COLD BLOODED LIAR
Sam Reeves is a kindhearted psychologist who treats court-ordered clients. After one of his patients—a pathological liar—starts revealing plausible new details from a long-unsolved serial murder case, he’s compelled to report anonymously to the SDPD tip line, though his attempts to respect patient confidentiality land him facedown and cuffed by the aggressive (and cute) Detective McKittrick.
San Diego homicide detective Kit McKittrick loves the water. She lives on a boat, and when she’s not solving crimes with the SDPD, she’s assisting her foster sister with her charter fishing business, scuba diving, or playing with her poodle. But there’s nothing that intrigues Kit more than a cold case, so when an anonymous caller leads her on the path of a wanted killer, she’s determined to end the decade-long manhunt.
Cold Blooded Liar is the first in a new series for Karen Rose which is a slight departure as it will follow the same two characters, Detective Kit McKittrick and Dr. Sam Reeves who is a psychologist. The novel not only has to lay the groundwork for the series, it also has to introduce us to the main protagonists and their extended network of family and friends.
The series is set in San Diego and the opening chapter goes back in time to Kit’s teenage years and the harrowing loss of her foster-sister, Wren, who was murdered at the age of fifteen. A dramatised Kit vows to bring the killer to justice which eventually leads to her joining the police department. Kit is a workaholic who has a special interest in solving cold crimes, particularly those involving young girls, and she has little time for socialising outside her family circle. When an anonymous call leads to the discovery of the body of a young woman in the park with ties to previous unsolved cases, Kit is determined to find the killer no matter the cost.
Being a court appointed psychologist has drawbacks for Sam Reeves and when his latest patient reveals unsettling details about a possible murder and a missing girl, he cannot let it rest. As speaking directly to the police will cost him his licence so his only option is to contact the police anonymously. Sam chooses to contact Kit because he is aware of her reputation and knows she will work tirelessly to discover the truth. However, Sam is dismayed when there are no media reports of a body being found in the park, unaware the police are keeping everything under wraps, he decides to take matters in his own hands.
Sam’s actions lead to him being arrested and as the evidence mounts against him, he realises he is being framed and matters take a dramatic turn when someone close to him is murdered. The whole experience brings up bad memories for Sam who witnessed the murder of his high school sweetheart but he refuses to be left out of the investigation much to Kit’s chagrin. Luckily for Sam, Kit believes he is innocent but she may be the only one as they try to stay one step ahead of the real killer.
There are some sparks between the couple and the romance is going to be a slow burn since the couple are going to feature in a series of novels, however the attraction is a tad too low key to imagine these two in a passionate relationship. Sam is quite mild-mannered and is often referred to as being one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, however it is Kit who is going to be the stumbling block in this relationship as she is not ready to get involved.
As well as Kit and Sam, there is an extended network of characters who will likely feature throughout the series. The McKittricks have being fostering children for decades and have kept in touch with most of them over the years so the family is large and loving. It is a familiar theme in Karen Rose’s novels to have at least one set of older parents who are happy to welcome anyone into their family with open arms and a hearty meal. Kit has a particularly lovely relationship with her foster father which sustains her emotionally through the tough times.
The plot itself is intriguing enough but it is fairly thin in comparison to other Rose novels but this book’s main job is to set up the framework for the series and introduce us to the characters more than anything else.