Stone Cold Heart

Stone Cold Heart

After a brief stint in the Mayor’s Office, Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is back at the London Metropolitan Police, wisecracking with her partner Luigi Parnell and trying to avoid the wrath of the boss, DI Kate Steele.But for Cat and Parnell, it’s serious business when a young Australian woman turns up dead after a party thrown by her new boss. The initial investigation...

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Title:Stone Cold Heart
Author:Caz Frear
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Stone Cold Heart Reviews

  • Liz Barnsley

    After I read Caz Frear’s “Sweet Little Lies” I immediately wanted more from main protagonist Cat Kinsella so when Stone Cold Heart turned up I pretty much dropped everything and read it. Like the last novel this was so utterly gripping I think the zombie apocalypse could have started and I wouldn’t even notice..

    Stone Cold Heart is Stone Cold Brilliant, encompassing not only an intensely intriguing background family drama but also a twisty mystery that has both psychological thriller elements and

    After I read Caz Frear’s “Sweet Little Lies” I immediately wanted more from main protagonist Cat Kinsella so when Stone Cold Heart turned up I pretty much dropped everything and read it. Like the last novel this was so utterly gripping I think the zombie apocalypse could have started and I wouldn’t even notice..

    Stone Cold Heart is Stone Cold Brilliant, encompassing not only an intensely intriguing background family drama but also a twisty mystery that has both psychological thriller elements and a strong anchor of police procedural. Mixing all this up into an intelligent plot with unpredictable outcomes makes this a perfect storm of a read, throw in a perfect last line and you have an absolute winner.

    Caz Frear is a hugely talented writer and you know that’s still important to note in these days of mixed quality choices in reading- if like me you want depth of perception, words that come together in ways that tip your emotional balance and a damned good story to boot then look no further.

    Cat Kinsella is engaging and more importantly realistic, flawed yes but not defined by it, the supporting cast all well drawn and important to the whole. In this particular instalment the mystery element is beautifully done I devoured every word.

    If I could have the next one now please…

    Highly Recommended.

  • Miriam Smith

    A fractured marriage. A silent family. A secret that connects them all......

    Having read and loved Caz Frear's first novel "Sweet Little Lies" I was very much looking forward to meeting DC Cat Kinsella again in "Stone Cold Heart".

    "When DC Cat Kinsella is approached by Joseph Madden for help with his wife Rachel, there's not much she can do. He claims that Rachel has been threatening him, but can't - or won't - give Cat details as to why. Dismissing it as a marriage on the rocks, Cat forgets

    A fractured marriage. A silent family. A secret that connects them all......

    Having read and loved Caz Frear's first novel "Sweet Little Lies" I was very much looking forward to meeting DC Cat Kinsella again in "Stone Cold Heart".

    "When DC Cat Kinsella is approached by Joseph Madden for help with his wife Rachel, there's not much she can do. He claims that Rachel has been threatening him, but can't - or won't - give Cat details as to why. Dismissing it as a marriage on the rocks, Cat forgets about it. That is until Naomi Lockhart is found dead after a party attended by both Joseph and Rachel and Joseph is arrested for the murder. Joseph says his wife is setting him up. His wife says he didn't do it.

    Adulterer. Murderer. Victim. Who would you believe......?"

    I just love Cat, she's such a likeable main protagonist. Although not flawed, she isn't perfect either and her whole tough demeanour is a refreshing change to the troubled and 'poor me' female characters you so frequently meet in other police procedurals.

    In fact all the characters are convincingly portrayed and the storyline is knockout brilliant. The relationship between Cat and her Sergeant, Luigi Parnell was truly wonderful to read but even better was the relationship between DCI Kate Steele and her team, realistic humour, excellent leadership and a perfectly believable working scenario.

    I enjoyed this fantastically plotted story from the very first page, with relevant twists and turns and with frequent forays into Cat's personal life, this made for very impressive reading and one that I found very hard to put down. All through the story I felt I was a part of the hard working team solving the murder, so good was the author in engaging the reader every step of the procedural way.

