Blog Tour Stop! Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear!
Happy Saturday friends! I am thrilled to be today’s stop on the Compulsive Reads Blog Tour for Caz Frear’s latest and greatest in the Cat Kinsella series!
Last year I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of Sweet Little Lies by Caz and I was INSTANTLY HOOKED. You guys know me - a gritty police procedural with a flawed, but delightfully scrappy lead female character? Set in the UK? With fun, quirky and diverse supporting characters? And spooling, sprawling unpredictable mysteries? UH YES PLEASE!
So of course the minute I heard the second installment was available and I could get my next dose of what Cat Kinsella was up to, I was all in and casually harassing everyone I knew to see if I could somehow get my hands on a copy FASTER.
Verdict - EXACTLY WHAT I HAD BEEN HOPING FOR.
Caz Frear knows how to write a twisting, unreliable, unrelenting police procedural. There is a real talent required to bring the real-life nitty gritty of a police investigation to the page in a way that isn’t tedious or boring, and that still grounds the story in reality in a believable way; Caz Frear has ALL OF THIS TALENT. It is the thing I love the most about her books - there is no cliche “oop the police stumbled upon a piece of key evidence with ease and solved all the mysteries of the last 100 years in their town” nonsense in her stories. Instead, there is the real life grind of police work - running leads, interviewing and re-interviewing witnesses, reviewing records, watching CCTV tape, and then doing it all again until you find the thread that starts to unravel the truth. THESE are the stories I love to read because I feel like this story could be happening right now, in a police station down the road from me, and I LOVE THAT. THAT is how I escape into a book - the believable aspect to the story.
Which brings us back to Cat Kinsella present day - still figuring out her life after the events of Sweet Little Lies (no spoilers) and on to a new case, filled with unreliable narrators and untrustworthy witnesses. While these books are part of this (awesome) series, you could arguably read them as stand-alones. Why you would want to miss out on great books though, is beyond me. Read them both.
When a young Australian girl turns up dead after a company party, Cat and Parnell find themselves locked in a game of cat and mouse untangling the broken insides of a toxic marriage, and fighting for the truth from this married couple who are not at all what they seem.
As with all procedural / suspense / mystery stories, I will never give away spoilers (or hints of spoilers, because what is worse than predicting a book based on a review) - but I will say that I really, REALLY loved how this story unfolded. I love messy characters who simply cannot be trusted, and this book offered them up in SPADES. I love that Cat continues to settle into herself (messy love + family life included) and that she continues to grow as a police officer who is learning to trust her instincts on cases. I love that Caz writes the perfect mix of Cat as a police officer, mixed in with her personal family life, which makes her a character that you can root for and empathize with (even when you sometimes want to throttle her for some POOR DECISIONS CAT). I love that this series offers strong, intelligent women who are just that - strong and intelligent and capable, full stop. No need to give them ridiculous emotional arcs, they can just be awesome, kick ass characters who are owning their powerhouse jobs and lives (I stan DI Steele).
This is one that definitely dives more into the character drama piece, as they work to unravel the mess that is the Madden’s marriage, but it works so beautifully with the story that I actually loved it and I don’t always love a character drama arc in my procedurals.
Honestly, this is a book that is almost hard to explain for how terrific it really is - except to say, THIS BOOK IS TERRIFIC - PERFECT summer reading, fast paced, twisting, and deeply satisfying. You can spend an entire summer afternoon completely engrossed in Cat’s life, and they only downside is that when your done you are going to be left wanting for more.
Put this book on your summer TBR’s my friends, and join me on the Cat Kinsella is a rock star bandwagon!
I cannot WAIT to see where Caz takes her next.
Be sure to check out the other tour stops for more insight into why Caz Frear is a force to be reckoned with in this genre friends!
From the beloved and internationally bestselling author of Sweet Little Lies comes the second novel featuring DC Cat Kinsella—an investigator “on par with Susie Steiner’s and Tana French’s female detectives” (Kirkus Reviews).
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 Lockhart'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 Rachel at the time of the murder. When police question her, Rachel 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.
With her trademark wit and brilliant plotting, Caz Frear ratchets up the tension and keeps you guessing as she explores the secrets we keep from our loved ones—and the ones we’d kill to keep safe in the dark.