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Cold Fury (Cold Fury Series #1)

Cold Fury (Cold Fury Series #1)

4.0 10
by T. M. Goeglein

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Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure

Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance—until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).

Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat


Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure

Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance—until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).

Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies—a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense—hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.

Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Let down by plot holes and a barely developed supporting cast, Goeglein's debut, first in a planned trilogy, fails to do its nifty hook justice. When Sara Jane Rispoli's family goes missing and she is nearly abducted, the 16-year-old suspects her jealous Uncle Buddy is behind the crime. A hidden tape from Sara Jane's father reveals a secret room in the family bakery that helps her discover the Rispolis' history with the Chicago mob. While there are several fun hooks in the story (including a series of "Capone Doors," secret escape doors hidden in many old Chicago buildings and El stations), they pale next to oddities like a four-star hotel staffed entirely by mob employees, mob enforcers beating up a school bully, and a case of literal (and ludicrous) rattus ex machina. Adding to the mix are inexplicable character decisions—most notably Sara Jane's decision to return to school while still on the run from her assailants—and the sort of large-scale cop-and-mobster collusion that falls apart unless all the players are hypercompetent. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jason Anthony, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (July)
VOYA - Mandy R. Simon
Sara Jane Rispoli is the sixteen-year-old daughter of a Chicago baker. Creating delicious Italian pastries is not all the Rispoli family does, however, as Sara Jane finds out after the death of her grandfather when her parents and brother are violently snatched from their home. The Rispoli family is deeply involved in the mafia. Empowered with keen boxing abilities and fighting skills that she was taught at the young age of eight, Sara Jane becomes the key to solving the mystery of her family's disappearance. During her mission to save them, she uncovers additional mysteries her parents had kept from her since birth. Sara Jane's character is relatable as she grapples with typical high school issues and drama surrounding boys and gossip. Her dedication to the sport of boxing and foreshadowing insight into her family's mob involvement also paces the story evenly before the plot action crescendos. Once her family is kidnapped, the plot quickens and readers will no doubt enjoy the action-packed scenes and quick getaways as Sara Jane unravels the mystery. This book is recommended for middle school students who appreciate an engaging thriller and anyone with a penchant for organized crime stories. Reviewer: Mandy R. Simon
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—Sara Jane Rispoli is no ordinary teen. While she's worried about the regular stuff-boys, friends, and the upcoming school dance-she also has to contend with situations nobody her age should. Coming home after school one day, she finds her front door ajar and the house ransacked. While investigating, she is attacked by a large man in a black ski mask. Her instincts take over, and she begins an epic run for her life that, she hopes, will uncover the truth about why her family vanished and whether or not they are still alive. While some passages of this story are engaging, including action sequences that are forthright and expeditious, they can't mask the weaker elements, including unrealistic dialogue and poor characterization. While Sara Jane's uncle and his mysterious wife serve their intended purpose as the novel's chief antagonists, their motivations are never clear enough to justify why they are willing to kill Sara for her mysterious silver briefcase. Crooked Detective Smelt and her seemingly endless army of evil police officers are more like campy caricatures than believable villains. Sara Jane herself is never really a protagonist readers will get behind, as she seems more interested in cracking corny jokes about those chasing her than actually saving the family she claims to care so much about.—Ryan Donovan, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Paranormal elements uneasily mix with Mafia entanglements in this debut. Chicago teen boxer Sara Jane has grown up cozily protected by her warm Italian family, presided over by Grandpa Enzo "the Biscotto." (The "Men Who Mumbled" who visit the family bakery sometimes call him "Enzo the Boss.") When her grandparents die, tension flares between her father and his younger brother. On her 16th birthday, she returns home from a school dance to find her house trashed and her family vanished. In between violent encounters with a terrifying man in a ski mask, she works feverishly to find her family, discovering in the process a colossal secret (that will not surprise readers) and a family trait passed down from Sicilian ancestors that mystically intimidates foes. Goeglein's book has a lot going for it--Sara Jane's school friendships, her warm relationship with her family, cool Mob stuff, boxing action, some humor--but the parts don't hang together gracefully. Sara Jane narrates from an irritating had-I-but-known perspective for too much of the book, then continues narrating in the past tense, leaving readers unsure exactly "when" she is. Exposition is fed to readers through a variety of contrivances, some thoroughly unbelievable. And the blue-eyed, "cold fury" glare feels tacked-on rather than necessary to the plot. With another draft or two, this could have been a terrific thriller; here's hoping the sequel gets a little bit more time to develop. (Thriller. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
"Readers will no doubt enjoy the action-packed scenes and quick getaways . . . an engaging thriller."—VOYA

