The Cold Spot
Bantam, May 2008, $6.99
When he was ten years old someone killed his eight months pregnant mother with a bullet to her head. His father cannot cope with his loss and leaves Chase in the car while vanishing on his boat. Chase is in foster care until he grandfather Jonah comes for him. Jonah is a career criminal who brings Chase into his life of crime; eventually the grandson drove the getaway cars. Chase walks out on his grandfather when he sees Jonah cold bloodedly kill a friend.
Chase drifts around the country stealing cars for robberies and leaving once the loot is distributed. In a small town in Mississippi, he and his cohorts botch a robbery. Lila wants to arrest them, but Chase escapes. He hangs around town and soon the thug and the deputy sheriff marry. They move to Long Island where she obtains a police officer job and he becomes a teacher. They are happy together until Lila dies in the line of duty; Chase seeks revenge but needs the help of the last man he would ever ask for assistance if he is to succeed.
This novel starts at a rapid pace and just keeps getting faster as the action continually comes even after Chase leaves behind his life of crime for marriage in the burbs. When his beloved is killed by a getaway car driver, the homicide hits his soul as that is what he used to do and his heart as the victim is his Lila. He swears to cross a line he never crossed before; even for his grandfather. Readers will admire his courage and need to avenge his beloved although his criminal activity past is another story; it is the audience’s reaction to Chase that affirms Tom Piccirilli’s writing skills.