Friday, July 8, 2011
Review: Cold Touch by Leslie Parrish
Since being gifted--or cursed--with her ability to touch a lifeless body and relive the victim's final moments, Olivia Wainwright has died a hundred deaths. She hears the screams, tastes the fear; feels the excruciating pain--and every glimpse into this darkness draws her deeper into danger.
Now, though, she's met a man who offers a glimmer of light. Savannah Detective Gabe Cooper might look like a sexy good-old-boy, but his laid-back attitude hides a sharp mind and a protective heart. He doesn't believe in psychics--until he meets Olivia and sees firsthand how her dark gift ravages her spirit.
As their bond deepens, Olivia will have to choose between her cold gift and the warmth Gabe provides. But her past is catching up with her, and Gabe can't refuse when she needs his help solving a crime that's haunted her for over a decade...her own murder.
Romantic suspense happens to be a personal favorite for me, as far a genres go, and I can't think of a better combination, unless you were to add in a healthy dose of paranormal. At that point I can no longer express my joy because the two elements join together so perfectly. ...it's like chocolate and peanut butter, or rainstorms and baking. And as far as I am concerned The Extrasensory Agents are completely underrated, and I'm surprised that more people aren't talking about them.
The Extrasensory Agents are unique because the characters aren't flaunting their individual paranormal abilities, despite using them to help solve crimes. All the various "gifts" have a huge impact on the character development and adds that extra obstacle to any possible romances in the story. Gabe doesn't believe in psychics or anything like it until he meets and begins to fall for Olivia. His skepticism isn't hateful in any way and I appreciated his relatively open mind. He didn't just blindly accept what Olivia was capable of but he also didn't deny what he was seeing. Essentially he trusted his instincts, like any good cop, or person, would do. I'm not sure that I would want Olivia's gift at all, and both she, and later Gabe, find a way to deal with it.
The murder investigation was detailed, realistic and intense, even delivering a couple of real shocking plot twists that I hadn't anticipated at all. I love when that happens! You can definitely tell that the author researched the subject matter well, including procedure and investigative techniques. The setting was also well researched and the book captured the southern atmosphere and vernacular without seeming false in any way. I have in-laws from this region and I could "hear" the words being said, all sounding very genuine.
There's a line about a quarter of the way through the book that describes Cold Touch with one, simple sentence:
It all reads pretty normally...until it got pretty damn freaky. ~pg. 58
If I had to offer up a few comparables I'd say that these books could be grouped together nicely with The Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series by Kay Hooper, or The Krewe of Hunters books by Heather Graham. They aren't exactly the same mind you, but they all have the same vibe...thrillers with romance and that extra kick of something special.
For those that might not be aware, Leslie Parrish is also Leslie Kelly, author of some really good romances under the Harlequin Blaze imprint (Blazing Bedtime Stories, One Wild Wedding Night).
Other Books in the Series:
Visit the Leslie Parrish website here.
*Reviewed by Anna Dougherty
*For the sake of full disclosure I need to let everyone know that I won this book in a contest and as part of that contest I agreed to review the book here at the blog, with nothing more than my honest opinion. Which I have done.