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A Cold Dark Place Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle; First Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786018305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786018307
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When a powerful twister hits the little town of Cherrystone, Wash., former Seattle homicide detective Emily Kenyon checks in on the Martins: she finds their home demolished by the storm, and three of the four family members murdered by a demented killer. Suspiciously missing from the carnage is older son Nick, but is he a witness or the murderer? And Emily soon finds that her teenage daughter, Jenna, has run off with Nick in order to help him clear his name. What Emily doesn't know is that the Martin family deaths are connected to a series of murders going back two decades, and are linked to a case from her own past whose tragic outcome ultimately drove her out of the Seattle police force. Olsen does a nice job balancing past and present plots and subplots in this intricately layered story, keeping the tension taut and pages turning. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

I live in rural Washington State (about a mile as the crow flies from Starvation Heights). I've wrapped up my ninth novel -- a serial killer thriller coming out in November 2014. It's called The Girl in the Woods. I've been a guest on Dateline NBC, NPR, Good Morning America, The Early Show, FOX News; CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Extra, Access Hollywood, Snapped, Deadly Women, William Shatner's Aftermath, and A&E's Biography.

Customer Reviews

The plot was completely unbelievable; the main character airheaded.
target lover
I was unable to put this book down and ended up reading it within a couple of days.
Rose Stanley
Olsen is a master at fleshing out various characters' psychology and motivations.
Lisa Prodorutti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Gigi on August 13, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is terrible. It is badly written and full of huge plot holes and mistakes that any decent editor should have caught. On one page a character pulls her blonde hair out of her face. Twenty pages later she is wearing her brown hair in a pony tail. The book is full of irritating little discrepancies like that. Olsen also seems to have an extremely negative, condescending view towards people who read books about serial killers. This book is about a serial killer, so it's mildly offensive for him to put down his audience. The characters are poorly developed and uninteresting. I would not recommend this book unless you enjoy utter stupidity.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mystery lover on August 31, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most of this book was fun in spite of an unlikeable protagonist and overblown prose. However, the book's ludicrous climax ruined the book for me. Since I live near the book's locale I was also irritated by how some locations retained their true identities, such as Mercer Island and Spokane, while others had their names changed. Why can't Bellingham be Bellingham? Over all, the book is a fun read if you don't mind corny writing, poor editing, and a ridiculous "solution" to some of the central mysteries of the book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Kaye Oldner on June 29, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second fiction book I have read by this author within a thirty day period. It might not be worth mentioning this if not for the fact I don't like to read books by the same author back to back. But for some reason, I can't seem to get enough. If there was another fiction book by this author out there, I'd read that too. And the sad part is I can't you exactly why. I could say I love his writing style. I could explain how his words pull me in to the story. I could even say I feel the characters are telling their own story, not a single person. And all of those would be true, but there's so much more to it than that.

I was hoping after this book, I'd have more clarity to this mystery. I don't. Both books - A WICKED SNOW and A COLD DARK PLACE were serious page turners for me. The second book was way more climatic, but I had a problem with the ending. I just didn't believe it.

Another thing to sink in with this second book was Olsen's ability to write from a women's point of view and not just one, but several. This really didn't hit home until page 172 with Tina Wilson and Bonnie Jefferies. I was amazed at his ability to shift personalities with such clarity. Fantastic!

I normally read more than one book at a time. Olsen's books have caused me to drop the rest and focus on the one. I wanted to stay there until the book is done. Definitely a page turner!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PeterB on January 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my first Gregg Olsen book, and I was impressed, it was hard to put down. But having said that I did have some problems with it. The plot was overly complicated and there were a number of inconsistencies.
I had a big problem with the climax. SPOILER ALERT: In the bunker Emily was tied up and her gun taken from her (at least I think this was the case - it wasn't clearly explained), and suddenly out of nowhere she has her gun and is able to shoot the killer. Where did she get it from?
Also some of the loose ends were not explained particularly well.
But despite all this I think I will try another Olsen novel.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bea Bull on May 26, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When you open this book, be prepared for something like pushing your car to the limits on a winding road! Fast-paced twists and turns all the way to the last page! I can feel Gregg's familiarity with real people in real situations in his well developed, interesting characters; it's easy to keep track of them and the parts they play. And the true-crime, non-fiction, real-life, no-ending ending is exactly what I'd expect and what we'll probably find to be "classic Gregg Olsen" style. "Write on", Gregg!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sue Wieser on August 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was really captivated by this story and read it in one sitting. It jumps from present to 20 yrs past, which in the beginning doesn't make sense, but it's quickly tied together. The reason for the 4 star rating instead of the 5 star, is due to the last couple pages of the book.....lackluster.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glynda on October 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a page turner. Love all the twists this author adds! I will definitely read more of his books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Prodorutti on August 19, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It was dense with great, complex characters and awesome plot twists. It kept me up very late at night turning pages. It was an absolute pleasure to read. Emily Kenyon is a tough small town Sheriff's detective and single mother of a teenage girl. When she is called upon to investigate the murder of an entire family at a nearby farmhouse, she discovers that their adopted teenage son is missing. He becomes the prime suspect. Before Emily can get a handle on what went down at the farmhouse which was subsequently destroyed by a tornado, her daughter Jenna is on the run with the missing teenage murder suspect. As Emily's investigation and desperate search for her daughter intensifies, she uncovers a twisted web of lies and past murders, at the center of which is a ruthless serial killer.

What I loved about this novel is that it is well-written and the deftly handled plot twists are plenty. Olsen is a master at fleshing out various characters' psychology and motivations. He writes women incredibly well--from the embittered, haunted but compassionate and likeable Kenyon to the serial killer groupies, Bonnie and Tina who show up later in the book. His use of the flashback is incredible and I loved how everything came together in the end. Olsen puts a new, brilliant and clever twist on the murder-suicide story. Things are not at all what they seem. As a long time crime thriller reader, I found this novel to be incredibly satisfying and I can't wait to read the rest of Olsen's fiction.
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