Cold Case Connection

Cold Case Connection

by Dana Mentink

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Hunting down old leads

puts a murderer on their trail.

Convinced his sister’s death wasn’t an accident, private investigator Sergio Ross is determined to catch her killer. But with all the clues hinting at a connection to another unsolved murder, he has to join forces with Helen Pike—a woman linked to both deaths—to find the truth. Can they follow the cold evidence trail to get justice…before they become the next victims?

Roughwater Ranch Cowboys

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335402639
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Series: Roughwater Ranch Cowboys , #3
Edition description: Original
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 267,403
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a national bestselling author. She has been honored to win two Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion, and a Reviewer's Choice award. She's authored more than thirty novels to date for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and Harlequin Heartwarming. Dana loves feedback from her readers. Contact her at

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Cold Case Connection 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
MJSH 4 hours ago
Another fantastic romantic suspense from Dana Mentink! This is book 3 in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series but can be read as a stand-alone (I highly recommend the other books in the series as well). The suspense in the plot is strong and well played out as Sergio searches for the one responsible for his sister's death. As the deceased sister's best friend, Helen feels responsible and does what she can to help Sergio figure out the truth. Sergio starts out as a bitter and hardened man but softens up considerably to Helen as they get to know each other. Helen is a tender but strong-willed manager of the ranch who doggedly searches for the answer. The romantic thread between Sergio and Helen is well-done and Sergio's twin nieces add a dimension of cuteness to the story. Sergio's bumps and mistakes in parenthood as he goes from carefree bachelor to overnight caretaker and father of two are so real, funny, and totally relatable. There is also a good faith thread and a lesson on forgiveness and letting go of vengeance. If you're following along in the series, you'll get some extra love by being able to catch up with Liam, Mitch, and the rest of the crowd from the previous books. Dana Mentink has to be one of my favorite Love Inspired Suspense authors. I can't wait for the next book where we'll learn about Chad and his stoic ways. I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Kathae 3 days ago
Need a quick suspense fix? Cold Case Connection by Dana Mentink is just what you need! Part of the Love Inspired Suspense Inspirational Romance line, this is a quick read, but contains a full story line with plenty of action. This is the third of Mentink's Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series, but it stands alone well. Although she is settled in her job, Helen Pike is still haunted by the murders of her friends, twelve years apart. The brother of one of those friends, Sergio, now a private investigator, has shown up in town to investigate on his own. Helen was quite likable. She took her work seriously. She was loyal to those who had adopted her as family, and was generous and kind. Sergio was still adjusting to his new reality as a dad to his sister's twin girls. He was devoted to those children, and kind, as well. The plot moved at a quick pace as Helen and Sergio searched for clues in this closed case. There were attacks against them as they came closer to the truth, which kept the book quite suspenseful. Those who enjoy romantic suspense will certainly enjoy this book. I received an ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
Virginiaw 4 days ago
I have loved the characters in this series. Each of the books in this series have been so fun to read. I love the suspense and the romance. This was one that I did not want to put down. I needed to find out who was trying to kill Helen. She and Sergio were great together and the twins were so sweet. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
MelissaF 4 days ago
I really enjoy Dana Mentink’s Love Inspired series’. They are so good and this one had me reading past my bedtime so I could see “who dunnit.” Have no fear, you don’t have to read the other books in this series to enjoy this one, but honestly, why wouldn’t you? Helen is a stubborn woman who feels guilty for the death of her friend. Sergio is a man with a vengeance but starts to question what God would like him to do in this situation. The ending so sweet, I almost cried, but of course I can’t tell you what happened, you would have to read the book for yourself to find out A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own
Erin_Slocum 4 days ago
