I love this book? Should I get it?

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 25, 2019 at 10:05 AM

        Tough call. It’s on NetGalley so…

        Like

    Aislynn d'Merricksson said:
    May 6, 2019 at 4:19 AM

    ‘…my gender is full of creeps…’. 🤣🤣 Jay!

    Great review! These books sound right up my alley. I’ll have to check them out.

    Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    May 16, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    That is a testament to good writing when you hope there is another book in the series, but you don’t really like the main characters. Nice review James.

    Liked by 1 person

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