Cold & Deadly (Toni Anderson)

Cold & Deadly is the first novel in the Cold Justice: The Negotiators series by Toni Anderson.
Finished on: 28.10.2021

Ava Kanas always wanted to become an FBI agent and she just became an agent. When the one guy who has always helped and mentored her along the way dies, Ava is convinced that there is more to it. But nobody seems to believe her – until there is an attack at the funeral service. It is there that Dominic Sheridan, experienced hostage negotiator and friend of the deceased, starts to believe that Ava might have a point. As the two start to investigate, they realize that there might be a target on their own backs. And things get more complicated still when they admit their growing attraction to each other.

Cold & Deadly isn’t the kind of thing I usually read. While I definitely like romance novels, crime thrillers are not so much my thing. But this was included in a free set of romantic suspense novels I downloaded a while ago, and I thought I’d give it a go. For it not being my cup of tea, it worked pretty well, but overall it didn’t quite win me over.

The book covre showing a man in a suit and with an FBI badge embracing a woman in a sparkling top of dress from behind. There is a red filter over everything and shards of broken glass.

Cold & Deadly may be the first novel in a series, but turns out that series is a spin-off from another series. That is not a problem per se, except that there were quite a few characters from that other series that make an appearance here. And it was quite obvious that the novel expected me to know them. I constantly felt nudged with “remember their story?” and as a new reader to the series, this grew a little annoying.

The second thing that didn’t work for me all that well was the FBI setting. I know, I know, I deliberately chose a novel that has FBI on its cover and that’s part of a series that’s all about the FBI and it’s my own fault and not the book’s. I don’t think I would have minded so much if it had been basically a fantasy setting that pretends to be the FBI. But it treated the FBI background so very seriously, with apparently a lot of research that went into it, and an honest awe for the work the FBI does – and that just made me uncomfortable. I’m too much Team ACAB for this to work.

Apart from that, though, the novel worked well enough for me. It’s a well-written and quick read. I liked Ava and Dom who both start out a little clichéd but gain depth as the novel goes on, and I thought that the obstacles for their relationship (that they overcome, of course, never fret) were realistic and well-handled. The crime/mystery angle was also nicely executed.

So, I guess, if you like crime and romance, this is not a bad series to turn to, though I think I’d recommend starting with the other series first and read the spin-off after.

Summarizing: fine.

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