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on Dec. 24, 2011 :
I really enjoyed reading Cold Comfort, which is marketed as a romance and suspense, but really, the romantic elements are sort of incidental, IMHO. The story is a thriller that centers on a perfectly ordinary woman, Claire Spencer, who runs a Christmas tchotchke store (hey, how about a little holiday reading material, right?) and is being targeted for murder. Through a friend, she enlists the help of Ben Riley, a broad-chested ex-Navy man who seems to have endless governmental connections and manly man talents for getting out of dicey situations. He carries a Glock, so that tells you a lot, but he also paints moving seascapes and is haunted by the memories of the clients he hasn’t been able to save.
The story is told from both Claire’s and Riley’s 3rd-person points of view, and the author, Ellis Vidler, does an excellent job of distinguishing their voices. Claire is a no-nonsense lady and Riley is really a dude’s dude. Out of curiosity, I looked up Vidler on Smashwords just to find out if the author was a man or a woman, because I just wasn’t sure, and that is a very good thing (I will let you discover the answer for yourself). The story hits the ground running so to speak, with Claire attacked in the driveway of her Williamsburg, Virginia, home within the first few paragraphs. Who is after her? She’s a nobody. Or is she? The mystery spins along at a fairly speedy clip with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing, and anxiously swiping those digital pages to the very end.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)