Goodreads ~ Brett Tanager is the writer/producer of a hit TV detective show until the mistakes and bad decisions of one dreadful drug-addled night send her life skidding out of control into a downward spiral that takes her job, family, savings and self-respect.
At her lowest ebb, she is approached by Julia, her sixteen-year-old former stepdaughter whose best friend Caleigh has disappeared. Seems Julia’s classmates, young daughters of Hollywood’s elite, were partying with high rollers for a thousand bucks a night and now Caleigh is missing, her parents are lying and Julia is terrified. But not as terrified as Brett when Caleigh’s naked corpse turns up and Julia goes missing.
Brett’s attempt to find Julia plunges her into a dark, disturbing journey through moneyed Hollywood and its seamy undersides. Now she must find resources other than drink to overcome her fears, as she is pitted against cunning of a ruthless killer, and a web of deceit in which the darkest secrets may be her own.
Coldwater is femme noir, a fast-paced Hollywood crime novel with a spiritual undertow, a story of destruction and redemption nestled within a first-rate murder mystery.
When the story begins, Brett seems to have it all. She is a writer/producer of one of the hottest shows on TV, is living with Jonathon and is "stepmother" to his daughter, Julia. Unfortunately she is addicted to drugs and booze. While out scoring some drugs one night, she hits and kills a woman with her car (she doesn't get caught) and this sets her on an even more destructive spiral.
Fast forward a couple years and Brett has hit bottom. She and Jonathon have broken up (and he has since married Lynda), she had no job or home and is crashing on the couch of her drug dealer. Her friend, Gerry, asks her to housesit while he is working in Toronto.
Julia comes for a visit (she's now 16). She is worried because her friend, Caleigh, has disappeared. Caleigh and her rich friends (including Julia) have gotten involved in enjo kosia (aka "eating sushi) which is the Japanese tradition of young girls going out with older rich men for money. Caleigh turns up dead and Julia disappears. Brett, along with her ex-cop-now-private-detective friend, Mike, start tracking the girls' movements in hopes of finding Julia alive.
This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it.
It was an interesting story and I liked the writing style. I found that it was well-paced and kept me wanting to read more. I liked the characters. Brett is far from perfect but is committed to staying sober and straight, at least until she finds Julia. Mike has his own addictions and Brett doesn't know whether she can trust him or not.
As a head's up, the language is for mature readers.
The whodunnit at the end was a surprise and I was okay with it.
Though I liked the book, one thing that bugged me was when her Gerry called her from Toronto, the area code was 404 ... 404 is the area code for Atlanta, GA. Toronto's area codes are 416, 647 and 437. I'm surprised the author was sloppy on this.
I'd recommend this book.