    This is the second in the DCI Cat Kinsella series and by no means do you need to read the first one, as this works just as well as a standalone. Although for personal enjoyment and to fully engage with the superb characters, you may want to read "Sweet Little Lies" first. The last sentence leaves a fantastic opening for book three which I'm now eagerly anticipating for the future, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this seriously addictive series, the author Caz Frear, or DCI Cat Kinsella herself. If you're a crime fan you shouldn't be disappointed!

    An amazing five stars for a read that kept me thoroughly entertained!

  • Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on

    Stone Cold Heart is a superbly written crime thriller featuring Cat Kinsella, a young strong police officer, as the lead character who is always determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

    The plot captivated me from the first page and took me into this thrilling tale full of family secrets and lies.

    I just adored Cat Kinsella’s character, she’s not perfect but goes all out to solve the death/murder of Naomi Lockheart, a PA who was found dead after

    Book Reviewed on

    Stone Cold Heart is a superbly written crime thriller featuring Cat Kinsella, a young strong police officer, as the lead character who is always determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

    The plot captivated me from the first page and took me into this thrilling tale full of family secrets and lies.

    I just adored Cat Kinsella’s character, she’s not perfect but goes all out to solve the death/murder of Naomi Lockheart, a PA who was found dead after attending a party. I also had a soft spot for Cat’s working partner Luigi Parnell who is a seasoned police officer. He too wanted justice but he also added humour to this story. These two characters are so well described that they came to life in my mind and made me feel as if I knew them already. I also loved the connection between them as it had been written so well.

    The book was utterly compelling, so much so it kept me reading late into the night unable to put it down! I enjoyed the chapter where all was finally revealed but the final chapter, that was just amazing even if it did finish on a cliff hanger. I now can’t wait to read more books featuring Cat Kinsella and also from author Caz Frear too.

    A huge well done to the author for such a fabulous read, I will be recommending this book to all my family and friends.

  • Rachel Hall

    Following on from Caz Frear’s cracking debut, Sweet Little Lies, her second police procedural is a brilliantly crafted and realistically handled investigation featuring one of the most likeable protagonists in crime fiction, twenty-six-year-old DC Cat Kinsella. After a stint at the Mayor’s Office, Cat is back where she belongs: Murder Investigation Team 4 at the Met with the fallout from her last

    Following on from Caz Frear’s cracking debut, Sweet Little Lies, her second police procedural is a brilliantly crafted and realistically handled investigation featuring one of the most likeable protagonists in crime fiction, twenty-six-year-old DC Cat Kinsella. After a stint at the Mayor’s Office, Cat is back where she belongs: Murder Investigation Team 4 at the Met with the fallout from her last case leaving her relations with her family messy, a new boyfriend who she can’t be totally honest with and a heck of a lot on her conscious. Still, she is relieved to be back with her ‘work dad’, DS Luigi Parnell and sharp-eyed boss, DCI Kate Steele and when a barista making eyes at her starts talking about his wife’s vague threats and instability during a quick coffee run she sends him down his local police station. Five years into her career and three months after originally meeting the barista, the murder of twenty-two-year-old Australian, Naomi Lockhart, rather uncannily throws Casanova - real name Joseph Madden - her way again.

    It turns out that Naomi was temping for Madden’s sister-in-law, Kirstie Connor, who happens to have thrown a party that both attended prior to Naomi returning to her flat and being murdered. With Naomi’s body discovered by her ex-con roommate, Kieran Doyle, in whose direction she was pointed by way of Kirstie’s husband who runs a charity for reformed felons, the preliminaries are extensive. All the evidence points to Joseph Madden who quickly reveals himself to be an emotionally abusive and philandering narcissist and when his wife, Rachel, contradicts his alibi it starts to look like an open and shut case. However he claims that he is being framed and with the team building the case around him as the killer, Cat is sent in to buddy up with Rachel and get the low down on the Madden marriage. As numerous inconsistencies present new angles and subsequent insights give the team more food for thought they struggle to work out just what did go on. And with Rachel Madden a mix of weak-willed wife and an overly involved mother and a smart mouthed teenage daughter intent on studying criminology, Cat has her work cut out trying to detect just who is telling the truth and to what degree...

