Book review: Readers choose the twists in romantic mystery 'Cold Pursuit'

By Cecily Markland

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 30 2013 4:30 p.m. MDT

"COLD PURSUIT," by Susan Dayley, Walnut Springs Press, $17.99, 362 pages (f)

“Cold Pursuit” provides readers a say in how the intrigue — and even the romance — plays out. Indeed, the book becomes a mystery within a mystery as, at several junctures, readers decide for themselves which direction they would like the story to go.

There is also another element that adds to the overall reading experience. The author points out websites where readers can go to find images, additional clues to the mystery, information about the science of cold fusion, and even music.

The story begins when girl, Kennady Chandler, meets boy, Atticus Keane, who has recently moved into her Idaho neighborhood. Through a series of chance encounters, they soon become friends and develop some romantic interest, as well as work together to track down answers about who sabotaged the secret alternative-energy project being conducted on the university campus.

While not specifically stated that they are Mormons, it is implied: the Chandler and Keane families attend church together and Atticus has been in Germany for several months, presumably as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The inoffensive, clean language and romance make the story appropriate even for teens, and its interactive style will appeal to these younger readers as well.

While the relationship between Kennady and Atticus is a bit predictable at times and a coincidence or two solve the mystery almost too neatly, interesting characters, elements of surprise and the ways in which the reader becomes part of the adventure combine to make “Cold Pursuit” a book readers will enjoy and will likely decide to read more than once, if only to choose different endings.

“Cold Pursuit” should make readers eager for the upcoming sequel, "Hot Pursuit," and wonder which of the four possible endings leads into it.

This is the second novel by LDS author Susan Dayley of Spanish Fork.

Cecily Markland is a freelance writer, book editor, publicist and author of "Hope: One Mile Ahead" and the children’s book "If I Made a Bug." She owns Inglestone Publishing and produces cecilymarkland.com, a calendar of LDS events in Arizona.

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