A Cold Day In Hell by Lissa Marie Redmond
'You got a man here to see you, Lauren.'
Detective Lauren Riley put her coffee cup down on top of a mound of paperwork that was inching its way toward the ceiling. It swayed there perilously for a second as she juggled the receiver, then settled. 'Did he ask for me? By name, specifically?'
Linda, the round little secretary who manned the front desk, handled the walk-ins, but she never called upstairs unless she absolutely had to. 'Yes, you. By name.'
'Who is it?'
She could hear Linda covering the mouth piece with her hand, and then, 'He says if I tell you who he is, you won't see him.'
Lauren frowned into the phone. 'That's odd. Hold on. I'm coming down.'
A Cold Day In Hell is Lissa Marie Redmond's debut crime novel and it's a good one. Really good, in my opinion. First of all, I'll tell you that Lissa is from Buffalo, New York. She's a retired Cold Case Homicide Detective with the Buffalo Police Department. She's married to a fellow detective and they have two kids. After retiring, she decided to become a writer. Now I'll tell you about her protagonist, Lauren Riley. Lauren is a Cold Case Homicide Detective with the Buffalo Police Department and she has two daughters that are in college. What I'm saying is that Lissa knows her subject matter. So, what about the story?
Lauren Riley is an interesting and complicated detective. She's very gifted in police work, maybe not so much in decisions for her personal life. She raised her two daughters as a single mother and has been married a couple of times and had relationships that were less than ideal. In this debut book, Lauren is asked by a defense attorney she's dealt with before to investigate his client's case, privately. Lauren does have her private investigator's license as well and the crime is from another city. Frank Violanti has sparred with Lauren over cases, but he respects her skills. He wants and needs her help.
I was quickly drawn into the story and found it very hard to put down. Though Lauren annoyed me and made me shake my head at times over her personal decisions, I sympathized with her life and the fact that she was quite lonely. Her Cold Case partner, Reese, is great, but he has his own life. Her daughters are now gone. As she delves into the private investigation, she discovers some ties that she didn't expect. Things might be one way, but they might not. Did Violanti's client murder a woman or is he being framed? Meanwhile, Lauren is getting pressure from the DA's office about this case and also some push back on her own cold cases. Oh, and there is someone watching her house, someone that is taking a little bit too much interest in what Lauren is doing.
The last few chapters of the book relate the trial of the young man accused of murder. They are very compelling. And then there's the ending. That's all I'll say. Lissa Marie Redmond's second book in the series, The Murder Book, came out last week. Will I be reading it? Oh, yes. I definitely will.
Lauren Riley is an accomplished detective who has always been on the opposite side of the courtroom from slick defense attorney Frank Violanti. But now he's begging to hire her as a private investigator to help clear his client of murder. At first Lauren refuses, wanting nothing to do with the media circus surrounding the case—until she meets the eighteen-year-old suspect.
To keep an innocent teen from life in prison, Lauren must unravel the conflicting evidence and changing stories to get at the buried facts. But the more she digs, the more she discovers that nothing is what it first appears to be. As Lauren puts her career and life in danger, doubt lurks on every corner . . . and so does her stalker.