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Mass Market Paperback The Cold Spot Book

ISBN: 0553590847

ISBN13: 9780553590845

The Cold Spot

(Book #1 in the Cold Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Chase was raised as a getaway driver by his grandfather, Jonah, a con man feared by even the hardened career criminals who make up his crew. But when Jonah crosses the line and murders one of his own, Chase goes solo, stealing cars and pulling scores across the country. . . . And then he meets Lila, a strong-willed deputy sheriff with a beguiling smile who shows him what love can be. Chase is on the straight and narrow for the first time in his life--until...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Wonderful Tough Guy Crime Novel

Tom Piccirilli's THE COLD SPOT starts with a cold-blooded killing and ends with a hot-blooded one playing out with powerful V-8 engines throbbing in the background. That's a suitable finale because the hero, Chase, is out for revenge and was raised by his career criminal grandfather as a getaway driver. For the first few years of his writing career, Piccirilli penned horror and supernatural books, and an occasional Western. Then he crept over into the suspense field with supernatural suspense novel like THE MIDNIGHT ROAD before taking a headfirst plunge with THE FEVER KILL. Both books performed well and allowed him to set up THE COLD SPOT. Though horror fans will be loath to see Piccirilli go, or even divide his attentions, suspense fans are welcoming him with open arms. I grew up on tough-guy novels like Richard Stark's Parker, Dan J. Marlowe's Drake, and some of the other Gold Medal books anti-heroes but I hadn't suspected Piccirilli had until I read this novel. THE COLD SPOT was an unexpected surprise though one of my current noir writers (Duane Swierczynski, THE WHEELMAN, THE BLONDE, and SERVERANCE PACKAGE) heartily recommended the book. The book starts out with Chase at sixteen years old. He's already an accomplished getaway driver and mechanic. He routinely builds each car the gang uses at each job, lovingly restoring a 1960s or 1970s muscle car, then destroying it shortly thereafter. The message is really cool: Chase can only love for a short length of time; he can't hang onto anything. The only constant in Chase's life is his grandfather, Jonah, and Chase is never sure that the old man won't see him as a danger and kill him one day. Jonah is in no way a paternal figure, and I entered into a wary relationship with him myself. Jonah reminds me most of those old noir heroes I grew up with, older and colder. He's what those guys would have turned out to be once they hit their sixties. And I have to admit that I was mesmerized every time Jonah was on the page because I was never sure what he would do. After the killing at the first of the book, Chase separates from the gang. He realizes that his grandfather is a lot harder than he'll ever be able to be. I followed Chase's adventures trying to get in with another "string" at different times, until he meets the female police officer that's going to become the love of his life. I was hooked from the moment Lila was on stage, getting the drop on Chase after a botched robbery, and cheered again when Chase upstages her and gets the drop on her. The fact that they ended up together was no surprise, but the manner in which they did was a lot of fun and very touching. Piccirilli builds this relationship tenderly and then he punches you in the gut so skillfully that you're hurting before you know it. When Chase can no longer live with what's been done, he goes looking for Jonah. Chase feels compelled to find the men responsible and kill them. I was right there with him. Howeve

hardboiled crime fiction with great character development

I became aware of Tom Piccirilli when I read The Fever Kill after seeing a preview blurb. That was a great noir and a hell of a read. I anxiously preordered The Cold Spot and I was not disappointed. In fact, Cold Spot was even better, because Piccirilli used more space to flesh out the characters and plot. The setup is classic hardboiled/noir: a criminal since childhood who has a heart tries to get out of the "bent life" but tragedy necessitates him reconnecting with his grandfather, the master criminal, in order to get revenge. The plot, the dialogue, the characters are all masterfully constructed and composed, with smooth, heartfelt writing driving things along; you will be finished with this book before you know it. If you read Piccirilli's bio, you find out he is a great fan of Gold Medal noirs and cinema; it shows because there is a cinematic feel to the book. You can see it being something Michael Mann would be involved in, and I think it is not a coincidence that Robert DeNiro is the same age as the grandfather, Jonah. If you like Richard Stark's Parker novels, Dan Simmon's Joe Kurtz books, James Sallis's Drive, or Duane Swierczynski's Wheelman, then this book is for you.

