Cold as Hell by Neen Cohen
Cold as Hell by Neen Cohen is an urban fantasy small town murder mystery – all things that I love in a story.
Adie lives in the mysterious town of OpenFields, a place where magic is real. She is an outcast watched by the entire town. She even has cameras watching her sleep each night. When someone is murdered and her boss disappears, a beautiful stranger, Detective Tala, comes to investigate. As they work together to unravel the mystery, they discover the truth of the town and Adie’s past.
I love a small town mystery that uncovers dark secrets and this had plenty of that. Adie was a compelling character. A lot of the tension in the story is based on her internal struggles to control herself and battle her anxiety. This made the character more engaging and unique as often a lot of the struggles in these types of stories are external.
Neen’s writing is solid throughout. It is accessible, but also has poetic moments in the descriptions that I enjoyed. One of the more compelling scenes is where Adie is about to lose control of herself:
“Flames danced shadows and light over the chattering congregation, and Adie wanted to scream as the flames called to her.” There is some good tension in that scene.
I do wish the magic had been explained a bit better. At times it seemed like only certain people had access to it, but then also everyone else did, too, as it was a cited as a reason for staying in this strange, little town. I also would have liked a more thorough explanation of what powers the magic offered people other than Adie.
Overall the book is well-written and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy and mysteries.