Sunday, July 10, 2011

COLD TOUCH by Leslie Parrish

COLD TOUCH – Leslie Parrish
Extrasensory Agents, Book 2
Signet Eclipse
ISBN: 978-0-451-23300-4
July 2011
Paranormal Romance

Savannah, Georgia – Present Day

Olivia Wainwright has the extraordinary gift of being able to “live” through the final moments of someone dying. She literally “dies” with them. As one of the members of the eXtreme Investigations, she is hired to help people determine how their dearly departed loved one died. Olivia wasn’t born with the “gift” but it began after she literally died twelve years ago at the hands of her kidnapper. Miraculously, she was revived, though she soon discovered her uncanny ability. Although Olivia’s kidnapper was identified and killed, she can’t forget the little boy who was there with her during her ordeal. When a twelve year is found mummified in the wall of a bar, Olivia just knows it is that little boy.

Detective Gabe Cooper is the head investigator of the little boy’s case. When Olivia approaches him and indicates she knows the boy, he’s intrigued, even if skeptical when he learns of her supposed ability. He reluctantly agrees to her request to “relive” the final moments of the little boy and is stunned to learn she is correct that he likely is the same boy. Now the search is on to identify him, even as it soon becomes clear Olivia’s real kidnapper is still alive. As the investigation grows deeper, so does the attraction between Olivia and Gabe. Can he come to grips that she has a special ability, and can she ever find closure for the brutal kidnapping she experienced?

Tense drama and intrigue highlight COLD TOUCH by Leslie Parrish. Olivia’s family is well connected and wealthy, but that couldn’t protect her from the horrifying kidnapping. The monster is insane and out of touch with reality. As the story progresses, Olivia and Gabe begin to see a pattern. Is there another little boy out there in the hands of the killer? Is the madman close by? Olivia’s unique ability causes a few bones of contention with Gabe—first because he doesn’t believe her, then his fear for her safety as she dies again and again, only to be revived. Is there any chance she may not survive? Because of Olivia’s past and her uniqueness, she finds it hard to get close to men, yet there is this special connection with Gabe. The pairing of a woman with extrasensory abilities and a police detective has them at odds, but they soon begin to trust the other.

Minor characters of note include Gabe’s partner, Ty Wallace. Suave and laidback, he’s the opposite of the tense and by-the-book, Gabe. Yet the two work well together and rely on each other for support on cases. Ty meets Olivia’s sister, Brooke, and it’s apparent to those around that the two are attracted to each other. But with Brooke already engaged to a much older man her daddy approves of, getting involved with Ty is a no no. There are also the agents of the eXtreme Investigations, who all have unique abilities. Will they be able to assist Gabe and Olivia in this investigation? And throughout COLD TOUCH, we get snippets of the madman kidnapper from his point of view. Is he planning to kill once more and, when he learns Olivia is involved, will he try to kill her…again?

Leslie Parrish will have readers on the edge of their seats in COLD TOUCH. The taut suspense is gripping and nicely drawn out until the final, tense climactic resolution. Death isn’t glossed over, and the hedonistic killer isn’t forgivable, yet the steamy romance between Olivia and Gabe softens the tale. A perfect blend of paranormal and suspense, COLD TOUCH is a topnotch read not to be missed.

Patti Fischer

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