First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Charles Prandy for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
Always up for a good police procedural, I eagerly reached for Charles Prandy’s latest book A Cold Day for August. A detective works a baffling case where young women keep turning up murdered in various ways. With little to go on, Detective August Miller tries to follow up on the few leads presented to her. However, there’s something in her past that has her feeling a little off-kilter and may impede her usual clear headedness. A great start to what looks to be a new series, prefect for those who love a thriller with many twists.
Detective August Miller is a well-established homicide detective in Maryland. She’s called out to handle the discovery of a young woman’s body, apparently murdered by strangulation. With few leads, Miller must try to piece together the final night of the victim, in hopes of discovering the killer’s identity. While things seem to be leading in a certain direction, she encounters a few dead-ends, which only creates layers of frustration.
When another woman is found, this time drowned in a lake, Miller works even harder to piece the crimes together. Might there be a serial killer out there who is targeting young women for reasons as yet unknown? It’s also got Miller worried that someone from her past, her sister’s killer, has come back to resume his obsession.
While working these murders, Miller is called out to what seems like the suicide of an older gentleman. However, something is not making sense, leading Miller to think that there was some foul play. Could the case be tied to her two female victims?
With all this going on, Walter Presley, popular crime author, is going through his own issues. An admitted voyeur, Presley has been having a hard time pushing his urges down. He’s fixated on a new woman and ends up sneaking into her house on a whim, but has little interest other than spying on her. However, she’s gone missing and Walter cannot decide if he ought to come forward and help the authorities. His chance encounter with Detective Miller does not go well and a last-second decision puts him at the top of the suspect list. A killer is out there and Detective August Miller will have to find them before the victim count rises even more.
While I have never read anything by Charles Prandy, this book alone makes me wish I had. There is so much in this book that kept me wanting to read more, with a captivating writing style and a plot that never lost its fast pace. It was quite the experience learning about August Miller and her complex past, something I hope Prandy expands into a series of some length.
August Miller comes off as a strong protagonist, complex and yet easily relatable by the reader. She takes her work seriously and has no issue standing firm against the pushback she gets from her male colleagues. Her grit and determination propel her to never stop asking questions and trying to reveal truths that seem to elude others. Her personal struggles related to the murder of her sister seems to fuel Miller’s determination to help others, no matter the cost.
Prandy has a lot going on in this book and keeps his subplots developing with a strong supporting cast. While there were times that it was hard to keep track of everyone, Prandy keeps the characters evolving and intriguing, sure to help the reader want to know more. Be it the banter between Miller and the suspects or some of the lighter interactions in other chapters, Prandy uses his characters well to push the novel along.
I have read many crime thrillers and police procedurals over the years, some of which I found to be highly intriguing. Prandy opens his novel with what looks to be a killer’s journal, which had me hooked. I needed to know more and the story only got better from there. With a distinct narrative and strong dialogue, Prandy keeps the reader in the middle of the action. His short chapters not only propel the story forward, but forces the reader to push for “just a little more” before they put it down for a time. I was all-in from the early chapters and wanted to know more. By the end, I could only hope that August Miller might come back for another few cases, as she has something about her that remains unresolved. I’ll definitely add Charles Prandy to my list of authors to watch.
Kudos, Mr. Prandy, for a great novel. I will have to look into some of your other series, hoping they are just as good.
I love to read and review all sorts of books. My passion is crime and thrillers, but there are so many other genres that pique my attention.
While I am not a full-time reader, I try to dedicate as much time to my passion as possible, as can be seen on my blog and Goodreads.