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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Cold Oath by the prolific Ray Flynt is a contemporary novel...very contemporary. The plot events take place just over a year ago when Trump and Clinton were on the campaign trail, the movie "Spotlight" was raising awareness of pedophile priests, and Rolling Stone's story of college campus rapes was making tongues wag. On the campus of the fictitious Brandell Lutheran College, mature journalism student Ryan Caldwell digs into the 20-year-old unsolved bloody double murder of a young teen and Brandell College's male chaplain. At the same time, Ryan pursues the story of a recent student gang rape of a female co-Ed at a college party. Ryan teams up and eventually falls in love with the current female chaplain, Lori. Using the power of print in Ryan's "Cold Oath Blog" with Lori's help, Ryan raises college awareness of campus rape. Simultaneously, their combined investigative skills and a link to Lori's past that Ryan doesn't suspect help them solve the old murder. The revelation of the murderer's identity surprises both readers and Cold Oath's characters, and brings the novel to a satisfying close.
Ray Flynt writes much like one would expect his protagonist to write: chapters are short, some almost news snippets. This makes for quick, easy reading. It's a bit like picking up a newspaper, except it's all one well-connected story full of human foibles and emotional highs and lows. The characters aren't super deep, but they're not superficial either. The plot line is interesting enough to keep readers hooked, though some may find the time given to Christmas church celebrations distracting. However, those are necessary to give Cold Oath realism: the female protagonist, Lori, is, after all, a chaplain. Young adults and those familiar with and interested in college life and its people will enjoy Cold Oath. An easy, light-weight read.