Stone Cold Heart
by Car Frear
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Synopsis From Publisher:
After a brief stint in the Mayor’s Office, Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is back at the London Metropolitan Police, wisecracking with her partner Luigi Parnell and trying to avoid the wrath of the boss, DI Kate Steele.
But for Cat and Parnell, it’s serious business when a young Australian woman turns up dead after a party thrown by her new boss. The initial investigation of Naomi Petrovic’s murder points to Joseph Madden, the owner of a coffee shop around the corner from police headquarters. Madden insists he’s innocent, that he was home with his wife Rosa at the time of the murder. When police question her, Rosa contradicts his alibi, swearing that she was home alone.
While the team builds its case against Joseph, Cat is tasked with getting to the heart of the Maddens’ marriage. Cat knows that one of them is lying—but the question of which one, and why, is far more complicated than she could have expected. As she tries to balance the demands of the investigation with a budding romance and unresolved family drama, Cat has to decide how far she’ll go to keep her own past mistakes buried.
There is nothing better than finding a literary character you connect with; a sort of literary soulmate. A character who likes the same things you like, who’s reactions to situations mirror yours, who’s family circumstances are similar to yours. When you find this character you have experienced one of the many joys of reading. Lucky for me I have several literary soul mates. The lead character of Stone Cold Heart, Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is one of them.
After attending a party hosted by her boss, twenty-two year old Naomi Lockhart is discovered dead in her apartment. An obvious suspect presents himself in the form of Joseph Madden. Joseph denies any involvement stating he was home with wife. However his wife, Rachel tells a different story. Cat and her investigative team know one of the Maddens is lying. She is sure the key to solving Naomi’s death is finding out which Madden is lying. With her own family issues plaguing her thoughts, Cat must navigate the choppy waters of a troubled marriage to bring a killer to justice.
Stone Cold Heart is the second book of the Cat Kinsella series. It picks up shortly after the events of Sweet Little Lies. These events have left Cat on edge and filled with guilt. Although the case presented in Sweet Little Lies was solved there are still many unresolved issues within Cat’s family. In spite of the guilt and dread Cat is dealing with, she still displays an unyielding dedication to Naomi’s case. I did not doubt Cat’s commitment to finding justice for Naomi, but I also wondered if she was using the case as a way of escaping her own issues.
To say that Cat’s relationship with her family, namely her father, is complicated would be an understatement. Her father’s “shady” lifestyle puts him at odds with his daughter and her career. Luckily for Cat she has her partner Detective Sargent Luigi Parnell. They are partners but their relationship more resembles a father-daughter bond. Fiercely protective of each other but also committed to their jobs. The banter between Luigi and Cat was my favorite part of Stone Cold Heart. The banter displayed a lighter and more relaxed Cat. It balanced out the darker elements surrounding Naomi’s murder.
The Madden family plays a huge role in Stone Cold Heart. Cat must dive deep into the family dynamics. She is able to do this because of her own family issues. Cat’s ability to put herself in the shoes of a witness or a suspect is the reason why she is such a great detective. The lies within the Madden family are deep rooted and sorted. Cat’s efforts to unravel the Madden’s secrets give Stone Cold Heart a slower pace, however I found the story no less thrilling. In fact it makes the story even more compelling. Each secret adding another layer to the story.
Cat is moody, smart (and she knows it), intuitive, and compassionate. These are the reasons I found it easy to connect with her character. In Cat Kinsella, Frear has created a character who is not only a seeker of justice but she is also on a journey of self discovery. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Cat Kinsella.
*Thanks to Harper Books for my free review copy of Stone Cold Heart*
Murder and Moore Rating:
4.5 out of 5 Stars