A thrilling novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag, “one of the most intense suspense writers around” (Chicago Tribune).
Dana Nolan was a promising young TV reporter until a notorious serial killer tried to add her to his list of victims. Nearly a year has passed since she survived her ordeal, but the physical, emotional, and psychological scars run deep. Struggling with the torment of post-traumatic stress syndrome, plagued by flashbacks and nightmares, Dana returns to her hometown in an attempt to begin to put her life back together. But home doesn’t provide the comfort she expects.
Dana’s harrowing story and her return to small-town life have rekindled police and media interest in the unsolved case of her childhood best friend, Casey Grant, who disappeared without a trace the summer after their graduation from high school. Terrified of truths long buried, Dana reluctantly begins to look back at her past. Viewed through the dark filter of PTSD, old friends and loved ones become suspects and enemies. Questioning everything she knows, refusing to be defined by the traumas of her past, Dana seeks out a truth that may prove too terrible to be believed…
Praise for Cold Cold Heart
“Chilling and satisfying.”
“A top-notch psychological thriller.”
“[A] chilling psychological thriller.”
“An unforgettable read.”
–RT Book Reviews
“Ms. Hoag weaves the intensifying plot in Cold Cold Heart with the expertise of a master seamstress blind stitching the facts, moving through multiple characters’ voices, taking readers on a journey into the inner depths of her characters’ minds, and in Hoag style, delivering a walloping ending.”
More Praise for Tami Hoag and Her Novels
“You’re going to be staying up late at night as the pages turn with this one.”
–New York Journal of Books on The Boy
“Hoag puts on quite the juggling act here, dazzling us with multiple theories about the boy’s murder, numerous potential suspects, and plot twists that keep us just slightly off-balance. A welcome return for a compelling investigative duo.”
–Booklist on The Boy
“With her signature style in building up suspense as the plot develops, Hoag has written a commercial novel which is definitely a joy to read.”
–Mystery Tribune on The Boy
“Every Tami Hoag book is deviously plotted, compulsively page-turning, with dead-on dialogue and twisted characters. You’re in the hands of a master with Tami Hoag.”
–New York Times
The Bitter Season is Tami Hoag at her down-and-dirty best. Authentic, dark, and intense, this is a portrait of flawed characters on both sides of the law that will surprise you and make you laugh as you double-lock your doors.”
–New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen
“Tami Hoag is simply one of the best. And The Bitter Season–engrossing, atmospheric, and taut with suspense–is the work of a writer at the top her game. A chilling psychological thriller!”
–New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger
– From the Publisher
Dana Nolan, the heroine of this chilling psychological thriller from bestseller Hoag (The 9th Girl), used to be a Minneapolis TV reporter, until she was captured by the serial killer known as Doc Holiday, who tortured and raped her. Dana managed to escape her tormentor, but she suffers from PTSD as well as a traumatic brain injury that causes her difficulty performing everyday tasks and retrieving words and memories. When Dana returns to her hometown in Indiana to live with her mother and stepfather, reporters ask her about Casey Grant, her best friend since grade school, who mysteriously disappeared the summer after their high school graduation seven years before, never to be found. Dana gets reacquainted with Casey’s old boyfriend, John Villante, whom many locals suspect killed Casey. As her memories of Casey re-emerge, Dana determines to discover what happened to her friend. Hoag fans will appreciate the cameo appearances of detectives Nikki Liska and Sam Kovac from earlier books. Agent: Andrea Cirillo, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.)
– Publishers Weekly
TV news reporter Dana Nolan, who escaped from a serial killer, still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Is that why everyone looks suspect when she reopens the investigation of her best friend’s disappearance after high school graduation?
– Library Journal
In Hoag’s (The 9th Girl, 2013, etc.) latest, talented young newscaster Dana Nolan is left to navigate a psychological maze after escaping a serial killer.While recuperating at home in Shelby Mills, Indiana, Dana meets her former high school classmates John Villante and Tim Carver. Football hero Tim is ashamed of flunking out of West Point, and now he’s a sheriff’s deputy. After Iraq and Afghanistan tours, John’s home with PTSD, “angry and bitter and dark.” Dana survived abduction by serial killer Doc Holiday, but she still suffers from the gruesome attack by “the man who ruined her life, destroyed her career, shattered her sense of self, damaged her brain and her face.” What binds the trio is their friend Casey Grant, who’s been missing five years, perhaps also a Holiday victim, even if “[t]he odds against that kind of coincidence had to be astronomical.” Hoag’s first 100 pages are a gut-wrenching dissection of the aftereffects of traumatic brain injury: Dana is plagued by “[f]ear, panic, grief, and anger” and haunted by fractured memories and nightmares. “Before Dana had believed in the inherent good in people. After Dana knew firsthand their capacity for evil.” Impulsive and paranoid, Dana obsesses over linking Casey’s disappearance to Holiday, with her misfiring brain convincing her that “finding the truth about what had happened to Casey [was] her chance of redemption.” But then Hoag tosses suspects into the narrative faster than Dana can count: Roger Mercer, Dana’s self-absorbed state senator stepfather; Mack Villante, who left son John with “no memories of his father that didn’t include drunkenness and cruelty”; even Hardy, the hard-bitten, cancer-stricken detective who investigated Casey’s disappearance. Tense, tightly woven, with every minor character, from Dana’s fiercely protective aunt to Mercer’s pudgy campaign chief, ratcheting up the tension, Hoag’s narrative explodes with an unexpected but believable conclusion. A top-notch psychological thriller.
– Kirkus Reviews