    The narrative consists entirely of DC Cat Kinsella in the first person and combined with her lively inner monologue which is full of wit and warmth, her character practically compels the reader to vie for her. Not only is Cat relatable, hugely witty and very determined, but there is a real vulnerability about her after the first novel veered into her own family background and left her with a guilty conscious that is a clear sign of her humanity. Although there are references to Cat’s family dynamics and the storyline in Sweet Little Lies and readers will appreciate understanding her personal predicament, Stone Cold Heart is essentially a straightforward investigation into Naomi Lockhart’s murder. The team dynamic is at its best when acerbic DCI Kate Steele, DS Parnell and Cat are hammering the case out together and feel like a team that know each other inside out. Their banter, rapport and support for each other is a real positive with DCI Steele the role model that Cat aspires to.

    Admittedly less pacier than the first novel, Stone Cold Heart is less of a thriller and more a realistic execution of a murder case with a whole load of he said/she said. As subsequent revelations cast new light on the situation, omissions, downright lies and blatant cover-ups further muddy the water, the end result is a satisfying tying up of all the loose ends. It is only then that reader will be able to appreciate just how cleverly plotted Stone Cold Heart really is. Expect false starts, frustrations aplenty and the gut punch of being none to wiser days into the investigation, but as the scenario plays out it makes for an engrossing mystery with a real sense of urgency about it.

    A thoroughly well-worked investigation and a worthy follow-up to Sweet Little Lies making DC Cat Kinsella and author Caz Frear hot property. A definite series to follow for fans of British crime fiction everywhere and with slightly tighter editing and brisker pace this would have been a sure-five five star!

  • Louise Wilson

    3.5 rounded up to 4

    DC Cat Kinsella #2

    We first met Joseph Madden owns a coffee shop in the first book in this series. He believed his wife is threatening him and asks Cat Kinsella for help. Now, fast forward a bit and Joseph appears in Cat's life again. This time he's the suspect in the death of a young girl. The evidence all points to him, but he claims that he is innocent. But his wife does not corroborate his alibi. There is something not quite right, but Cat can't put her finger on it.

    This

    3.5⭐️ rounded up to 4

    DC Cat Kinsella #2

    We first met Joseph Madden owns a coffee shop in the first book in this series. He believed his wife is threatening him and asks Cat Kinsella for help. Now, fast forward a bit and Joseph appears in Cat's life again. This time he's the suspect in the death of a young girl. The evidence all points to him, but he claims that he is innocent. But his wife does not corroborate his alibi. There is something not quite right, but Cat can't put her finger on it.

    This story is told from Cat's point of view. I have not read the first book in this series but I think it can be read as a standalone. This has an extremely well written and thought out plot, and I liked the authors style in writing. The characters are true to life. It's a bit of a slow burner but with all the twists,the pace is set right. Cat's family are a bit dysfunctional. I will have to read the first book in the series now. A great read.

    I would like to thank NetGalley, Bonnier Zaffre and the author Caz Frear for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Linda

    This one, Boys and Girls, has teeth.

    Sharp, jagged, incisors that sink to the bone and leave quite the gaping wound in its aftermath.

    Caz Frear brings her quick-witted character of DC Cat Kinsella to the forefront once again in this second offering in the Cat Kinsella Series. Admittedly, I have not read the first one, Sweet Little Lies. Within seconds of finishing Stone Cold Heart, I ordered it with the knee jerk response of a kid with a bag of Halloween candy. Gotta have.

    Cat and her partner, DS

    This one, Boys and Girls, has teeth.

    Sharp, jagged, incisors that sink to the bone and leave quite the gaping wound in its aftermath.

    Caz Frear brings her quick-witted character of DC Cat Kinsella to the forefront once again in this second offering in the Cat Kinsella Series. Admittedly, I have not read the first one, Sweet Little Lies. Within seconds of finishing Stone Cold Heart, I ordered it with the knee jerk response of a kid with a bag of Halloween candy. Gotta have.

    Cat and her partner, DS Luigi Parnell, are assigned to the London Metropolitan Police. They've been called to the scene of a murder in the old Coronation Gardens section of London.....cheap apartments with cheap rents. Kiernan Drake walked in and found his housemate, Naomi Lockhart, bleeding from a headwound on the floor of her bedroom. The young twenty-two year Aussie with lilac hair won't be taking to the streets of London any time soon.