"Engaging, including action sequences that are forthright and expeditious."—SLJ

"For readers who have had to look to adult suspense like James Bond for a rush, this one has a heroine worth cheering."—Booklist

“...several fun hooks...”—Publishers Weekly
"Goeglein’s book has a lot going for it—Sara Jane's school friendships, her warm relationship with her family, cool Mob stuff, boxing action, some humor . . . " —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Cold Fury Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.32(h) x 1.16(d)
1050L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Readers will no doubt enjoy the action-packed scenes and quick getaways . . . an engaging thriller."—VOYA

"Engaging, including action sequences that are forthright and expeditious."—SLJ

"For readers who have had to look to adult suspense like James Bond for a rush, this one has a heroine worth cheering."—Booklist

“...several fun hooks...”—Publishers Weekly

"Goeglein’s book has a lot going for it—Sara Jane's school friendships, her warm relationship with her family, cool Mob stuff, boxing action, some humor . . . " —Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

T. M. Goeglein lives in Chicago, Illinois. This is his first book.

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Cold Fury 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
Holy, awesome book, Batman! I fell in love with Cold Fury before I even began reading the content within its amazingly written pages. It was love at first sight the moment I gazed at the cover. It called to me, it was destiny telling me that I was going to enjoy every second of the novel and like always (or, most of the time) I was correct! Cold Fury is a captivating story packed with action, dark family secrets, and a strong female main character on the run from the police—and I adored every minute of it. Cold Fury begins with a prelude that catches the reader’s attention and drags you into the beginning of the story. I found the story original in the way that it begins by introducing us to the life of the main character, Sarah Jane Rispoli, up to the present day. The one thing that definitely caught my attention was the fact early in the novel when Sarah Jane is still six years old, she gets into boxing. And holy, finally somebody got it right, Batman! T.M. Goeglein doesn’t describe the sport in some cheesy, cliché way. The author uses the correct terminology and realistic movements and actions. Thank goodness. When the story does finally end up giving us the story introduced on the back of the book, I was finally well acquainted with Sarah Jane and was shocked at the quick pacing of the novel. Not once was I bored. It kept my attention when it came to boxing, family feuds, and eventually the mob. Goeglein managed to make me sorrowful, happy, and constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. The main character is one that I personally think has no equal, despite being so badass, Sarah Jane, still holds human qualities and is still very vulnerable. Plus, she holds an inhuman stare that strikes fear into the hearts of many. Awesome-sauce. Since her family has been kidnapped, I felt that I could easily put myself in Sarah Jane’s situation; Doing dangerous things to save the people she loves. Goeglein used descriptions to his advantage and had a writing style that I am yet to be introduced to, which was more than refreshing. However, I hope that if I ever do literally end up in Sarah Jane’s shoes it isn’t because my family is a part of the Chicago Outfit and somebody wants a notebook filled with family secrets and Italian words. By the way, readers, there was a bunch of Italian being spoken in the novel and I found it nice to see another language besides English and to have translations (and it gave the novel the 80’s movie mobster feel). I would recommend Cold Fury to fans of action, mafia/gangster movies, and YA adventure novels. From what I’ve seen from Cold Fury, I want not only a sequel but more novels like this in the YA market. Seriously guys, this is officially part of my top 3 favorite YA novels.
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS I piked this book up sort of impulsively at a cheap used book sale. I didn't really know much about this book except that it's a thriller. I was a bit disappointed, it wasn't as actiony as I expected, but it was very interesting! Sara Jane thought her family was normal. They're a bunch of bakers, that's all. Then she comes home to find her family missing and her home ransacked. Turns out her family is part of the Chicago Outfit, basically a long-running mob. Now, Sara Jane is the keeper of the notebook, full of the Outfit's secrets, and must prevent it from getting in the wrong hands, as well as trying to survive, and find her family. My main problem with this book is that it takes forever for things to happen. The first 150 pages is mostly just backstory. It isn't until then that her family disappears, though Sara Jane alludes to it in the very beginning. I was expecting a thriller, but the first half was a bit dull and just was leading up to the family disappearance, which it took way too long to get to. The second half was much more action packed, with made me happier. I finally got to know what was going on, though was some info-dump but that's okay mostly because Sara Jane didn't know what was going on either. I ended up finding the whole Outfit interesting as well as how everything was organized! As a main character, Sara Jane is a great one. She's tough and smart. Many others in her situation wouldn't know what to do, but she was able to keep it together and figure things out. Still, she felt real. The other characters in the book didn't feel so real, they felt like there were just there, but most of them were necessary so... As for romance, there is supposed to be some, but it's hardly there and it just felt so important. Sara Jane kind of has a crush on a boy, but nothing really happens with him. I also really didn't care about him because he was really flat. Good news: the romance didn't distract from the plot. IN CONCLUSION I sound like I'm just complaining, but I did like this book. It had a compelling plot and a great MC, it just was slow-paced for a thriller and the other characters felt too flat. I don't know if I'll read the next book or not, mostly because I've heard the the second book is a bit of a slump. Maybe I'll read it if I come across it, but otherwise I might pass.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Coulnt even finish it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read this book. It has tons of thrill and a bit of romance. Cold fury will have you staying up till midnight trying to fiqure out Sara Jane Rispoli's next move.
