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Summary

A fractured marriage. A silent family. A secret that connects them all.  

When DC Cat Kinsella is approached by Joseph Madden for help with his wife, Rachel, there's not much she can do. Joseph claims that Rachel has been threatening him but can't - or won't - give Cat details as to why. 

Dismissing it as a marriage on the rocks, Cat forgets about it. That is until Naomi Lockhart, a young PA, is found dead after a party attended by both Joseph and Rachel, and Joseph is arrested for the murder. Joseph says his wife is setting him up. His wife says he didn't do it. The trail of evidence leads to even more questions....

Adulterer. Murderer. Victim. Who would you believe?

©2019 Caz Frear (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Stone Cold Heart confirms Caz Frear as a crime fiction force to be reckoned with. A gripping, layered story - and a last line that left me desperate to read the next Cat Kinsella adventure!" (Erin Kelly, author of Broadchurch)

What listeners say about Stone Cold Heart

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Beauty Among the Beasts!

You know, there is a quite special quality about what Caz Frear is doing with her books. In amongst some pretty nasty crimes she has set a beautiful character, DC Cat Kinsella. She is beautiful because she has a massively down-to-earth vibe about her, she's not perfect, she has concerns that range from the mundane to the extraordinary. There is a definite hint of the Bridget Jones about her though this is never overdone or allowed to detract from the seriousness of the storyline or descend into farce. This is no rom-com, Kinsella also has an inner toughness and she works in a tough world.

There are some things here that are more typical of the modern detective genre, a troubled past and a difficult, actually very difficult, family background for example but apart from the softer character approach Freer also quite refreshingly provides Cat with competent and caring superiors rather than the usual angry incompetents. It means that there is a very refreshing normality at the centre of all the harsh criminality which for me added a feel of honest realism.

The story itself is an intriguing mystery, there's very little action to speak of, it's all about the investigation. While it's not what I would call fast-moving Frear spends a lot of time on the investigating officers and their theories. The scenes I most enjoyed came in the police interviews that were conducted where Cat shows some real steel. I really liked the fact that the book spent some time with the interviews giving them proper attention.

The performance by Jane Collingwood is absolutely top-notch, she gets Cat to a 'T' and she is able to purvey both male and female characters with considerable aplomb which isn't something you can say about most narrators whichever sex they are!

So, in summary, not an action-packed thriller but an extremely satisfying read with genuine depth of character and sense of place. The interrogation scenes, in particular, stood out to me as did Cat, her bosses and several of the other lead characters. This book completes its own story and at the end sets the scene for more to come, I suspect much more! Cat's life doesn't look like getting any easier . . .

13 people found this helpful

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The Cat Kinsella Legend Continues - FAB!

It seemed a very long 18 month wait for this second book from the brilliant Caz Frear but it was so well worth and and cleverly written so new readers can jump into this second outing for Detective Cat Kinsella without reading Sweet Little Lies first and indeed then can equally then enjoy it afterwards. Bonus!
Indeed I am looking forward to re-reading Sweet Little Lies while waiting for the next adventure which this book left me gasping for with it's enigmatic end teaser.
Stone Cold Heart is just such a gem and so naturally told it just draws you in so you just buckle up for the twisting turning ride rather than enjoying the skilful seamless writing, multilayered characters and intricate plots and subplots and this total immersion in a mystery is the hallmark of a top class thriller and a true and rare talent.
Excellent narration by Jane Collingwood, as in book one, though as Cat was born and brought up in Ireland it would have a bit more bite and authenticity if narrated by an Irish Actor who would know Kinsella's Irish pronunciation is KinSELER not the anglicised KINsellA.
However when one is presented with such a fabulous confection as Stone Cold Heart so skilfully and seamlessly crafted by such an amazing writing talent as Caz Frear,it does not really matter if the cherry on top is Glace or Morello ........ it is still the most divine moreish treat and I was delighted to devour every last fiendishly plotted crumb of it.
Highly recommended, and head and shoulders above the average Detective Murder Mystery Thriller.
5 stars ++++++++++

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The best Narrator you’ll find...

This is the second book I’ve read in the series and I still haven’t worked out wether or not - the hands of a lesser narrator - I would have enjoyed them. Whilst brilliantly written by Caz Frear, they are police procedurals with very little twists and turns and little to no action (by design I add) but Jane Collingwood seems to breath life into the characters and energy into the narrative to such extent, it’s very difficult to stop listening and not to immediately download the next instalment in the series when finished. A very talented writer and without doubt the best narrator I have ever come across. Onto the next :-)

1 person found this helpful

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A great read/listen

Another great book by Caz Frear. Well drawn characters, a great plot, well written and excellent narration.

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A Struggle

I enjoyed book one, and I enjoyed the story of book two but I found it to be more of a challenge as there was no action whatsoever, my mind kept wandering and I found it difficult to stay awake. I had to read some chapters 2 or 3 times. The cliffhanger in the very last paragraph makes me wonder if I could possibly read book 3 to find out what happens.....

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Brilliant

Love the main character Cat and enjoying following her story, will be purchasing the next book in the series

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enjoyable

I was looking forward to this second Cat Kinsella novel having really enjoyed the first one. I have to say I didn't think this one was as good, but saying that, I did enjoy it overall. For me, the problem was that none of the suspects in this case were likeable so I didn't really care what happened to any of them. The narrator was really good but her Irish accent is cringe! Worth a listen but I would recommend reading book 1 of this series first.

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Love Cat Kinsella

Gripping story, great characters ,good pace I highly recommend Caz Frear books she is a really good author.

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Chipper narrator proved distracting

I had such a hard time with this book. I kept falling asleep on it. It didn't seem to want to move forward and I kept forgetting who all the people were. The worst part was the narrator. Why was she so bright and chipper? This was meant to be murder mystery, right? Everything about the performance was annoying. I will be returning this one.

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Great story, brilliant narration

I really enjoyed this book, the characters and the pace. The narrator is so good, I was really entranced by her performance. I would recommend this book.