    As Cat and Parnell begin their investigation, we're gonna have a string of could-be's and maybe-not's to sort through. Caz Frear winds this one up and chases suspects around many corners. While being new in town, Naomi has gravitated toward a bevy of new friends. Not solid friends, but those who drift in and out of one's life. Could she have crossed someone at work? Or could she have been involved with the local Casanova, Joseph, who manages the local coffeehouse, The Grindhouse? A lot of footwork in this one.

    Frear also adds a twisty thread involving Caz' new love interest, Aiden, from the west coast of Ireland. Be assured: Caz Frear does not inundate her mystery/thriller with a sappy off-key love story here. (I can't tolerate those.) They both have backstories that haven't fully come to the surface yet. And Caz has issues with her father who seems to be involved in some shady dealings himself.

    Stone Cold Heart reads as a standalone. I loved the snarky dialogue between Cat and Luigi along with the deeply interesting layers of this storyline. Caz Frear writes with intelligence. She knows her craft and keeps it humming along at a quick pace. No dead zones here. Can't wait to snuggle up with Numero Uno, Sweet Little Lies.

    I received a copy of Stone Cold Heart through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Harper Collins Publishing and to Caz Frear for the opportunity.

  • Diane S ☔

    Second in series and like the first it starts out slowly. Kinsella has such an interesting back story which is for me a major draw, and here it threatens to spill over into her personal life. A body of a young woman is discovered, there has to be a body, right? Kinsella and her partner are given the case and are soon embroiled in a maze of contradictory statements, and a family with much to hide.

    A good solid series with some interesting characters and a p!of that twists and turns until I was

    Second in series and like the first it starts out slowly. Kinsella has such an interesting back story which is for me a major draw, and here it threatens to spill over into her personal life. A body of a young woman is discovered, there has to be a body, right? Kinsella and her partner are given the case and are soon embroiled in a maze of contradictory statements, and a family with much to hide.

    A good solid series with some interesting characters and a p!of that twists and turns until I was quite lost. Everytime I thought I knew who done it, something else would be revealed that made it clear, I had no clue. Though there were clues, many of them, but which ones were real? As I said, a cat and mouse game with no idea who had the actual cheese. It ends with a provocative request, so I'm looking forward to how this will be after on, or not.

    ARC from Edelweiss.

  • Laura

    Book reviews on

    The brilliant DC Cat Kinsella is back, in the new release from Caz Frear which follows on from the hugely entertaining Sweet Little Lies.

    Stone Cold Heart builds on the brilliant character of Cat, with her own issues (largely around her dad and his less-than-squeaky-clean history) and faults, but despite all this – or perhaps because of this – she’s a hugely likable character. I love her and the way she interacts with her colleague, Parnell, who is another

    Book reviews on

    The brilliant DC Cat Kinsella is back, in the new release from Caz Frear which follows on from the hugely entertaining Sweet Little Lies.

    Stone Cold Heart builds on the brilliant character of Cat, with her own issues (largely around her dad and his less-than-squeaky-clean history) and faults, but despite all this – or perhaps because of this – she’s a hugely likable character. I love her and the way she interacts with her colleague, Parnell, who is another brilliant character. There are lots of snarky comments and lines from Cat and her colleagues which made me laugh, as well as a satisfying lack of cheesiness or predictability in her relationship with boyfriend Aiden. We find out more about their relationship and Cat herself, on top of the information from book one, and although it’s not necessary to read the first book, I think it enhances the reading of this one.

    Another great aspect of this novel is the tight, intriguing plot. Although focused on the investigation into Naomi's death, there's plenty more revealed as the team dig deeper, and a variety of people find themselves in the frame for her murder. There are multiple strands to the story which come together really well towards the end and left me feeling satisfied with the result, and excited to return again to this great cast of characters (whenever book three is released)!

  • Melissa

    This is exactly the type of police procedural I've been looking to read, dare I say almost Tana French-ish? Heinous crime is committed, detectives develop leads and interview suspects, lies are told and then discovered, all against the backdrop of Cat Kinsella's rocky personal life. Spot on.

  • Britta Böhler

    Unfortunately not as good as the first in the series...

    2.5*

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