Score: 87/100 (8.7 out of 10)
Coldwater Confession is a crime-drama mystery thriller by James Ross that gets progressively suspenseful and better throughout the course of the reading.
Now, this book takes a lot of patience, and that's perhaps the thing we didn't like the most about it. The first 150 or so pages are incredibly slow and seem to drag and meander, bombarding us with details and family subplots that seem to have no rhyme or reason (initially). Well, there are some payoffs to all this methodical buildup, but you need to be willing to wait. You need to be willing to endure. If you're someone equipped and ready for a true crime thriller, then this isn't the book for you. This is more of a whodunnit detective mystery starring a Wincester-esque team of detective brothers, the Morgan brothers.
The Morgan brothers, Tom and Joe, have a long history of solving mysteries since childhood including solving some sort of bioterrorist scheme to poison the town's water supply in the last book (from what we gather). They are intelligent, determined, and curious. They seem to come from a family with a legacy of law enforcement including a paternal line of sheriffs. Their father, it seems, helped to take down a sadistic Latino gang that was trafficking drugs through the town. Seemingly as a result of this, he was brutally murdered, given a “Columbian necktie” in which his tongue was pulled through a hole in his throat. However, the mystery behind this murder lingers and the brothers wonder if he was actually murdered by the gangsters or by someone else who may have been interested in stopping him...
Now, remember when we told you that the first 150 pages drag and meander? Well, they do. But you do get a lot of things happening, they just seem disjointed. You meet a lady who encounters a snake. Her husband apparently kills the snake. There's a storm (a “hurricane” or tornado) outside. A child has ingested a bottle full of anti-psychotic pills that a parent seemingly left out in the open.
Oh, yeah, there's information about the battle of Iwo Jima, information about high school/junior high school life, and information about the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s. Oh, yeah, by the way, the Soviet-Afghan stuff is apparently relevant to the main plot because a bunch of stingers missiles went missing from the conflict and the town of Coldwater is apparently connected to their disappearance.
Geez! This town has more drama than Gotham or Metropolis!
Now, the central plot in this book is a bit muddled, but we'll explain it as best as we can. So, a 50-something-year-old asthmatic woman named Dee Dee is found to have suspiciously drowned in the water channel outside of town, supposedly training for a triathlon. What's suspicious is that her “drowning” looks more like asphyxiation. It turns out that Dee Dee had a lot of enemies and an allergy that only a few people were aware of.
You'll need to read the book to find out the secret to this murder, the father's murder, and the missing missiles!
Check it out here!