Maestro: a great or distinguished figure in any sphere.
Grim Reaper: the personification of death.
Combine these two and place them in the small mountain town of Cold Hollow. Sit back and watch the mayhem unfold as sinister dealings are in the air again. There are new arrivals, job placements, and housing to arrange, but with Mayor Myrna Bradbury busy with wedding planning and her fiancé's family arriving in town, will she be able to keep up with the machinations? When a young girl goes missing, Myrna begins to strategize again, only to be stopped by "The Maestro".
Heads on a pike, inventive uses for nail files, garrotes, and twisted nursery rhymes all play a part in book three of the tooth-rattling Cold Hollow series.
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"Nothing ever goes smoothly in this town, Myrna"
How have I missed this marvellous Cold Hollow series up until now? My heartfelt thanks to the publisher, author or narrator who sent me a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Without this I might still be unfamiliar with the outrageous, colourful and somewhat sinister characters inhabiting this otherwise ordinary little town.
Cold Hollow seems idyllic set in glorious countryside and boasting a bountiful bakery and excellent food. A wedding is soon to take place, uniting two families, one of which is from outside of the town so they book into the hotel for a two week stay. They are not an ordinary family. But then, neither is that of the bride to be. Both sides have secrets which will have to be told.
There is another newcomer to Cold Hollow, also - a drifter looking for work, or so he says, a man who smiles a lot, a stalker. And then there is a funeral..The story is so unexpected, with total normality cheek by jowl with simple acts of violence. There are nursery rhymes like you've never heard them before, and old fashioned values right beside evil intentions. Ms. Howard has created inhabitants and visitors who are so bizarrely real yet colourful enough to have stepped from a comic book. The dialogue is sometimes surreal in content yet expressed in so natural a way it feels authentic and true, giving the speaker even more credibility. I wouldn't want these people as friends but in my head they have become a sort of extended family.
The narrator, J Scott Bennet takes it all in his stride. His pace matches exactly the feel of the book: never too fast or emotional but always calmly carrying the story ever onwards. His voice has a pleasant lulling quality to it and, without overacting, he clearly differentiates each character in the dialogue.And he adds just that touch of creepiness which underlies the whole story.
This is the third in the Cold Hollow series. It doesn't matter - it is completely stand alone. But I, for one, will now seek out the earlier books. I really want to get to know the town, and it's inhabitants, better. From a distance, of course ...
- Norma Miles
I received a free copy of this audio book in exchange for a free review.
This was possibly my favourite of the Cold Hollow series. I loved the family interactions and the plot and everything. There were still some pacing issues that I feel have plagued the series as a general issue, but it was a lot less evident in this book than the previous two.