Cold Winter Sun by Tony J. Forder #BookReview #BlogBlitz

A missing man. A determined hunter. A deadly case.

 When Mike Lynch is contacted by his ex-wife about the missing nephew of her new husband, he offers to help find the young man with the help of his friend Terry Cochran.

 Arriving in LA to try and track down the young man, the pair are immediately torn away when the missing man’s car shows up, abandoned on the side of a deserted road in New Mexico.

 When two fake police officers cross their path, Terry and Mike know there is more to the case than meets the eye, and soon they find themselves asking exactly who it is they are really looking for…

I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog blitz for Cold Winter Sun by Tony J. Forder today. Huge thanks to Tony, Bloodhound Books and Emma Welton for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.

I first read one of Tony J. Forder's books, Scream Blue Murder last year and in my review described it as a book that puts the thrills into thriller. Since then I've read all of his DI Bliss novels to date and now consider him one of my must-read authors. It's especially enjoyable, therefore, to return to the characters that started my love affair with his writing and to be reunited once more with Mike Lynch and Terry Cochran.
Cold Winter Sun could be read as a standalone and there's enough included here for new readers to catch up with the story so far but I would strongly recommend reading Scream Blue Murder first if you can. Not only because it's a fantastic book but also so you can truly appreciate the progression of Mike Lynch's character from that book to this one. He's now a very different person to the man he was at the start of the first novel when he was not in a good place in his life. It's acknowledged that the events of that summer exerted a toll on him but he's come out the other side stronger, more focused and more akin to the man he used to be when he served alongside Terry Cochran as a Royal Marine. In Scream Blue Murder he was reacting to a situation he suddenly found himself in but in Cold Winter Sun he is immediately more proactive, choosing to respond to a plea for help from his ex-wife, Donna.
Although Donna has now remarried, Mike still has feelings for her and misses his teenage daughter, Wendy. It's inevitable then that he should answer her request to help search for her new husband's missing nephew so he enlists Terry's help once more and the pair fly to America. Moving the action Stateside in this book, together with the more confident and decisive Lynch gives an exciting, fresh feeling to this thriller. I loved that the two main protagonists are British but the setting is American as are most of the people they interact with. Tony J. Forder never falls back on the tired old fish-out-of-water cliche here, thankfully and instead it is Lynch and Cochran whose experience and wily acumen mean they know when to use their out of town credentials to their best advantage to give them the upper hand.
It transpires that there are a number of people also on the trail of the missing young man, Vern but not all of them have the best intentions for him. Mike and Terry are joined by a young woman, Chelsea who knows Vern but just how she is involved with his disappearance is uncertain. Mike feels he can trust her but realises she isn't telling him everything. The pair's frustration at not being in possession of the full facts is understandable as they follow what they hope may be a lead while constantly knowing they may not even be searching in the right part of the country. The evidence has taken them to New Mexico and the scene setting here is masterful. There's a cinematic feel throughout to the book as Mike and Terry travel to different small town locations in the state, many of which will be familiar to anybody with a passing knowledge of the famous supposed UFO landing in that area in 1947... Most of the book is narrated in the first person from Lynch's perspective but some chapters follow an enigmatic Native American. Joe Kane and these small interludes are intriguing, providing readers with knowledge Mike and Terry are not aware of but also giving us an insight into the skills and beliefs of this powerful Apache warrior.
The plot of Cold Winter Sun is tense and complex but despite the large cast of characters and the uncertainty as to why everybody is after young Vern, the action never becomes unnecessarily confusing. When the inevitable showdown happens, events are plausibly chaotic but the nail-biting intensity is balanced by Tony J. Forder's clarity of writing; we may not know what's going to happen next but we understand what has occurred when it does. Cold Winter Sun is an intelligent and exhilarating action thriller and with characters whose lives I have become invested in, I couldn't put it down and read the whole book in just a few hours. It gives me great pleasure to say this is another of Tony J. Forder's books I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending and I can't wait to read his next!

Cold Winter Sun is published by Bloodhound Books and can be purchased from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Don't forget to check out the other blogs taking part in this blog blitz, details are below.

About the Author
Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first three books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, and If Fear Wins will be joined by a fourth in the series in 2019.
Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone novel. Another book that was written as a stand-alone was Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. Before it had even been published, Tony had decided to write a sequel, and Cold Winter Sun will be published in November 2018.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author.

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Twitter: @TonyJForder


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