Cold-Blooded Liar by Karen Rose

March 25th, 2023 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 12 Comments

25th Mar

Sophia Rose is here with a review of Cold-Blooded Liar by Karen Rose. Come see what she enjoyed about this first in the San Diego Crime Files romantic suspense series.

Cold-Blooded Liar by Karen Rose
Cold-Blooded Liar
by Karen Rose
Series: San Diego Case Files #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Brace yourself for a scorching new series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Rose, where San Diego means sun, surf, sand…and serial killers.

Sam Reeves is a kindhearted psychologist who treats court-ordered clients. After one of his patients—a pathological liar—starts revealing plausible new details from a long-unsolved serial murder case, he’s compelled to report anonymously to the SDPD tip line, though his attempts to respect patient confidentiality land him facedown and cuffed by the aggressive (and cute) Detective McKittrick.

San Diego homicide detective Kit McKittrick loves the water. She lives on a boat, and when she’s not solving crimes with the SDPD, she’s assisting her foster sister with her charter fishing business or playing with her poodle. But there’s nothing that intrigues Kit more than a cold case, so when an anonymous caller leads her on the path of a wanted killer, she’s determined to end the decade-long manhunt.

Sam is soon released but goes home with both a newfound distaste for the SDPD and a resolve—not unlike Kit’s—to uncover the truth. Kit and Sam repeatedly butt heads in their separate investigations but are forced to work together to find one of the deadliest serial killers the city has faced in years.

Sophia Rose’s Review

Another draining, gritty, but in the end triumphant romantic suspense from Karen Rose. This latest takes the series to San Diego and a grim series of killings by a predator possessing a clever, cold mind.

Like the rest of the Romantic Suspense series, this latest can be started without reading the prior sub-series named after the cities where they take place.

I knew from the beginning that this was going to be an emotional, gut-wrenching story.  Kit was a foster kid who had significant struggles even before a foster sister became a long-time missing person’s case.  She can count on one hand with fingers left over the people whom she trusts, but she is an amazing detective for the San Diego department and she needs to bring down the guy hurting and killing these girls. 

Sam Reeves is her number one suspect, but she wavers because from the beginning her instinct tells her that he is one of the good guys. Unfortunately, there is a tightening circumstantial evidence trail leading right to him. She has to find a break that will put him firmly in the clear or nail him. In the meantime, she’s fighting feelings for him that scare her more than that he’s a suspect.

Sam is a golden guy. Amazing in his dedication and being good at what he does. He does the right thing and now he’s living a nightmare and forced to turn amateur detective to clear his own name.  Kit, even when she had him down in handcuffs with her knee in his back, has caught his attention, but he is well aware anything they might have must be oh so slowly and carefully cultivated- assuming he gets through all this.

The emotional side of the book is draining for me as is usual when I read this author’s books because she pulls you into the world so deeply. The victims are treated with dignity, but it is never pretty. The descriptions don’t get gratuitous, but are enough to feel the need for justice and really cheer on the team working to bring the fiend behind it down. Trigger warning to those who need to avoid mentions of abuse and killing of teenage girls and young women.

But, on the flip side, there is so much hope because the professions are portrayed as human, but good, tough, and relentless at their jobs. Kit was the main detective, but there were several working together and then there was Sam’s investigations, too. This one was interesting because the second main character is both a detective and a suspect and the author takes the reader into what that can feel like, as well.

All in all, it is a long book that read quickly and ended at a satisfying place with justice served, though what a shocking betrayal once the truth came out. The romance was more hinted as a possibility in this book and will hopefully develop over the San Diego series. If you love true crime or crime fiction, police procedurals or grittier murder mysteries, this series is one I can heartily recommend.

Amazon | Audible

About Karen Rose

Karen Rose

Internationally bestselling, RITA-award winning, author Karen Rose was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She met her husband, Martin, on a blind date when they were seventeen and after they both graduated from the University of Maryland, (Karen with a degree in Chemical Engineering) they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Karen worked as an engineer for a large consumer goods company, earning two patents, but as Karen says, “scenes were roiling in my head and I couldn't concentrate on my job so I started writing them down. I started out writing for fun, and soon found I was hooked.” Her debut suspense novel, DON'T TELL, was released in July, 2003. Since then, she has published fifteen more novels and two novellas. Her seventeenth novel, ALONE IN THE DARK, will be released in 2016. Karen's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, London's Sunday Times, and Germany's der Spiegel (#1), and the Irish Times, as well as lists in South Africa (#1) and Australia! Her novels, I'M WATCHING YOU and SILENT SCREAM, received the Romance Writers of America's RITA award for Best Romantic Suspense for 2005 and 2011. Five of her other books have been RITA finalists. To date, her books have been translated into twenty-four languages. A former high school teacher of chemistry and physics, Karen lives in Florida with her husband of more than twenty years, her two daughters, two dogs, and a cat.

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About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

12 Responses to “Cold-Blooded Liar by Karen Rose”

  1. Katherine

    I haven’t read anything by this author but her books have been on my TBR for years. This sounds like such a good book! And definitely a page turner.

    • Sophia Rose

      Her books are great and I love that you can start with any first book in a city set. I was hooked by the first Cincinnati one.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yeah, she’s a tough cookie to crack, but he’s so good at sticking by her that I have no doubts that time will make a difference. 🙂

    • Sophia Rose

      It is fun the way she moves her thrillers around the country. I’ve read some of her Chicago and Baltimore, all her Cincinnati and Sacto, and now her new San Diego and New Orleans ones.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, your fandom got me to go back and start reading her backlist when I’d just finished her Cincinnati books. 🙂

      I noticed the slow romance build too. I think it worked well because she really wasn’t in a believable place to have a successful relationship. As it progresses, however… 😉