Many thanks to author E S Clifton for sending me the ARC. The review, however, is not sponsored and the words represent only my personal opinion.
Right off the bat, if I start listing the trigger warnings appropriate to this story, we will be stuck reading pages after pages of warnings. Suffice it to say, this is not a book for the faint of heart, nor for a casual read.
Cold Creek is a story revolving around Raiden Morita, in fact the part one of the overarching saga about Raiden Morita. Raiden is a surgeon with a not-so-successful career. He gets by comfortably, living alone with his trusted German Shepherd. Raiden is a package of personality traits and psychiatric diagnoses that unveil themselves gradually throughout the story, from a relatively standard obsessive-compulsive disorder to more than a few other disturbing labels.
But his seemingly simple, picture perfect, meticulously arranged life gets blown into smithereens when he is thrown into the middle of a human trafficking organization which caters to all kinds of deprave clientele, serving everything from child pornography to selling human beings and almost everything in between.
From there starts Raiden’s journey of survival, uncovering strength and courage he didn’t know he had, remembering his past trauma he had all but forgotten and realizing traits of his own personality he never could have imagined. In midst of all this, keeping him sane is one of his captors Roe Seo-jun. The two develop a bond that matures with each perceived betrayal, strengthens with each spell of violence, and deepens with each secret uncovered.
Against the courage and compassion stands the perpetrator of the operation, the epitome of cruelty and depravity known as The Cutter.
In this story there is an overabundance of violence of all kinds. Though not too explicitly or graphically narrated, it is still enough to make your skin crawl and yet, I found it difficult to keep the book down.
There are parts of the story where a certain sudden turn of events seem unexpected and out of order, but that adds to the unpredictability of the horrifying predicament the protagonist has found himself in. The book ends with a fitting end to the episode of Raiden’s life, sealing the fate of Cold Creek and yet, starts a new chapter immediately. I am looking forward to see where this story leads now in the next book.
My rating does not take into account the typos, formatting and other errors which are inherent to most ARCs and will assuredly be dealt with before the final publishing.
I would recommend this book to readers of gory, violent thrillers. Again, this book is not for the faint of heart.
Pre-Order on: https://amzn.to/3DlsaPP