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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Moody and Brutal Neo-Noir
Tom Piccirilli's "The Coldest Mile" is a moody, brutally violent, atmospheric, and magnetic sequel to "The Cold Spot". Piccirilli picks up Chase's pursuit of his criminally evil grandfather, Jonah, and Jonah's 2 year-old daughter, Kylie, who is actually Chase's aunt (don't ask). Having been raised to become a "grifter", thief, and getaway driver by his grandfather, Chase...
Published on March 12, 2009 by TMStyles

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chase is a serious moron....Book is marginal
First off the main character Chase should be dead no less then 6 times. This book is based of the idea of a suicide run basically. Then Chase hates guns which in a book where everyone has one makes no sense and is a death sentence. Sorry but a switch blade to a gun fight is n going to work. Especially after being shot a few weeks earlier and not heaped and infected...
Published 11 months ago by johne72


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Moody and Brutal Neo-Noir, March 12, 2009
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This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
Tom Piccirilli's "The Coldest Mile" is a moody, brutally violent, atmospheric, and magnetic sequel to "The Cold Spot". Piccirilli picks up Chase's pursuit of his criminally evil grandfather, Jonah, and Jonah's 2 year-old daughter, Kylie, who is actually Chase's aunt (don't ask). Having been raised to become a "grifter", thief, and getaway driver by his grandfather, Chase is determined to find Kylie and ensure that she is not subject to the same upbringing by the amoral Jonah--even if it means, finding Jonah and killing him.

Chase goes to work as a chauffer (not exactly his idea of being a "driver")for the deteriorating Langan crime family in New Jersey. While awaiting a big cash score, Chase ultimately crosses swords with Bishop, a tough mob hit man, and Sherry Langan, heiress apparent of the mob, who he quickly alienates by spurning her sexual advances. Chase does grab some syndicate money and takes off for Florida in search of Jonah and Kylie.

While searching for his grandfather and Kylie, he encounters various "strings" and grift crews all searching for the big score. Unfortunately, Chase makes a quick and wrong presumption early in his search which ultimately costs him time and leverage when he ultimately finds Jonah and realizes his error. From this point to the novel's finish is a deadly race against the mob and various lesser criminals, past debts calling for vengeance, kidnappers, and death squads all the while in-fighting for control with his malevolent grandfather.

The action is fast paced, violent, and surprisingly informative about the rules and structure of the criminal underworld. Piccirilli's dialogue continues to be spot-on and spell binding at times. His characterizations are multi-layered and believable. The breakneck speed of the novel is peppered with black humor that will whipsaw the reader from moments of laughter to moments of ugly violence.

I have truly come to value Piccirilli's plotting, pacing, and characters. My lone quibble with "The Coldest Mile" is the disappointment of discovering the entire novel was a setup for the next installment. I prefer my novels to have a clean beginning and ending without having to wait six months or more for the resolution of the plot. That being said, I can unequivocally recommend this novel to any hard core noir fans out there who like the stylings of Charlie Huston, Richard Parker, and Jim Thompson.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every bit as good as The Cold Spot!, April 26, 2009
By 
Wayne C. Rogers "Wayne C. Rogers" (Las Vegas, Nevada United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
The Coldest Mile by Tom Piccirilli (the sequel to The Cold Spot) begins where the previous novel left off. Chase needs time to recover from the bullet wounds that he got during his battle with the crew of killers who murdered his wife, Lila. He figures the way to do this and maybe pull down another score is to work for the Langan mob family as a driver for a month or so. The patriarch of the family is on his deathbed, and his lovely, but deadly, daughter is planning to kill her brother once daddy is finally dead. Along with that, the family business is downsizing and moving to Chicago due to the Russian, Jamaican, and Thai mobs trying to muscle in of their territory. This is the chaotic situation that Chase finds himself in the middle of when he's hired not as a driver or wheelman, but rather as a chauffeur. The last chauffeur had his throat cut right in front of Chase by the family's top hit man so that he wouldn't be able to say no to the job. Refusing to wear a chauffeur's hat or the pair of white gloves, Chase clearly knows his days are numbered, especially when the family's daughter, Sherry, offers herself to him and he politely says no to the enticing invitation. No woman likes being rejected by the chauffeur. What Chase has to do is make a big enough score, get out of Dodge, and head to Sarasota, Florida to locate his grandfather Jonah before the old man can destroy the life of a two-year-old girl. Chase knows in his heart that either he or Jonah will die in this final confrontation. Still, he has no choice because the ghosts of his wife and mother are telling him to save this little girl...the girl whose mother was shot in the head by Jonah...the girl who happens to be his grandfather's daughter.

