Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James


A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel

In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect—a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases—a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

My Thoughts

Simone St. James can always be counted on to deliver a well-plotted, intricate story that blends a mystery with a ghost story. She succeeds again with The Book of Cold Cases, which capitalizes on the trend of cold case podcasts/websites and amateur investigators who trade theories and clues over the internet.

Here, we have two (or three!) strong female protagonists whose struggle against each other creates nail-biting tension and non-stop shivers up the spine. The ghost here rivals the scariest ghost story you’ve ever read. St. James introduces her ghost very early in the text in a shiver-inducing scene. St. James excels at creating the creepiest, scariest ghosts without excess gore and violence that blend paranormal with the often scarier human psyche.

Recommended for fans of horror-lite and paranormal mysteries.

Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Published By: Berkley Books
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy