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Covenant Communications
"Cold Justice" is a book by Kathi Oram Peterson.

"COLD JUSTICE," by Kathi Oram Peterson, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 263 pages (f)

When Regi’s fiancé, Samuel, disappears on the day he is supposed to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she must battle her fears that their relationship is over in order to help find and rescue him.

In this second installment by Kathi Oram Petersen, Samuel and Regi are again caught up in allegations of murder as the plot unfolds. Although "Cold Justice" stands alone well, readers may benefit by picking up its predecessor "River Whispers."

Peterson does a good job of keeping the action coming, and this easy summer read set mostly in an Alaskan winter is sure to cool off readers at the pool or park.

Characters are portrayed as very proactive and keep the plotline moving with great story arcs. Wakanda’s character is illuminated a great deal in this book, adding some important backstory and muscle to her. Trace, a new character, is also particularly well crafted with rounded out emotions and enough naivete to be likeable.

This clean Mormon suspense novel also has some touching moments where Samuel’s dire situation promotes his faith. What could come off as saccharine, Petersen carries off with sensitivity, and readers will find some respite from the suspense of the rest of the book in its more gentle scenes. Although full of suspense, the novel carries only brief descriptions of violence.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the book is the idea of how far tribal justice systems extend in small towns when tribes have jurisdiction over their own legal matters.

Although Peterson writes excellent prose, her poetry-like myth that preceeds each chapter has so many characters it’s hard to see the connection between it and the rest of the book. Also challenging is her use of the symbol of the raven throughout the book. In the beginning chapters the raven represents the evil which has overtaken Samuel, but in the poetry-myth the raven symbolizes God. This duality may confuse some readers.

Overall, "Cold Justice" delivers a fun suspense novel filled with romance perfect for a lazy summer afternoon.

Miranda H. Lotz is a military wife, mother of four, bibliophile and musician. She lives on a remote Air Force station in Cavalier, N.D.