Like The Cold Spot, this sequel weaves and turns at neck-breaking speeds, catching the reader off guard as it suddenly heads in a new, unexpected direction, though the ultimate destination is still Jonah and his infant daughter, Kylie. Piccirilli pulls no punches with the violence and meanness and evil of some of the characters, leaving the reader feeling as if he/she has touched something slimy and disgusting. The main character of Chase certainly has his hands full as he seeks to find that cold spot within himself so that he can do whatever is necessary to save the child, and that means killing fast without hesitation and emotion. The author also knows how to create intriguing characters with just a few short sentences that almost seem to explode outward from the page, and his writing is lean and mean just like Jonah, daring you to put the book down for even a second.

The Coldest Mile is every bit as good as its predecessor, The Cold Spot, and worthy of all the awards given to novels in this genre. This is a new series that you'll want to be continued, and the ending of the second book does leave it open for the third one as Chase learns who killed his mother and why, creating a turmoil and anger inside of him that knows no bounds. These are two novels that give me goose bumps every time I think about them. Few authors can do that to me with their fiction, but Tom Piccirilli is no ordinary writer. No, sir, this is a man offering to take you on an adventure that will change your life and your prospective about who you are as a human being. You may not like what you discover as your heart beats rapidly inside your chest, but there's no turning back once that first page is read. Highly recommended to all you adrenaline junkies who like to live vicariously through the written word.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly addictive, March 4, 2010
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This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
This was the first book of Tom Piccirilli's I read and was hooked. I have a short list of authors I seek out to read everything they've written and Piccirilli has made the short list for me. His books are original and fast paced,the kind that suck you in immediately and won't let you stop reading until you get to the end. I highly recommend this book as well as everything by this author.Others here have related details of the book itself so I will just comment you won't be disappointed with the writting or the storyline
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkest Noir, April 15, 2009
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This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
I first came across Tom Piccirilli's work a few years ago when I attended a Worldcon conference in Boston. I'd never been to anything like it before, and went to learn more about the writing world. Terry Pratchett was the guest of honor, urban fantasy was amping up in popularity and Harry Potter was still going strong. I felt a mix of awe and disappointment--I attended a lot of interesting panels, coffee klatches and the like. The parties were great, too. But along with this I felt a little disappointment in what I felt was an overbearing amount of kitsch. My concerns weren't about skill or artistry in this regard; not about saying one thing was `good' and another `bad'. No, I was thinking more about aesthetics. I had grown up on early Stephen King, plenty of 19th Century British novels and Dostoevsky. I liked movies like HEAT, SCARFACE and THE RING. I was someone comfortable with the truly grim and tragic and unabashedly seeking out books and stories that were edgy and disturbing. Yet I also wanted something with a very strong sense of character and thirst for insight.

The last day of the conference I swooped in on book stalls hoping for some last minute deals. I wasn't finding much.

Then this girl walked up and handed me a free copy of A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN. I read the first page and split to finish the rest.

And so: it may sound strong, and it's meant to: the one-two punch of its prose style and storyline reinvigorated my interest in contemporary fiction. A southern gothic piece of ambiguous supernatural dread, CHOIR was able to sneak up and knock me out with its wistful concern for a deranged, cursed family simply trying to survive into the next generation. And there were plenty of layers of complexity seeping up from underneath--the figurative language, brutal violence, ghost imagery and ravaged landscapes. It had a serious tone overall, and yet, the contrasts generated by characters in grim situations still being able to act casual in a believable way managed to be funnier than a lot of the kitschy, slapstick stuff I had been bombarded with.

So, I picked up NOVEMBER MOURNS next, then HEADSTONE CITY, then THE MIDNIGHT ROAD, reveling in reading someone who had obviously gone from student of the craft, to professional, and to, in my opinion, one of the best in the business. One saw that these borderline horror novels were drifting step by step to full-on crime noir. They were going from supernatural horror with a thriller feel to crime noir with a touch of the surreal.

And yet, unlike my relationship with Stephen King's writing, I didn't find myself losing interest with the `genre change'. Instead, I felt like the author was saying to the horror fans, `Hey, you like that? Let me show you this..." The clothing changed, but the quick pulse remained.

Which brings us to the COLD series. Chase the car thief plies his trade under the watchful eye of his crime-hardened grandfather. As Chase quits the crew and comes of age, he begins watching back, reviewing all the man has done for him and against him. With Chase, we see a completely new angle on the crime trope of `cops and criminals are so similar'. It revolves around family being the source and final consequence of all virtues and vices. As Chase bounces between thieving and teaching high school, going from rogue to married man and back again, we see how much both lifestyles depend on who your allies and enemies are. Being awake or asleep, being in or out of a relationship, it all takes on a dreamlike quality where deciding what's real becomes as difficult as deciding what's valuable.

Piccirilli packs plenty of action into this process. By the time we reach the second book, we've seen Chase on the road and in the city, getting tangled up with police, pickpockets, rednecks and other violent thieves. We witness him work it out with some wonderfully brutal fist and knife fights with both men and women. All around him are characters finding fates worthy of George R.R. Martin on an unforgiving day. These characters are drawn with dexterous depth that is a tribute to the author's style. Some make it, some don't. I won't spoil it with who's who (at least, not any more than the blurbs on the backs of the books do). I'll just say that it matters that we can actually worry about death and damage resulting from the violence, including realistic results dished out to the protagonist himself.

