Author: Nancy Mehl
Series: Ryland & St. Clair #2
Release Date: January 23, 2024
Publisher: Bethany House
Twenty years ago, several people were murdered in Des Moines, and the only evidence left behind was a snowman ornament hanging ominously on a tree in the victims' front lawns. With a suspect behind bars, the killings have come to an end--or so everyone thought. But now crimes with a similar MO are happening in a small Iowa town, and a local detective believes the killer is back and ready to strike again.
With little time left on the clock before they have another murder on their hands, private investigators River Ryland and Tony St. Clair must work alongside Tony's detective father to find evidence that will uncover an evil that has survived far too long. As the danger mounts and the suspect closes in, it will take all they have to catch a killer--before he catches one of them.
Reviewer: Billi Varela
This is the second book in this series. It can be read as a standalone. But if you want to read the first book, it would help to get to know these characters more.
I have to say that I love a good mystery murder book. Nancy Mehl delivered on all of my expectations for this book. There was never a dull moment.
The POV of the serial killers was the best. Usually I do not like more than the two POVS, but the serial killer was an added bonus.
I like a good character arc, and Nancy Mehl’s characters really do have good growth. I like the emotions displayed in the characters so much that I can cry. I like scenes that deal with vulnerability. It makes them feel real. If I could give Nancy Mehl 10 stars, I would.
This is a Christian-closed-door novel free from language and sex.
I requested and received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Connie Porter Saunders
River and Tony are back, and I couldn't be happier! Private investigators River Ryland and Tony St. Clair are quite a team, but this time they're dealing with evil personified—a serial killer who leaves a snowman as a calling card! This killer is cold, calculating, and certainly a cold threat!
I'm always eager to read a new Nancy Mehl story, and this book is no exception! Her characters are always memorable, but they're never cookie-cutter. They may be noble, but they're also fallible, and when they are bad, they're truly bad! Somehow, even in the madness, Mehl shows God's goodness and the forgiveness that we achieve by looking to His light. I can always count on a relevant faith thread being woven into her exciting plots.
If you're looking for a captivating thriller with romance and a powerful faith message, grab a copy of this book. Cold Threat kept me turning the pages, and the teaser at the end left me wanting more of Ryland and St. Clair!
I received a review copy courtesy of Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion. I also received a copy from the author. There was no obligation for a positive review.
Reviewer: Kristina Hall
An exciting continuation in the Ryland and St. Clair series!
River and Tony were both sympathetic characters whom I enjoyed "meeting" in the first book and getting to know better in this second book. River's faith journey was realistic, and I liked that she didn't know everything right away. Speaking of the faith content, I appreciated that it played a big part in the story, but it leaned a bit too charismatic for me.
The plot had plenty of suspenseful moments and high stakes and kept my attention throughout. Sometimes stories that feature a serial killer as the villain creep me out, but I didn't find this to be one of the creepy ones. I appreciated that Nancy Mehl kept both the language and romance clean.
Overall, Cold Threat was an intriguing read that I'd recommend to those who enjoy Christian fiction and suspense with a side of romance. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Reviewer: Tammy Lunsford
I cannot even put words on paper about how I feel about this book. The further I got into the book, the more frantically I turned the pages. Nancy Mehl has a special talent for immersing the reader in her story to the point that you live inside the book for a few hours.
I love the dynamic duo of River Ryland and Tony St. Clair. Both are former FBI behavior analysts who decided to hang out their shingles and be private investigators. Tony's father, Ray, has asked for their assistance in a search for a possible serial killer. Twenty years ago, several people were murdered. The killer was caught and convicted. Now, similar murders have been committed that look suspiciously like the ones from 20 years ago. Ray feels they are connected and wants their professional opinion. The only clue that has been left behind is a snowman ornament. Time is not on their side, as this killer likes to kill at a particular time of the year.
The whole premise of this book was spine-chilling. There is a cold and calculating killer who needs to be stopped. If anyone can solve this mystery, River and Tony are the best duo for the job. River and Tony's pasts are still haunting them as they work on this new case. River is still struggling to regain her faith after her near-death experience. Tony is a strong force in her life that she needs. His faith is strong, and he is a good influence for River. River's feelings are on display in this book: "River was certain that Tony's family's strong faith was the key to their closeness and their ability to weather the storms of life. Instead of the judgmental religious spirit she'd been raised with, the St. Clairs operated in the love and grace River now saw in the Scriptures." The St. Clairs were a family of believers who loved one another and chose to love those around them as well.
This was an intricately plotted mystery with many moving parts and great emotional depth, which makes this book even more interesting to read. The characters are flawed, which makes them more relatable. The tension increases as they get closer to finding out the truth.
Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of this book through Interviews and Reviews. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Reviewer: Charity Henico
This is my first book by Nancy Mehl, and I was so excited to read it! The plot definitely had my curiosity piqued, and I love suspense novels. I was also intrigued by the fact that the main characters were in their thirties, and in fact, almost forty. However, the main characters came across as very insecure and immature. I never would have guessed they were supposed to be "older." The sentence structure also seemed lacking, with many of them being short and choppy. In addition, I felt that instead of leading me to feel a certain way, the book tried to tell me what to feel.
I did love the way the villain was portrayed, and seeing things from his point of view was refreshing. And this cover? I wouldn't say gorgeous, because that isn't really what you want in a suspense novel, but I love it!
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. No positive review was required, and all opinions were my own.
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