Book Review: Cold Blooded by Matt Cairns
I’m afraid I’ve done it again. I’ve read a novel I would never normally read, because it is completely out of my reading comfort zone, and I’ve enjoyed it!
When I downloaded Cold Blooded, three words led me in: thriller, debut, and supernatural.
I’m reading debut novels for two reasons, to support new authors who either self publish, or do so with small publishers, and secondly because I want to feel the pulse of contemporary literature. Being a debut author myself, I want to know the type of novels new authors and booklovers are currently reading and writing.
Thrillers or supernatural genres aren’t my preferred reading matter, but you all know how I like to stretch my creativity.
I was a little confused at first, because I had imagined that the supernatural element was paranormal, my mistake. The supernatural element is associated with scientific experiments related to genetic engineering in a paramilitary organization. I soon realized I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to follow the absorbing plot.
The idyllic setting, in a small rural and remote location in New Zealand, in the middle of a severe thunderstorm adds to the tension and atmosphere. The characters, even the ‘supernatural’ ones are well developed and described, so that we care about what happens to the ‘good’ ones and feel animosity towards the ‘bad’ ones.
Some of the scenes are violent and repulsive, but not more than is necessary to put the point across. I didn’t feel it was unwarranted. The issues of good and evil, and how far violence can be justified for a ‘good’ cause, comes up in the narrative, and is summarized in Tom’s paraphrase of William James’s famous quote by saying: ‘The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.’
The plot is well-woven, well-written, and most importantly, well-unraveled and concluded. There was a moment towards the end when I was worried, dreading a happy ever after, or ‘easy’ ending, but that didn’t happen. I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending is very unexpected, partly poignant, and wholly satisfactory.
I highly recommend it for an exciting, action-packed, surprising, and thrilling read.
In spite of the specific ending, there is a small window open, which could possibly lead to another novel, which would no doubt be an interesting read, too. In any case, Matt Cairns is an author to look out for.