A Cold Summer Sky by John Charles

A Cold Summer Sky by John Charles
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (87 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Sawyer Wahlstrom, CEO of Fidelity Independent Research Group (FIRG) rarely opened email from someone he didn’t know. This one was different.

The subject line read Stop the NuHygen project or the next one will die. The attached video showed a car being sideswiped, run off the road, and crashing into a line of parked cars at the school bus stop. Children were screaming and it was apparent the driver of the sideswiped car was badly injured.

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Simple questions, or so he thought, until his search for answers puts his own life in jeopardy.

Accidents aren’t the only reasons why cars smash into things. Sometimes those crashes happen deliberately.

The opening scene of this story was so suspenseful I couldn’t stop reading. While I certainly didn’t want anyone to be injured in that car crash, I really liked the detailed descriptions of why it happened and how all of the onlookers responded to it. It was such a dangerous moment in these characters’ lives that I couldn’t have imagined a more fitting introduction to the mystery that was about to begin. The danger only made me more curious to find out what would happen next.

I would have liked to see more attention paid to the character development in this tale. While I liked the characters quite a bit, all of their personalities remained pretty stagnant from the first scene to the last one despite everything they’d been through. This wasn’t something I would have expected based on how many major life changes they experienced. It sure would have been helpful to see examples of how those experiences helped them to grow as people.

One of the things I did enjoy about the characters was how much common sense they had. When they were in danger, they kept cool heads and did their best to get to safety no matter what was going on around them. This is always something I enjoy seeing in the mystery genre, especially when the stakes are as high as life and death itself.

A Cold Summer Sky should be read by anyone who enjoys fast-paced mysteries.

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