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The Cold Spot Mass Market Paperback – April 29, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Cold Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Orphaned at 10—his mother murdered, his father a suicide—Chase was raised by his grandfather Jonah, a grifter who has used Chase as a getaway driver. After Jonah shoots one of his crew during a poker game, Chase, at 21, realizing that the icy old man could easily turn on his own grandson, strikes off on his own. He works his way around the country stealing cars and driving for petty thieves until one night in Mississippi he runs up against deputy sheriff Lila Bodeen, who sees something in this brash young outlaw that she likes. Tragedy puts Chase back on the road, where he faces not only the killer but the truth—about himself and his shattered family. Piccirilli (The Midnight Road, etc.) tells the gritty, violent and dark tale in an appealingly noirish narrative style, highly economical yet bracingly intimate. (May)
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“[Tom Piccirilli’s] prose has the visceral punch of the best pulp writers of the past century…. The Cold Spot is both funny and ferocious.”—San Francisco Chronicle.

"A powerful, hard-hittng, fiercely original writer of suspense. I highly recommend him." —David Morrell, author of Creepers

"Tom Piccirilli's fiction is visceral and unflinching, yet deeply insightful."—F. Paul Wilson, author of The Keep and Bloodline

"The Cold Spot is truly dazzling. Piccirilli has taken the mystery to a whole other level."—Ken Bruen, award-winning author of The Guards

"Blackest noir, the most minimal kind of minimalism, and at the same time deeply emotional: this is not easy to do. I loved The Cold Spot."—Peter Abrahams, bestselling author of Nerve Damage

"Lean, brutal and completely arresting, Tom Piccirilli's The Cold Spot is a bull's-eye hardboiled tale."—Megan Abbott, author of The Song is You

"The Cold Spot is crime fiction at its very best, an exceptional revenge story so vivid you feel like you're in the back seat of a getaway car with a master storyteller at the wheel."—Jason Starr, author of The Follower

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553590847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553590845
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Piccirilli is the author of more than twenty-five novels including A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN, SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, and THE LAST KIND WORDS. He's a four-time winner of the Stoker Award, two-time winner of the International Thriller Award, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and twice for the Edgar Award. Marilyn Stasio of The New York Tims Book Review called THE LAST KIND WORDS, "A caustic thriller...the characters have strong voices and bristle with funny quirks." New York Times bestselling thriller writer Lee Child said of Tom's work, "Perfect crime fiction...a convincing world, a cast of compelling characters, and above all a great story" And Publishers Weekly extols, "Piccirilli's mastery of the hard-boiled idiom is pitch perfect, particularly in the repartee between his characters, while the picture he paints of the criminal corruption conjoining the innocent and guilty in a small Long Island community is as persuasive as it is seamy. Readers who like a bleak streak in their crime fiction will enjoy this well-wrought novel." Keir Graff of Booklist wrote, "There's more life in Piccirilli's THE LAST KIND WORDS (and more heartache, action, and deliverance) than any other novel I've read in the past couple of years." And Kirkus states, "Consigning most of the violence to the past allows Piccirilli (The Fever Kill, 2007, etc.) to dial down the gore while imparting a soulful, shivery edge to this tale of an unhappy family that's assuredly unhappy in its own special way."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Tom Piccirilli's 'Cold Spot' is one of the best written thrillers I have ever come across. He weaves a concise narrative that fills in a back story with such skill that you find youself turning page after page, unwilling to put down the book. I'd say that Piccirilli spent 3/4 of this story setting it up and then 1/4 letting it unfold. So what your dealing with is an author who is toying with you, pulling back on the spring in the most nail biting way, ready to let it loose and gouge out one of your eyes.

Im knocking off a couple of stars here, because once time catches up and the story kicks in, all of the magic seems to get sucked out of the pages. All of the characters flatten out, their development which was beautiful to start with, becomes cliche ridden. Piccirilli lines up step one, step two, step three... follows through and checks them off one by one, but the passion is lacking.

Piccirilli is a first class writer worthy of respect, this however, this book just does not, in the end, work very well. So sad. I think that part of it might be that Piccirilli realized what a masterpiece he had going, ripped out the most interesting parts of the ending, and mashed them into a sequel the author nicely sets up over the last few pages.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When he was ten years old someone killed his eight months pregnant mother with a bullet to her head. His father cannot cope with his loss and leaves Chase in the car while vanishing on his boat. Chase is in foster care until he grandfather Jonah comes for him. Jonah is a career criminal who brings Chase into his life of crime; eventually the grandson drove the getaway cars. Chase walks out on his grandfather when he sees Jonah cold bloodedly kill a friend.

Chase drifts around the country stealing cars for robberies and leaving once the loot is distributed. In a small town in Mississippi, he and his cohorts botch a robbery. Lila wants to arrest them, but Chase escapes. He hangs around town and soon the thug and the deputy sheriff marry. They move to Long Island where she obtains a police officer job and he becomes a teacher. They are happy together until Lila dies in the line of duty; Chase seeks revenge but needs the help of the last man he would ever ask for assistance if he is to succeed.

This novel starts at a rapid pace and just keeps getting faster as the action continually comes even after Chase leaves behind his life of crime for marriage in the burbs. When his beloved is killed by a getaway car driver, the homicide hits his soul as that is what he used to do and his heart as the victim is his Lila. He swears to cross a line he never crossed before; even for his grandfather. Readers will admire his courage and need to avenge his beloved although his criminal activity past is another story; it is the audience's reaction to Chase that affirms Tom Piccirilli's writing skills.

Harriet Klausner
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