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by Tami Hoag
Dutton, January 2015
400 pages
ISBN: 0525954546

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Dana Nolan is the only victim of a serial killer to survive, but Dana is left with serious disfigurement, traumatic brain injury and PTSD. While the news media is all over her story keeping the attack and her survival alive, Dana is struggling to remember the simplest things around her. She doesn't remember most people, places or things. She takes photographs and keeps a written log of people, directions and events to use as a reference. She returns to her parents' home in Indiana to recover but finds being home presents even more challenges. To start with, although she and her step-father have never been particularly close, she feels edgy around him now. And its awkward being around so many people whom she has a history with but doesn't remember. But the worst is the question that pops up almost immediately. Could the attack on Dana have any connection to what happened to her best friend Casey Grant? Casey disappeared right after high school graduation. Casey's boyfriend, who was a suspect at the time, is also back in town.

COLD COLD HEART was an interesting book but a hard one to categorize. There obviously are a couple of mysteries to be solved. Will Dana uncover the truth behind her friend's disappearance and was the attack on her related to what happened to Casey? But the mysteries are over- shadowed by the very interesting look at traumatic brain injury and PTSD. It is clear from the writing that the author knows these conditions well and it is revealed in a note at the end of the book that indeed she herself suffered a mild brain trauma as a child. What also comes through is that this is a subject she feels strongly about and she needed to write about. The constant descriptions of what Dana was going through were hard reading at times and frequently took me out of the story.

This book has the feel of the beginning of a new series. When the book ended, there were a few things that just didn't seem to be wrapped up. Nothing major, but if this is the first in a new series it should be interesting to see what Hoag has in store for Dana in the future.

Caryn St.Clair resides in University City, Missouri and is a former elementary school media specialist, President of the Parks Commission and a docent at the St.Louis Zoo.

Reviewed by Caryn St Clair, February 2015

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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