Series: Cold Justice: Most Wanted #1
Published by Toni Anderson, Toni Anderson Inc. on 14th June 2022
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FBI Hostage Rescue Team member Shane Livingstone is frustrated when an injury sidelines him during an operation to catch a sadistic killer. A killer who auctions off vicious ways to torture his victims and screens the events for money on the dark web. When a teammate dies during the op, a devastated Shane vows to track down the monster responsible—but to do so he’ll need access to specialized skills he doesn’t possess.
A bloody game of cat and mouse…
As a white-hat hacker at Alex Parker’s security firm, Yael Brooks knows how to track predators through the darkest recesses of cyberspace. She can’t say no to Shane’s request…even though she fears her own secrets may put her at risk.
With a serial killer who makes it personal…
Shane and Yael must work together as a team if they hope to stop this psychopath. As they begin to grow closer, Shane demands Yael’s complete trust, but trust is the one thing Yael is reluctant to give. As the chase intensifies and more people die, it becomes obvious that the killer knows exactly who Yael is and plans to make both her and Shane pay the ultimate price for getting in his way.
What I’ve always liked about Toni Anderson’s writing is that her suspense plots are always so excellently thought-out, so exquisitely crafted and written (and well-researched in a way that I’m sucked in hook, line and sinker) and so cranked out to the last minute when you think it can’t get any worse until something finally gives.
‘Cold Silence’ continues the whole larger FBI series in a similar vein, with Shane Livingstone and Yael Brooks reluctantly pairing up to nab a heinous and diabolical serial killer, who seems slippery enough to stay a few steps ahead each time they think they’ve tracked his digital footprints. There are a few tantalising morsels that Anderson drops about potential future plot-lines and pairings and as much I’d hope to see these getting developed, there was already so much in ‘Cold Silence’ to absorb and enjoy.
The only relationship I wasn’t too convinced about was Shane/Yael, even though I loved the awkward setup that Anderson had done for the both of them as well as the emotional aspect of Shane’s loss that’d led to some deception in their interactions. As competent as I thought they were individually as protagonists, I was less invested in them as a couple as there didn’t seem to be enough to tie them together–too much distrust and non-commitment as is the rote problem with operator-types perhaps?–apart from the common goal of catching the bad guy during a short but intense and trying period. And as much as that did kind of forge a connection of sorts, their weaker, HFN ending left me wondering if there was really enough there for them to build on past the climax of the book.
That said, the entire ‘Cold Justice’ series is something I’ve followed from the start and the gripes I’ve always had about the romance aside, I’ve always found Anderson’s storytelling too compelling and too engrossing to stay away from anything she writes.