Book Review: Cooler Than Blood – Hot New Novel by Robert Lane

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Cooler Than Blood

By Robert Lane

316 pages

Ex-military Jake Travis uses his covert op training to help people who need the services of a PI. One who doesn’t think twice about crossing the line – but only when necessary. His humor is as sharp as the knife he conceals, and he isn’t afraid to use either of them. When Susan Blake calls him, he ignores her at first. Not wanting to create any waves with his girlfriend Kathleen, he feels the less contact he has with a woman he felt attracted to, but successfully avoided intimacy with, the better off he will be. Until he finds out Susan’s teenage niece is missing.

Jenny Spencer, a recent high school graduate left Ohio without telling her mother and step-father.  She moved in with her Aunt Susan in Florida. Leaving home before a bad situation got worse; Jenny felt safe with her choice. Unfortunately a violent encounter with a man on a deserted beach quickly turned her world upside down again. Then she mysteriously disappeared.

The police are not concerned. She “ran away” once, so why worry about her now? That is Jake’s first response also. Until he finds out she left her cell phone behind. No teen would leave his or her phone for a few hours, much less run away without it.

Reluctantly Jake agrees to look for Jenny. He calls his partner, Garrett Demarcus to help with the case as well as a few of his other friends/partners that he worked with in the past.

Jenny’s trail isn’t easy to follow. It seems as though she is one step ahead of them. The question is; who actually has her? It could be a crazy drug selling family from Ohio. It could also be mobsters with ties to Chicago. It could be someone from her past or maybe she just ran away like the indifferent detective on the case believes. Jake needs to find her before she outlives her usefulness.

In a strange turn of events, Jake finds out a dangerous person in Kathleen’s past may be connected to this case. He has to figure out how to find the teen without dragging his personal life into the case. Balance is difficult for most people, but Jake’s failure to keep work and home life separate could prove deadly.

Lane’s work is beautifully literary, with a healthy side dish of noir. The blending of two seemingly unrelated styles is perfectly crafted to create a work of art you will savor to the last page. His characters have relatable flaws and quirks both good and bad, masterfully breathing life into them. Lane’s descriptions and dialog pull the reader into Jake’s world and don’t let go until Jenny is found.

The second book in Robert Lane’s Jake Travis works well as a stand-alone novel, but you may want to read the first in the series, The Second Letter before Cooler Than Blood. I read it last year and couldn’t wait to hear more from Lane (read my review here: https://lauramhartman.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/book-review-the-second-letter-by-robert-lane/). There are a few references to his first book, but I don’t feel it would be confusing if you have not read it.

Read them both – you are going to love this author’s work.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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4 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Mystery

4 responses to “Book Review: Cooler Than Blood – Hot New Novel by Robert Lane

  1. At first glance I thought I would definitely not be interested but you have almost changed my mind. The only part that worried me was the noir part. I tend to stay away from dark movies and writing. I carry it with me. The book does sound interesting though. I love a good mystery. A question though about the books in your header, are they from your own library or from the theme collection?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is much more mystery than noir. Jake is at times moody and had a sordid past that peeks through, but don’t let that keep you from this great author. He can turn a beautiful phrase in the most surprising plot points. A true master.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry I forgot to answer the question about the books. It is a picture of one of my bookshelves. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was hoping that was the case. My son said we need more light to get a good picture of one of my shelves. I kept looking at themes for one with bookshelves as that is where my passion lays. So far nothing has been found. Still trying to figure out how to make my own.

        Liked by 1 person

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