Beneath it all, we see Chase struggling not so much with recognizing the disloyalty of family and accepting or rejecting it. Instead we see him figuring out how the customs of loyalty/disloyalty in his family fit into the landscape of all families with traditions of their own. We see him figuring out his relationship with loyalty itself. It becomes very interesting to watch where Chase decides to be loyal and where to be disloyal, when to lie and when to be honest. His integrity ends up manifesting itself in some very original ways. In THE COLDEST MILE, Chase's meandering, morally ambidextrous nature contributes an extra surprise and extra wallop to the final showdown. Experiencing this alone is worth reading the book for.

Don't think my compliments come easy; there are a few places where my bubble was proverbially burst--like when the car thief expresses his love for Broadway; I didn't know whether to throw my book across the Greyhound or burst out in song. Well, I was humbled when I kept reading and found out his taste in plays. Also, there were a few places where I was tempted to try and nit-pick about crime realism. And yet, 99.9% of the crimes and scams described are so well put together, one has to hope it comes just from thorough research...

I could go on--cars as ghosts, Detroit as collective ghost, dreams that go beyond heaven and hell... But I'll leave it at this: if you haven't gotten in on this series and this author's books, do so; particularly if you're a junkie for the true dark, and especially if you're a junkie for the juice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Coldest Mile is Hot, March 14, 2009
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This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
Following up 2008's pedal-to-the-metal THE COLD SPOT, Tom Piccirilli coaxes even more hosepower out of his new release, THE COLDEST MILE. This lovingly crafted throwback to the golden age of noir features wheelman extraordinaire Chase, drawn right back into the bent life after the murder of his cop wife Lila and the kidnapping of his baby aunt Kylie.

Haunted by the unsolved murder of his pregnant mother fifteen years ago, and fearing that his sociopathic grandfather Jonah - the man who introduced him to a life of crime in his early teens - knows more about the crime than he is letting on, Chase scores a Jersey mob family slowly sinking into irrelevence and hits the road. He wants desperately to save Kylie from the doomed life he knows is in store for her if she stays with her father Jonah.

Along the way Chase encounters a twisted mob princess, hitters and low-lifes and second-rate "strings" and double-crossing chicks and, of course, Jonah, the seventy year old stone killer who is always at least a step ahead and whose only rule in life is to protect himself.

THE COLDEST MILE is filled with action, from the opening-paragraph murder all the way to one final, shocking revelation. It is dark and witty, heartless and filled with heart. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great dialogue and characterization, December 12, 2009
By 
Tim Niland (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
Picking up where The Cold Spot left off, Chase has left the debacle of the Newark disaster behind him, and has taken a job driving for a mob family looking to make a score and then go after his arch-thief grandfather and the young child he may have with him. It's grifts, scams and violence galore as Chase mixes it up with small time hoods, mob hitmen and then finally the man who raised him and introduced him into "the bent life." This was a great and absolutely cracking story, filled with action and barreling through to a cliffhanger conclusion. Piccirilli has a great gift for dialogue and characterization and uses that ability to his fullest in creating a great story that is highly recommended to all fans of crime fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Again, absolutely stunning, September 25, 2012
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Bordeaux Dogue (Lisboa, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
This sequel to The Cold Spot, where we follow Chase's travails.

The characters Picirilli creates, in their human dimensions, the anguish, the doubts, the raw meanness and kindness, the humanity is incomparable.

As are his plots and the pace of the large majority of his novels.

It is not often ( although it happens some times ) that some literary characters stay with us for life. With me, most of Picirili's do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chase is back and badder than ever!, April 8, 2009
By 
Paul Legerski (Corona, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
Piccirilli brings back Chase from THE COLD SPOT and delivers a great fast-paced crime novel.
This book is fantastic because the characters are not all good or all bad...they live somewhere in the "gray" area of morality. The dialogue and language is smart and the plot is full of action.
Highly recomended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom is the man., March 17, 2009
This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
Tom Piccirilli is one of the best authors working today, and his latest novel The Coldest mile proves it. This book picks up right where the first book in the series The Cold Spot left off. If you have not read anything from Tom Piccirilli you need to go out and pick up The Cold Spot and The Coldest Mile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second book in a fantastic crime series!, April 14, 2009
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This review is from: The Coldest Mile (Mass Market Paperback)
You simply must read this book but read The Cold Spot first for sure.

Tom Piccirilli is a definite must buy author and I can't wait for the third entry in this series as well as any other books he writes.

Money well spent and without a coupon - go figure!

Troy
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The Coldest Mile
The Coldest Mile by Tom Piccirilli (Mass Market Paperback - February 24, 2009)
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