Book Review

Book Review: The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

Rating: ★★★
Audience: Thriller
Length: 352 pages
Author: Simone St. James
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: March 15th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect–a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases–a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.


I love a cast in an audio read and this hit the mark for me. I flew through it in that regard because I can’t get enough when the narration is on point.

Story wise, the first half was GREAT. I was perfectly spooked (because I like my thrillers on the mild side of scary). Very much intrigued by what was happening and how these two women’s stories were going to collide.

Buuuut, maybe I just have an issue with ghosts in books? I don’t know. When the ghost came out to play I found myself more detached from the novel. Or it could be that the second half was super predictable so it draaaagged a lot. This combination led to my disenchantment by the end.

I liked the extremely subtle romance and the back story behind the main character. This actually wove into the rest of the plot well as to why Shea was making certain decisions.

While a bit of miss for me, it was still a good read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Thriller
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder (with graphic descriptions), child sexual abuse, alcoholism, miscarriage mentioned, gun violence

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