September 5, 2015

Review: Cold Deception by D.B. Tait

I liked this "in-the-aftermath" crime mystery.  

It is told mostly from Julia's POV as she recovers from a 10-year-stint in prison for killing a pedophile priest.  What no one knows is she confessed because she believes his death was her 8-year-old sister's fault.  

Julia is getting used to the outside world again, but, as it turns out, there is still a lot of craziness to contend with - starting with the fact her sister is starting to remember parts of the night the priest was killed. Then there's the ex-cop named O'Reardon, who she knows is piping drugs into the prison, but she can't say anything because he has a DVD of the night of the murder. He kidnaps her to threaten her into silence about coming clean about what happened that night.  A friend of hers she met in prison witnesses this and decides to infiltrate O'Reardon's defenses, even though she knows he is the reason she was a junkie. Then there is her sister's junkie d-bag boyfriend, and a cop who is a friend of her parents' that she is insanely attracted to but who would make a bad choice for a relationship for a parolee like herself. If all this isn't enough, crazy stuff keeps happening and someone is framing her for all of this, too.  There is a LOT going on, but Tait deftly maneuvers these situations to make it all flow.

I really liked how Tait made Julia's return to the outside world jolting at first, and had her acclimate slowly, very slowly. It was very realistic.  Julia fumbles with cell phones because she went in before they were everywhere.  She doesn't know how to be vulnerable because she has spent most of her life - before and in prison- shutting that part her down in order to survive (her mother was an alcoholic who couldn't take care of Julia half the time and Julia ended up in foster care for a while, the rest of the time she looked out for her younger sister.)  

She is fiercely loyal, protective, and empathetic, though, and she touches your heart.  You root for her and you feel for her sister.  You rail against the villain, and you slowly come to realize things and aren't hit over the head with them as the story progresses.  I would definitely recommend this book to all crime and mystery lovers, especially those who like character-driven novels.

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