Book Review: Cold Betrayal by A.J. McCarthy

A woman lost in Quebec, taken in by a mysterious owner of a cabin in the woods, followed by strange people.

It’s obvious that Tori is in trouble, and when she stumbles onto Ben in the woods outside Quebec she’s very thankful for his help but she refuses to tell him anything. In the same way, Ben is reserved about himself and his past; is he really as helpful as Tori thinks?

Why is Tori in Quebec, who’s after her, and who are going to reveal themselves to be on Tori’s side?

First of all, this is an absolutely amazing mystery thriller and especially the beginning is so strong. I usually don’t care very much whether a book pulls me in straight away or not; I’ll keep reading until it becomes good and I very rarely don’t finish books, but I’m happy to say this really caught me early on. There’s so much going on but we know so very little about it and it’s so incredible captivating.

But it’s not just the beginning that’s good, the whole book is, and the way it’s built up with slow drips of information, twisting and turning constantly got me hooked. I finished the last 75% of the book in one sitting; it got to the point where I was reading it in the gym.

McCarthy as made a brilliant effort setting the scene, as I’ve mentioned above the book is set in Quebec and I’ve been there, and there’s so many things I recognized and remembered from my trip after reading this book. It’s beautiful.

As is McCarthy’s writing. Her use of language is poetic and visual but not to the point where it becomes tedious or dull and you want to jump ahead. That’s probably my biggest pet peeve in books, they either get too slow or too long  or both, and it kills them. Not this book though. This is just on the edge of perfect.

There’s a romantic subplot and romantic undertones for those who like that. It certainly helps build the characters, upping the risk, the stakes, and the danger.

I was maybe a bit disappointed with the end, because I was fairly sure I guessed it from almost the beginning and it turned out that I was right. Not that it mattered much in the big scheme of things, but I liked to be surprised.

Regardless, this books is amazing judging by how fast I read it, and I’d recommend it to anyone who was looking for a great Canadian mystery thriller.

Give it a go.

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