Thursday, February 23, 2023

ARC Review: Cold-Blooded Liar by Karen Rose

Cold-Blooded Liar

Karen Rose
Series: The San Diego Case Files (Book 1)
Publication: Berkley (February 28, 2023)

Description: Sam Reeves is a kindhearted psychologist who treats court-ordered clients. After one of his patients—a pathological liar—starts revealing plausible new details from a long-unsolved serial murder case, he’s compelled to report anonymously to the SDPD tip line, though his attempts to respect patient confidentiality land him facedown and cuffed by the aggressive (and cute) Detective McKittrick.

San Diego homicide detective Kit McKittrick loves the water. She lives on a boat, and when she’s not solving crimes with the SDPD, she’s assisting her foster sister with her charter fishing business or playing with her poodle. But there’s nothing that intrigues Kit more than a cold case, so when an anonymous caller leads her on the path of a wanted killer, she’s determined to end the decade-long manhunt.

Sam is soon released but goes home with both a newfound distaste for the SDPD and a resolve—not unlike Kit’s—to uncover the truth. Kit and Sam repeatedly butt heads in their separate investigations but are forced to work together to find one of the deadliest serial killers the city has faced in years.

My Thoughts: This was an entertaining suspense story. San Diego homicide detective Kit McKittridge grew up in foster care and last landed with the McKittricks. Her fifteenth year was particularly traumatic when her foster sister Wren disappears and is later found dead. Fearing that the police are not investigating giving the case enough attention because they've branded Wren as a runaway, Kit and her foster father decide to pursue their own investigation.

Fast forward sixteen years...

Kit McKittridge is now a homicide detective who has a special talent for resolving cold cases. When the body of another young petite, blond girl is found in a shallow grave with her wrists restrained by pink sparkly handcuffs, Kit becomes the latest in her office to try to solve the murders which have spanned over 20 years. They haven't been able to identify all of the young girls and the discoveries of their bodies looks like accidents. 

Meanwhile Psychologist Sam Reeves is dealing with a current client who is a pathological liar and who seems to be throwing out hints that he knows something about the deaths of these young girl. When his attempt to report his suspicions anonymously fail, he's arrested by Kit and her partner Baz until he can tell them his connection to the case. Baz is really suspicious but something about Sam convinces Kit that he is just passing on a tip. 

Unfortunately, the man identified by Sam is found to be a potential suicide when the police get to his house. Because a reporter is ready to publish the story, the Police Department tries to get ahead of them by announcing that the man was the killer. Kit has reservations which are upheld when the Medical Examiner discovers a fast-acting sedative in his body.

Now Kit and the police are trying to find the real killer who might or might not have been a partner to the suicide victim. And Sam is also investigating since he is still considered a possible suspect and needs to clear his name to save his career. 

This story had great characters and a nicely twisty plot. I really enjoyed it. 

Favorite Quote:
"It's the ripples."

"Ripples," he repeated flatly.

"Yes, ripples. Murder doesn't just affect the victim. It touches family, friends, colleagues. The person who discovers the body, even if they're a stranger. No one in the victim's circle will ever be the same. You tried to do the right thing, but you got sucked into a case that never should have touched you or Miss Carville or her family. But this is where we are." She hesitated. "I'm asking you to trust me to do my job. To stay away from this investigation."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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