Reviewed by Angela
Julia is released from a ten year prison sentence for murder. She wants to get back to 'normal' life back in the Blue Mountains in Australia but even before she reaches home she has a bad encounter with her original arresting officer and is threatened to keep quiet about details of her arrest all those years ago. If all had gone as Julia planned then this would have been a very boring story indeed, however, she's shocked at the way her little sister Blossom has turned out, Blossom's drug running boyfriend, hostility from people in the neighbourhood, and then a body turns up in her own back yard which seems to be framing her for a new murder. Someone is trying very hard to get her back in prison and although she thinks she knows who, she's at a major disadvantage in proving anything against such a powerful man.
The plot is mostly fairly predictable and not too complex but this doesn't come across as a simple story either. It is technically and legally correct with a strong character base and the overall story achieves a gripping and fulfilling feel. There were one or two ideas in there which made it different from the usual crime thriller – Julia has a stepmother married to her mother – which gave a softness instead of a more male dominated family. It had a strong romantic side to it too which may be a downside to those who want a full-on crime thriller but I felt it gave a lightness and uplifting flow to the writing style. D.B. Tait is more than qualified in the field of crime having worked for many years in the criminal justice system before writing this, her first full length novel.
I am happy to recommend Cold Deception as a great start to the Dark Mountain series and will certainly seek out Desperate Deception, the second in the series.