Review of Cold Kill

Review of Cold Kill: The True Story of a Murderous Love by Jack Olsen
Rating ****

If there is one thing consistent with true crime books, it’s that there usually aren’t many likable characters. That is true about this story except for one private detective named Kim Paris, who wrangled herself into the life of a killer.

David West is an ex-Marine who described himself as having two personalities. There was the kind, thoughtful, and caring David. Then there was David the soldier willing to take on anyone who got in his way. I’ll call him loser one.

Loser two is Cindy Ray Campbell. She is overweight, dependent on others for her survival, and has zero ambition. She is in her mid-twenties but has never had a driver’s license. She has never held a real job.

When David first meets Cindy Ray, he see’s potential behind that shy, unkempt exterior. He encourages her to lose weight. He helps bring out her best qualities. He turns the ugly duckling into a swan. But Cindy has issues beyond her physical appearance. She claims to be the victim of incest and rape by her father.

A lot of time is spent getting to know the backgrounds of these two losers. They are both so unlikable that it is hard to keep reading about their twisted relationship. But when Cindy Ray comes up with the idea to kill both her parents to receive an inheritance, things kick into high gear.

Cindy is first to slip up. David does so reluctantly after falling for the seductive Kim Paris. In the end, they both get what they deserve.

Cynthia Ray Cambell

My only issue with the book was the author’s decision to get inside the minds of his characters. Yes, it adds depth to the story, but it also crosses the line as a work of nonfiction. Even if the author spent hours talking to each individual, there’s no way that he could know what someone is thinking all the time. I would also have liked some images of the people involved in this story. Lastly, the author never divulges whether or not Cindy’s claims of rape and incest were true. She had a child that was supposedly fathered by her father. I would have thought that a paternity test would have put the matter to rest.

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