SweetPeaBubbles More than 1 year ago
This book intrigued me as soon as I read the plot synopsis. It sounded so thrilling and adventurous that I couldn't help but read it. I've never quite read anything at all like this novel. It's a thrilling and exciting and adventurous read that I'm so glad I took a chance with. Reasons to Read: 1.One of the strongest female protagonists I have read about: Sara is a main character that I really, really have to admire. She is incredibly strong and clever. She is placed in this really hard situation, and yet she manages to almost keep it fully together the entire time. While she does fall apart at one time, she is able to get back up again and keep moving forward. She knows when to attack her enemies and when to hold it back. While she is a really strong heroine, at the same time she is only a teenage girl. That side of her still shows through in some instances, which I felt made her feel more real. 2.Easy to understand: I wasn't quite sure of how much I would be able to understand the parts about the Mob in the novel. I don't have a lot of background information on it, so I hoped that I wouldn't have to know all about it in order to understand. I was really glad when I started reading it, and all the things that were mentioned, were explained. It's good to have a litle bit of information beforehand, but I don't think that it's necessary for the book to make sense. Complicated situations I thought were explained fairly simply, which I was really glad of. I will admit that the first third or so of this book goes by a bit slow. A lot of it is background stuff that happens way before the book's main plot. While it is a bit tedious, I was glad of it because without it I don't think that the book would make as much sense. I know that this novel has a lot of mixed reviews, but I think that it's really good. I would reccomend this to someone looking for a thrilling read. ARC received from Penguin Canada for my honest review; no other compensation was received.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read this year
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Cold Fury was a roller coaster. It had its ups and downs but the end sealed it for me. It is a solid beginning to this thrilling series. I loved how the genre of this series is different from the usual YA novels. I LOVE crime/mystery novels/movies/shows and it finally transcending into the YA world just brings joy to my life! (a bit dramatic I know). Cold Fury has been on my wish list ever since I read the synopsis and I'm glad I was able to read it! The story starts off when everything already happened. When Sara Jane already knows her family is entangled with the mob.. correction, her family IS the mob. So the bakery business her family runs is just a front. Also, her family has been kidnapped and she's all on her own. Oh, and she's a trained boxer. At the age of sixteen. How awesome is that? I was so excited to dive into the action straightaway but the next chapter takes us a couple of weeks before everything goes down. I was a bit unnerved at that because the story seriously slowed down. I wanted the action! the thrill! not Sara Jane in school, starting to like a guy, and worrying about a school dance. In a typical contemporary that would have been cute, but here? after getting a taste of the thrill at the beginning? not so much. Also Sara Jane keeps on eavesdropping on her parent's cryptic conversations along with her younger uncle's issues with her family because he isn't being included in all their secrets of the other family business. It took me a while to get through the 100 pages or so but I knew the book had promise and I loved Sara Jane's voice. She was definitely a powerful and smart female protagonist. Sara Jane also possessed the "Cold Fury" which would be explained in a bit too much details (i ended up really confused) in the latter half of the book. Now when we finally get answers, we get them at an overwhelming rate that I ended up being a bit confused. There was a lot of history and people involved that I couldn't wrap my head around. However you don't really need to know that much information and throughout the book you gather the necessary info to keep you in the loop. When Sara Jane has finally gathered the info she needed and starts to take action, I couldn't put the book down. The amount of times she faced the bad guys and had to use her brains and boxing skills to fight them off or escape, I held my breath and couldn't flip through the pages fast enough! The last 100 pages or so were what made the book for me. I was on murky, meh ground but when the action finally started, I didn't care if it was a bit too late, it was worth the wait! I expected the story to resolve at the end of the book however 30 pages to the end I told myself there was no way it would and I was right. Cold Fury is the first installment in a series, therefore I understood why the beginning was slow and the information was loaded on us. T.M. Goeglein spent most of this book building Sara Jane's world and the end of her kicking butt. While many issues weren't resolved, I have no doubt that we will jump straight into action for the second book and for many of those unanswered questions I have to be answered! I definitely recommend this book to all YA readers who want to read a different genre from the usual!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookWhales More than 1 year ago
