Title: Cold Conviction (Aspen Adams #3)
Author: Daryl Gerber Wood
Published on: 27th October 2020
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Cold Conviction is the third book in Aspen Adams mystery series and can be read as a standalone.
Aspen Adams quit her job as a therapist after the suicide of one of her patients. She now works as a P.I. at her aunt Max’s detective agency in Lake Tahoe. One early morning, Aspen’s drug-addict sister Rosie calls her and talks about their parents’ murders.
Fourteen years ago, Aspen’s mum and dad were shot to death at their home. As a college freshman, Aspen did not find time to involve herself into finding her parents’ killer. Unfortunately for Aspen, her sister Rosie remained the main suspect for a month, and finally the cops had no clue about the murderer nor was the murder weapon found, thus shoving the case file into the cold case unit.
Rosie talks about the Hope Chest – a family heirloom of sorts. Their mother owned a gun. Rosie doubts if the killer used that gun to kill their parents and hid it back into the chest. Aspen looks into the Chest and finds a gun. The search for her parents’ killer begins, Aspen has to do it for her sister Rosie, and also for herself. She wants closure so that she can move on.
Cold Conviction is, no doubt, a solid mystery. A fourteen year old murder case gains traction once again. Witnesses are to be interviewed again, and their alibis must be checked out. As the story proceeds, we do see a crime or two committed. The killer knows Aspen is onto them. They try to threaten her, asking her to back out before it is too late.
As the story proceeds, we see Aspen reliving that dark moment in her life. To add some more drama is her ex-husband – the self-righteous bugger thinks Aspen did the wrong thing by divorcing him. Hum! Aspen moves to the city where her parents were killed, meets old family friends and witnesses. Some of the witnesses try to convince her they are innocent while some openly show their displeasure at Aspen trying to ruin/poke into their ‘now better’ lives.
There is one character who stands out than the rest. Without giving away their name, I would say, we readers are given hints as to they might have been involved in the murder case. They start to act weird halfway through the story, thus fueling our doubts further.
Candace, Rosie’s daughter, is now under Aspen’s care. The aunt-niece bonding is portrayed very well. We also have Nick, the local sheriff and Aspen’s boyfriend. Aunt Max, Aspen’s boss, plays a significant role in the story. She helps Aspen with the tracing and tracking of witnesses.
The mystery is very good and sure to keep one guessing until the end. The identity of the murderer was a huge surprise. There’s a twist as the story ends. I definitely did not see this coming. But this twist is surely going to change things for Aspen and family.
Cold Conviction is an engrossing and well-written mystery. A complete page-turner, if you ask me. If you are looking for a unique cold case mystery, you might want to give this book a try.
Many thanks to Beyond the Page Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.