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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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...
Published on June 14, 2008 by Mel Odom

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3.0 out of 5 stars This book will grab you and not let go
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...
Published on July 16, 2009 by clifford


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Tough Guy Crime Novel, June 14, 2008
By 
This review is from: The Cold Spot (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. 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.

However, finding Jonah is problematic too. The old man carries a lot of dangerous baggage with him: a young woman who seems just as deadly as the old man and actually wants to be free of him. Piccirilli's hangs her attempts to seduce Chase so expertly that I just knew he was going to do it because he was hurting so much. But Chase has his own code of honor, which is one of the things I enjoy most about him.

There's simply no way to put this book down in its final moments. Piccirilli and Chase just steamrolled over me as every twist and turn crashed down around me. There are no winners at the end of this novel - only survivors. Thankfully Chase is one of them because another novel is supposed to come out next year. I'm definitely going to pick it up.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Neo-Noir I Could Not Put Down, May 31, 2008
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This review is from: The Cold Spot (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. 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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong crime thriller, May 5, 2008
This review is from: The Cold Spot (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply unputdownable!, September 25, 2012
By 
Bordeaux Dogue (Lisboa, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cold Spot (Mass Market Paperback)
And the same applies to the sequel to this book, which should be read immediately afterwards.

Picirilli does it again, creating unforgettable, fully fleshed and multi dimensional characters and weaving fantastic, tight paced, plots.

Always a pleasure to sit down with a book from this guy in our hands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive crime fiction, May 11, 2012
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This review is from: The Cold Spot (Mass Market Paperback)
At this point, I would read a Chinese takeout menu if it was written by Tom Piccirilli. Horror, crime, southern gothic, suspense, action, mystery... the guy can do it all and TCS is a great example of that. Read this one, and any other Pic book you can find.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The right mix, February 15, 2012
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This review is from: The Cold Spot (Mass Market Paperback)
A lot of thrillers often tell a fast-paced story at the expense of character, but Tom Picirilli's The Cold Spot gives it all to you. The vividly drawn characters put you in their shoes, feel the sweat and blood that they shed living their dark, violent lives; once the backstory is set, the reader gets a ride in a souped-up supercar that doesn't slow down until the last page. Pick this one up, and have fun!

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old criminal meets new criminal, August 30, 2011
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This review is from: The Cold Spot (Mass Market Paperback)
Unbelievable neo pulp crime story. I absolutely love this book. Might be my favorite crime story in the past 20 years. Piccirilli is a master at showing ruthlessness and tenderness at once. Read this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an awesome ride., July 28, 2009
By 
J. D. Murray (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cold Spot (Mass Market Paperback)
Piccirilli pits his protagonists up against their own tainted souls. As well as someone that represents either their past or future. They usually come crashing together in the worst way possible, but you can't help but watch the collision. And Tom really shines writing crime/noir.

Here in The Cold Spot, we have Chase. He's a guy who is good with cars; he can rebuild and tune just about any car and make it purr like a panther of steel. He's also an up and coming driver for various "strings" of criminals that are more than happy to have him along. He knows the game -- thanks to his Grandfather, Jonah. He taught him everything he knows and loves him in a twisted tough guy criminal sort of way.

But Chase decides he wants to leave the life and go straight after meeting a beautiful and ultra competent police woman while trying to score a small-time jewelry store.

Needless to say, life for Chase doesn't stay peaches and cream. He finds himself missing the action of his old life and sees it slowly bleeding back into him over time.

And it leads him straight back to Jonah. Their love-hate relationship will be stretched, tested, bent and perhaps broken. All while Chase tries to get revenge for a wrong done to him and figure out the pieces of his past that don't quite make sense.

This is a thrilling good read and it goes by fast. Pic shows some serious chops as a crime writer and this will leave you wanting more.

