Bantam, April 2002, 5.99, 336 pp.
Micky Ascherfeld was only sixteen years old when she saw her parents gunned down in their store. Years later, as an as an adult she still is traumatized by that event. Although she managed to pass the police exam and is part of the Houston Police Department, none of her peers knows that she is still suffering from her ordeal. Only her partner and lover knows and a psychopath kills him before her eyes.
After her injuries heal Micky visits her friend in the small isolated Alaskan town of McRay. It is such a peaceful community that Micky stays, selling the stained glass work she makes so she will have income to support herself. Just as she is gaining recognition in the art world, one of the residents, El Hoskins, a psychopathic serial killer snaps and starts killing the residents one by one, doing unthinkable things to their dead bodies. Micky becomes aware of what he is doing and along with sixteen-year-old Dawn Glorianus, whose mother is the second victim, is determined to survive and stop him.
There is a lot of gratuitous and graphic violence in COLD HEART but if one has the stomach for it, readers will find it an engrossing reading experience. Both Dawn and Micky gain reader empathy for their determination to live despite the killing machine that is after them. El is one of the most terrifying villains since Hannibal Lechter.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner