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Cold Front

Cold Front - Ann Somerville Rating: 4.25

Pindone is a fantasy/futuristic/paranormal world populated by both normals and those gifted with talents. These talents can range from telekinesis, empathy, telepathy, and pyrokinesis with different levels of strengths/grades. All people with talents are marked by the government with tattoos visible to the public, and the strongest level talents are required to wear a tracking collar.

Dek is a cop (or "parg") in this futuristic world, in a city where the only thing colder than the weather are the brutal serial murders of young teenagers and women. And Ren, a talented forensic specialist, will be the catalyst for a collision course in both Dek's past and future. These two will partner up to solve a brutal crime that will unsettle the political landscape of Pindone for years to come.

Cold Front is a compilation of the following stories:
1) One Brief Encounter: Dek
2) One Brief Encounter: Ren
3) A House is Not a Home
4) Cold Front

One Brief Encounter is an introduction to how Dek and Ren meet. Nothing plotty at all, but a nice way to also introduce the world of Pindone. A House is Not a Home goes more into the budding relationship between these two (while getting to know our MCs even better) and Cold Front is a full-blown serial murder investigation. The story is told in first-person POV between Dek and Ren.

So let me just state how fan-freakin'-tastic the world building in this story is. It's a futuristic story in a fantasy world riddled with paranormal beings. Yet despite all this, none of the elements seem over-the-top and is crafted in a believable setting. The world of Pindone is not a pleasant one, so readers should be warn that Ann Somerville doesn't pull her punches when it comes to violence, gore, death, new types of human enterprises and manipulation. There are also political factions and discrimination among the populace between the normals and talents. And even among the talents as well. My only world-building complaint is the lack of explanation of certain things (e.g. Pindone's units of measurement), but it didn't affect the grand scheme of things.

Then there's the serial murder investigation. While the majority of Cold Front focuses on the investigation, it doesn't ignore the relationship aspect between Dek and Ren. It was a nice blend between the two aspect which kept the romantic in me satisfied. But I'll be honest here: the relationship here is about as smooth as a gravel road, so don't expect fluffy/sweet.

And to be honest, I haven't read a police procedural story this entertaining and exciting in a very long time (perhaps since [b:The Administration|7474738|The Administration|Manna Francis|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1353002762s/7474738.jpg|9572526]).

While the book blurb makes Cold Front sound like an erotic BDSM compilation, let me just say that it really is NOT. This isn't the focus of Cold Front. The main characters are into the D/S and BDSM scene, but that's about it (there are a few well done sex scenes throughout the compilation, but sex isn't the focus here).

So if you are looking for a gritty, violent futuristic/fantasy/paranormal murder investigation story filled with LOTS of man pain, then give Cold Front a go. Plus, it's only $3.99 for over 150K words, which is half the price (and length) of most of the books that I read and enjoy less.