Cold Kiss – John Rector

If you fancy giving your heart a little exercise without employing too many other muscles in the body, sit down and read this short novel.  It’s tense and a sense of impending doom is saturated in each page.  And things start to happen.  That’s when your heart will stop, start again, leap and leap again.

Broke, Nate and Sara are running from their past and hoping to start afresh.  When they stop at the Red Oak Tavern they encounter an obviously very ill man, Syl.  Sara is concerned.  Later, the man walks out in a hurry.  But, with a snow storm approaching, they meet again at the gas pump.  There, Syl offers them $500 in cash to ride with them to Omaha and what have they got to lose?  When forced by the weather to stop at a motel, Syl appears to die on them.  They then discover that the $500 is part of a much larger stash.  Suddenly, they have a lot to gain and the temptation is too great…

With very lean prose over 275 pages, Rector packs in a tumult of events to reach a violent climax.  For a thriller Cold Kiss is not shallow and simply about the chase.  Here, we get to know Nate and Sara, understand their innocence and aspirations, be close to the extraordinary events they are forced to deal with, and to root for them.  Their journey is to hell, but can there possibly be a ‘back’?

If you haven’t felt your heart jump into your throat for some time, you will with this one.

From the author’s blog: this novel has been optioned for a feature film and is currently in development.  I am not surprised.