Cold Fury will satisfy the reader’s hunger for action and suspense Cold Fury made me want to watch the sopranos again! This book is full of yummy goodness that will appeal to suspense and action lovers. The story will take you to the daunting streets of Chicago. Get ready for the twists and secrets that will put you on the edge of your seat. This book is fast paced! The story is about Sara Jane’s quest to find her family and to discover the secrets behind the Rispoli Clan. She thought she had a normal life. She didn’t expect to be a daughter of a mafia! Her uncle had betrayed her; parents and brother are missing and mean assassins are looking for her. Will she be able to her find her family? Are they still alive? You have to read this book to find out. The world building is very good! I feel like I was watching a movie. The scenes are very cinematic! The part when Sara Jane watched her dad mauled by a guy in ski mask from a recorded camera made my heart pump so fast. It was gripping! The author did a great job keeping the readers glued to the book too. There were many questions and secrets that were yet to be revealed. I find myself thirsty for answers! I simply want to squish the book to get the answers right then and there. Instead, I patiently tried to control myself and let the story unfold. This book is a page turner. The characters are vibrant and well developed. Sara Jane reminds me of Katniss and a bit of Harry Potter. She’s my favorite character here. I love how she’s independent and courageous. She won’t stop until she finds her family, all in one piece. I love her strong personality too! Willy is my second favorite. I love his perception in life. They way the author wrote the book, impressed me. Cross-gender narration is not easy. I give him two thumbs up for pulling it off. I enjoyed Sarah Jane as a character! How the author / Sarah narrates her life, past and present made this book an enjoyable read. As for the love angle, this book has little romance it in. I must confess that I’ am disappointed. I love books that can make my knees weak due to the sugary dialogues and chivalrous acts. This book gave me none. Overall, this book is a marvelous read! Cold Fury will satisfy the reader’s hunger for action and suspense. I can’t wait to read the second book!
Falln2books More than 1 year ago
Anyone who wants to read from the perspective of a smart, tough, mature heroine needs to pick up Cold Fury as soon as possible. While Sara Jane's name may cause you to think that she came straight from Little House on the Prairie, her strength and resourcefulness will quickly end that notion. While there were some dialogue and pacing issues within this novel, Cold Fury is full of action and suspense. It will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. You don't want to miss this one! I'm going to start with the very few things that I don't like and then tell you about the many things that I do like about this book. The dialogue was a bit ridiculous and cheesy at times. It seems like Goeglein has watched gangster movies too many times and now thinks that anyone who lives in the general proximity of the mob will talk like a 1920s thug. I lived in Chicago for many years, and hope to return there once I get my BA, and I have never heard anyone my age or younger refer to someone else as a "knucklehead." I mean some of the dialect in the midwest is a bit archaic, but not that archaic. Also, the use of "pinhead" threw me a bit. That is yet another phrase I never heard uttered in the Chicagoland area. I'm 99.9% sure that no teenagers really say those words. Having the teenagers say those words kind of makes everyone in Chicago seem like they should be wearing fedoras and running from the "coppers" or something. It's pretty comical, so I laughed at some inopportune times because of that. Anyway, other than the dialogue, the pacing was a bit slow. It seemed to take a little longer than it should to get from one important point to the next. Those two issues aside, I loved this book. Sara Jane is the strongest heroine I've ever read in an adult novel, AND she's a Cubs fan. She doesn't waste time taking care of what needs to be done, and she certainly doesn't spend her time pining after some boy. Sure, there are romantic interests in this book, but she barely has time to worry with them. Instead, she takes care of things that need to be done in order to find her family. She's loyal to her friends and puts her family first. The girl obviously has her priorities straight. And where a lot of YA heroines would have broken down, cried, and waited on some knight in shining armor type to save them, Sara Jane squares her shoulders and carries on. And guess what, when she meets a hot guy, she doesn't go crying to him about her problems. She keeps them to herself and does what she has to do. She even *gasp* turns down dates! It's a miracle in YA literature that a female would EVER turn down a date. Because of her independence (and the fact that she's a Cubs fan), I think she is the perfect YA heroine. There isn't a lot of secondary character involvement quite yet, but my favorite is Tyler. I hope to see more of him in the sequel. I did love Sara Jane, but I think my favorite thing about this novel is that it feels like Chicago. Sara Jane's attitude and the way she interacts with the people around her, combined with the landscape painting that Goeglein does, made Cold Fury feel like home to me... which inevitably made me incredibly homesick. However, that Chicagoland feeling is part of what made me love this novel so much. It really does encompass all that is beautiful and terrible about the city. I hope the sequel has more of the same feel to it. Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who