Great stuff if you like crime or noir. He's highly underrated as a writer in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fasten your seat belts!, April 26, 2009
By 
Wayne C. Rogers (Las Vegas, Nevada United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cold Spot (Mass Market Paperback)
Several years ago, a friend recommended Tom Piccirilli to me, and I purchased a couple of his horror novels in paperback. The books then proceeded to sit on my shelf for over two years before I finally gave them to another friend, having never read them. I never gave the author another thought. A few months ago, Duane Swierczynski (author of The Wheelman) recommended a number of writers and book titles to his blog readers. One book that caught my attention was The Cold Spot by Tom Piccirilli, but this wasn't a horror novel. No, this was a noir novel about a young wheelman who worked with his grandfather's crew, pulling heists and bank jobs, and how he attempts to break away from the man he fears the most and to start his own life, only to have to ask his grandfather (a stone-cold killer) for help a few years later in finding the man who murdered his wife. This sounded interesting! Also, the sequel to it, The Coldest Mile, was due out, so I took a chance and ordered both of them at the same time. These two books arrived in the mail a week later and then sat on my shelf for two months while I worked my way through a number of other titles. Finally, I picked up The Cold Spot and read it in an amazing two days, which is fast for me. My eyes were crossed after I finished it. That alone says how much I enjoyed the novel. I then placed an immediate order for more of Piccirilli's books, including some of those horror novels that I never read. Let me just say from the outset that this is a damn good writer of crime fiction and I now considered myself a die-hard fan of his work!

The Cold Spot is the story of Michael Chase (a.k.a. Chase), whose pregnant mother was murdered when he was ten years old and whose father later committed suicide from the grief of the tragedy. Chase in then taken in by his grandfather, Jonah, who is a career criminal and a stone cold killer who feels nothing for his victims. Over the next six years, Jonah teaches Chase everything he knows about bank heists, robberies, the con, how to kill, and how to be the best wheelman in the country. The whole relationship between Chase and his grandfather comes to head after a successful heist. During the getaway, one of the members of the crew plays a silly joke with a fish from the nearby market, and Jonah later kills him for it. When Chase confronts his grandfather about the murder of his only friend, he can see a cold look in Jonah's eyes that warn him to back off or he'd be next in line for a bullet. That's when Chase ends his relationship with Jonah and the crew. He then heads down south to start a new life and eventually meets Lila, a deputy sheriff in a small Mississippi town. It's love at first sight for both of them. Chase straightens up his life and marries Lila and has several happy years, until the day she's killed, trying to stop a crew from robbing a diamond merchant. It's then that Chase realizes that if he wants to track down the killers and get some revenge, he's going to have to find Jonah and ask for his help.

Tom Piccirilli has created two fantastic characters in Chase and Jonah. I kept seeing a young Brad Pitt as Chase and R. Lee Emery (the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket) as Jonah. These are two tough men who will eventually have to face off against each other, and only one of them will walk away. Until that moment arrives, the reader is in for a thrill-ride into the dark and shadowy world of grifters and con artists and bank robbers and the world's greatest wheelman. Chase is a character you immediately root for. Though he's done bad things, he's not a bad person. He basically only fights to protect himself and his family, but God help the person who does him wrong. He'll stop at nothing to get revenge, even if it means his own death. That's a trait he got from his grandfather. And. Lila, the woman who steals Chase's heart--well, think of Sandra Bullock. Because that who Lila reminded me of and what man wouldn't lose his heart to a lady like her and then go on a killing rampage to avenge her death.

The writing in The Cold Spot is tight and fast-paced, while the action and violence hits you squarely in the chest like a .44 magnum bullet. If you enjoy noir crime novels, then this will be a book you won't be able to put down. Even better, when you do reach the last page, there's the knowledge that The Coldest Mile picks up exactly where The Cold Spot ends. God bless Mr. Piccirilli for that. Now, if he will just write more books with Chase in them, he'll have a new following of fans to praise his name and to bow down before him in homage to his magnificent writing skills. Needless to say, this novel is highly recommended to crime fiction buffs that need a shot of adrenaline to give them that fast rush of excitement.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piccirilli Strikes Again, May 7, 2008
By 
Nick Cato "nickyak" (Staten Island, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Cold Spot (Mass Market Paperback)
Pic's latest hard-boiled crime thriller is his first without any kind of supernatural element; THE COLD SPOT is a two-fisted, bullet-flying, anti-hero revenge tale that's simply impossible to put down.
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The Cold Spot
The Cold Spot by Tom Piccirilli (Mass Market Paperback - April 29, 2008)
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