BOOK REVIEW: Cold Truth By Joel Goldman

A Thrilling Ride!

Joel Goldman has written fourteen novels, with Cold Truth being third in the Lou Mason series. I came late to Goldman’s party, not a crasher, but invited when I listened to Joel interviewed by fellow crime-mystery writer, Paul Levine. My interest in the interview was to learn how Goldman became one of Amazon’s bestselling authors. Goldman’s responses to Levine’s questions intensified my writer’s curiosity about this highly successful author. So I bought Cold Truth to find out.

Lou Mason is hired to represent twenty-one year old Jordan by her adopted parents, Arthur and Carol Hackett. Jordan is the only person suspected by police when her psychotherapist dies when thrown out of her eighth floor office window. Will this be a typical courtroom drama? Not on your Martindale-Hubbell. Goldman’s trial lawyer mind complicates the case by introducing several other characters (too many characters to keep track of, in my view) with competing motives and more complex plot twist. But Goldman makes it all work to the delight of the reader.

The prose are joyfully absent of lawyerly legalese. Unlike another lawyer-turned-author, Goldman writes for his audience, like me, not legal eagles. The pace and rhythm of Goldman’s writing benefits from his choice of phrases. My only other criticism for this well done work is Goldman’s portrayal of Lou Mason’s love interest, Abby Lieberman. Mason falls deeply in love – way to quickly – without bringing the reader into the romance. It left this reader flat. I wondered if Abby would turn out to be the real killer. I understand that Cold Truth is a murder mystery, not a romance novel, but the love affair between Mason and Lieberman is a motivating factor in several scenes central to the story. I just did not buy Mason’s dissipated devotion to the aloof Abby.

My criticism obviously was not shared by the many readers who enjoyed Cold Truth, as did I. This evidence is represented by the many five-star and four-star rating reviews. A brilliant story, extremely well told and paced to entertain and enthrall the reader, I happily share my five-star rating in this review of a great read from a talented writer.