#BookReview: Cold Dark Night by Joan Hall @JoanHallWrites

Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for an author and friend and fellow Story Empire contributor, and whose writing I always enjoy, Joan Hall >>>

About the Book:


Book cover for Cold Dark Night by author Joan HallNew husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.

Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.

But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s one-hundred fiftieth year, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.

Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, Jason will be the next to die.

My Review:


After reading the prequel to this series, House of Sorrow, I grabbed a copy of Cold Dark Night as soon as it released. Sadly, it’s taken me a wee while to find the time to read it. If not for the demands of hubby and sleep (lols), I would have finished this wonderful tale in one sitting. I love this author’s books.

The story opens in the 1800s and then switches to the present day, where most of the narrative and mystery unfold. Shortly after moving to Madeira, Tammy joins the local historical society, while her husband takes up his new position of town police chief. All too soon, Tammi discovers murders going back centuries that, somehow, seem deeply and disturbingly connected. Worse still, their new home may have played a part in the demises of the many prior police chiefs who’d lived there before meeting untimely deaths. Coupled with folklore around the periodic absence of a full moon in February, and the timing of the deaths, Tammi finds herself with more questions than answers and soon fears for the safety of her husband and herself.

Alongside this spooky narrative, we meet the kind of character I REALLY love to hate, Vivian Kincaid … the mayor’s wife, who thinks far too highly of herself. The author did a great job of making me hate this woman intensely, as well as caring for the other characters deeply.

Here are some lines I loved …

‘Under the right circumstances, we’re all capable of murder.’

And …

‘I could live a life with regrets or choose to be grateful for the time we had.’

Slowly, the timelines draw a picture of foreboding, premonition, intrigue, suspense, lies, deceit, and foul play that will keep you on the edge of your seat and trying to guess the whodunnit.

Cold Dark Night gets a solid 5 stars from me, and I can’t wait for book 2 in this series!


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

UK … https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

US … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/


42 Comments on “#BookReview: Cold Dark Night by Joan Hall @JoanHallWrites

  1. An excellent review of this book, Harmony. I also need to find more time to read all the books I have.

  2. Wonderful review, Harmony. Thank you for sharing it. Congratulations, Joan. I have my copy and look forward to reading it! 😊

  3. Excellent review, Harmony. I love those awful characters that get us all riled up! Congrats to Joan on the latest book and wonderful review. I enjoyed the prequel and suspect this one will be on my list before long. 🙂

  4. Excellent review, Harmony, and you picked some great lines from the book. Cold Dark Night is my favorite read of Joan’s to date. She really outdid herself with this one!

  5. Thank you for this wonderful review, Harmony. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. No pressure from the comments here to finish the next one! 🙂

  6. Adding it to my kindle, though it may take a while to reach the top of my TBR list.
    The length isn’t entirely your fault, Harmony, but when you give a book five stars you do it in a very tempting way!
    Well done, Joan, and good luck with Cold Dark Night.

    • Lols. I’m hiding from my TBR. I keep hearing it growl from around dark corners, ha ha ha. I think you’d enjoy this one, Sarah 🙂

    • I know about that TBR list. Mine keeps growing and growing even though I keep reading. Thanks for the well wishes and I hope you enjoy it, Sarah!

  7. What a wonderful review, Harmony! I totally agree with your thoughts on this book. Like you, I enjoyed it thoroughly! Thank you for sharing, and congrats to Joan!

  8. I really enjoyed this one myself. It takes talent to write someone like Vivian.