Slate is a man trying to recover from the loss of his family in an accident. He accomplishes this partly by changing many aspects of his life, which leads to selling the family home, buying a beach bar, and also a sailboat. His new residence.

A lawyer by profession, Slate now likes to take on missing persons cases. He likes finding lost things.

His newest one involves a missing teenaged girl, Kris Kramer. Her father Don has hired Slate, but Slate has barely started his investigation when Don Kramer is found murdered.

Now Slate’s job has gotten a whole lot harder, and as he discovers more and more about some of Kramer’s business dealings, he realizes the complexity of the task he has taken on. Plus, there are those who are desperately trying to warn him off the case.

How will Slate find what he needs to solve the case? Who will he connect with along the way, and what individuals/agencies will turn out to be helpful? What does the gas and oil industry have to do with the case, if anything?

Cold Winter Rain (Slate) is set in several Southern cities, including Birmingham and New Orleans. The author has shown us just what those places look like, including some of the fine dining experiences the characters enjoy. The story takes place in January, during the rainy season. I always like feeling as though I’m walking alongside the characters in the books I read, and that mission was definitely accomplished in this one. Slate’s foray into a romance with Kris Kramer’s soccer coach is his first attempt at a relationship since his wife’s death. I enjoyed the moments between them.

The story moved along quickly, with short, suspenseful chapters. From the beginning, I quickly engaged with the characters and the plot. When Slate begins examining Kramer’s “oil and gas” files, I had a hard time staying interested, but that feeling soon passed. Afterwards, the characters and the story reeled me in. Finding Kris and learning who murdered Kramer came out of left field, but it also made total sense in the end. 4.5 stars.

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