A Neo-Noir I Could Not Put Down

I have become a Tom Piccirilli advocate after reading "Fever Kill" and now, "The Cold Spot". His prose is sparse, authentic, and magnetic. His plot's are real, thought provoking, and understandable in the grand scheme of things. He usurps the hardboiled the neo-noir style and makes it his own. Chase was brought up by his grandfather Jonah after his mother was brutally murdered while eight months pregnant. He is raised in a life of crime by Jonah who is a master thief so hardened that everyone he comes in contact with fears him including Chase. Chase eventually becomes a driver for Jonah's "strings" as they pull off capers and scores across the country. After Jonah inexplicablly murders one of his own henchmen, Chase breaks loose and goes solo--while fearing Jonah's revenge for his act of betrayal. He esablishes himself as a wunderkind as a getaway driver and high tech mechanic. During an aborted score, he meets Lila, a deputy sheriff, and after a comical courtship, they decide to marry--something he has to fight her sheriff of a father to insure. After some years of a succssful life together in New York, tragedy strikes Chase's life once again. He initially seeks vengeance alone but badly muddles his attempt. Consequently, he turns to his old nemesis, Jonah, to help him take down the deadly crew he seeks. Jonah is now paired with a young hard case, Angie, but after some posturing, they unite in s scheme of revenge. The inner doubts and internal conflicts between Chase and Jonah form the lifeblood of the narrative. How deep does blood flow and how dangerous to Chase is Jonah? Can anyone be truly trusted, blood kin or not? The efforts to find the deadly crew and exact Chase's revenge is riveting. As hard as Chase is, he is still more human than his grandfather which precipitates some deep conflicts and mistakes in the hunt for Chase's inner peace. This is a highly recommended read. It is quick, well paced, and believable with well fleshed characterizations that will make you care. Be forewarned it is violent and brutal at times but all within context. It is the first of an apparent series and I eagerly await the sequel.

A compelling neo-noir

After years of writing in the horror and dark fantasy fields, Tom Piccirilli began to focus on supernatural-suspense crossovers with the emphasis on the suspense. With last year's THE FEVER KILL he dropped all supernatural connections and wrote a blazing crime novel heavy with his usual themes of family loyalty, loss, and suriviving with a heavily haunted past. Now for his latest mass market novel, THE COLD SPOT (and the first in a new crime series) Piccirilli gives us an authentic, funny, dark, and complex story of a young criminal's search for peace and love after being raised by his cruel criminal grandfather. Raised as a getaway driver and grifter by his grandfather, Jonah, young Chase is at home in the underworld lifestyle of thieves, heisters, crews and "strings" where criminals band together to take down big scores. But when Jonah murders one of his own crew, Chase decides to head off on his own even though he knows that Jonah might well come after him and kill him out of anger. With speedy chapters that are still very well drawn we pass by several years of Chase's life where he runs small scams and does some driving as a wheelman for various (often stupid) crews. Then while down south he meets Lila, a deputy sheriff, and his life changes forever. After a brief cat-and-mouse game where Lila first wants to arrest him and then falls under his roguish spell, the two fall in love and get married. Chase goes straight, they move back to New York where Lila becomes a cop and Chase an auto shop teacher, and life is relatively blissful except for two main problems: despite their best efforts and seeing plenty of doctors, Lila cannot conceive, and although Chase says out of the bent life, his knowledge of the criminal world always gives him a synical and dark-tinged point of view. When Lila is assualted while making an arrest, Chase calls in favors to get the bad guy knocked around in prison. When Lila and her fellow police officers are stumped on how one particular car thief scam is being worked, Chase can show them exactly how it's done. Eventually, when tragedy revisits Chase's door, he's forced to return to his brutal grandfather and ask for help. The story then turns as dark and noir as you're likely to find anywhere else, as the two distrusting family members prod and push each other to get what they want. A major lynchpin in all Tom Piccirilli novels is the idea that there's some kind of unfinished business from the past that will inflict itself upon the present. He writes this with a real honesty, insight, and humanity, all of which are often lacking in today's mysteries and crime fiction. I said this about THE FEVER KILL but it bears repeating here for THE COLD SPOT: these books are about as good as a neo-noir novels gets. A fast-paced, cynical but satirical, complex, thoughtful, and often extremely funny story that combines with a lean, powerful prose. Piccirilli gives us not only plenty of action but also takes the

A new noir/hardboiled classic

A hard-edged, noir, action-packed crime thriller that also has real depth and poignancy to it, Tom Piccirilli's THE COLD SPOT is destined to become a crime classic. Here we have a powerful and tragic unfolding of the story of Chase, a youth raised by his cruel career criminal grandfather, Jonah. Despite their strong bond, after Jonah murders one of his own crew (this isn't a spoiler, it happens in the very first sentence!) a teenage Chase decides to go it alone. Along the way he steals cars, works small theft rings, and eventually finds himself in the deep South where he runs into Lila, a beautiful deputy sheriff who tries to arrest him even while he woos her. In some hysterical scenes of a starcrossed romance, we see as Chase battles her sheriff father for her hand in marriage, lives among moonshiners and rednecks, and eventually brings Lila back to New York where she becomes a cop and he goes straight and teaches auto shop. Years pass while they struggle with all the usual struggles a young couple must endure, as well as the heartbreaking revelation that Lila cannot conceive. For an orphan like Chase, this is a powerful blow, handled with great sensitivity and emphasis by Piccirilli. Later, when tragedy strikes, Chase must turn to the man he hates most in the world, his grandfather Jonah, and ask for help in garnering revenge. Although this is a fast-moving, very enganging book, there's plenty of authenticity and muscular prose to heighten this kind of suspense novel to the level of real literature. You care about these people, their values, their troubles, even their crimes. THE COLD SPOT is an ambitious, tense, often humorous read that will have you chasing down all of Piccirilli's previous novels.
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