My Thoughts on Cold Case Connection: I have read the other books in this series and was definitely on board to read this one. It’s a great suspense series that reads fast and furious. You’ve got mystery and a race against time to solve the case before the lead characters end up dead. Always makes for a great story! Helen was the character I’ve met before as she is the sister to Liam who starred in his own book in this series which you had better go read too. They had a super rough childhood and Helen relied on Liam to keep her going. They’re very close. When Helen was in high school just trying to survive she was friends with a group of kids. One of them ended up dead on a dare gone the wrong night. They went into some caves and she never came out again. The murder still is unsolved. Helen’s friend and sister to Sergio go investigating the case and then ends up dead as well. The killer is still around and taking out anyone who’s asking questions. Can Helen and Sergio find out who the killer is before they too end up dead? Read this one! Read the whole series! Wonderful book! Loved how it ended up and I do have to say that I knew who the killer was from near the beginning just because I pay attention to details! Highly recommend not only this book but the entire series. You will not be disappointed. Dana Mentink is a wonderful writer with a style that draws you in and won’t let you go! Because the author has done such an amazing job writing this series that I am going to have to keep reading all of her books. Now that I’ve read this series I’m hoping she has another one with five or six books to keep me reading. It might take me two days to read that many. I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Celebrate Lit. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
Librarycataloger 5 days ago
Within twelve years of each other two young women who were high school classmates are murdered but could these two deaths be related? Helen Pike and Sergio Ross both are determined to find answers but there's no love lost between them until threats and suspicious activities force them to work together. What follows is a tale filled with suspense, danger, and eventually, friendship and respect. Helen and Sergio are both intriguing characters but what kept me glued to this book were their constant efforts to escape gun fire, explosions, and a fire that was deliberately set. I admired Sergio's efforts to provide a stable environment for his orphaned three-year-old twin nieces and I also enjoyed watching his animosity toward Helen change to grudging admiration. As they continue to search for the truth, a change occurs and "He knew in that moment, he would give up everything, including his craving for justice, even his life, it it meant saving hers. If that wasn't love, he realized nothing was." Author Dana Mentink has written a story that reminds us that even when evil appears, faith and trust will prevail. If you enjoy Christian fiction and romantic suspense you will certainly want to read Cold Case Connection. I received a copy of this book from the author via Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required and these are my own thoughts
MeezCarrie 5 days ago
Dana Mentink is one of my go-to authors & Cold Case Connection reminds me why. Heart-in-your-throat suspense, endearing characters, and swoony romance plus a sweet faith thread equals the perfect formula for a riveting read! I love the Roughwater Ranch team – particularly the way they’ve forged a family that goes beyond biology to the cemented bond of shared life and deep love. We’ve watched Mitch and Liam survive mortal danger and falling in love – and now it’s Helen’s turn. Her story involves two intriguing cold case murders connected to her past, as well as a heaping helping of guilt over the ‘should have done differentlys’ and complex feelings for the brother of her late best friend. Helen and Sergio are wonderful characters who grab your heart right away, their layered back stories connected by Sergio’s sister Fiona who was also Helen’s best friend. As such, there are a lot of emotions involved between them, which leads to some very swoony moments (aka kisses!) too. I’ve liked Helen in the first two books, and I really liked her in her own story! She’s levelheaded, brave, and determined but while she’s stubborn about not being left out of the investigations surrounding her friends’ deaths she’s also not stupid about needlessly putting herself in danger. Sergio at first is a rather growly tough guy but we soon see his softer side, brought out by the ladies in his life – his sister’s two adorable twin daughters now in his care & his growing affection for Helen. He’s just downright swoony when he’s being a daddy or protective over his woman! Bottom Line: Danger, mystery, romance – Cold Case Connection has it all, plus engaging characters and a multi-layered plot that keeps your attention from start to finish! The sense of urgency on nearly every page heightens the suspense and tension, leading to some harrowing moments and sweet & swoony kisses! If you haven’t yet discovered Dana Mentink’s books and the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys, you are really missing out! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
Stardust_Fiddle 6 days ago
“They’d lost their childhood that night, all of them, any last vestiges of innocence had been sucked away by those dark tunnels.” Two murders from among a group of former high school friends, one in the past and one more recently, spark this “Cold Case Connection” by Dana Mentink. This is an author I’ve not read before, but I will now be watching for her books. This one puts me in mind of the Nancy Drew series that I grew up reading, with romantic interest slowly developing around the heroine, who finds herself in multiple dangerous situations that increase in peril the closer she gets to the truth. Some of the scenes in this book caused a chill, with enough romance to lighten the atmosphere and provide relief from the tension. Weaving together two crimes related yet with fifteen years between them, Mentink strategically uses characters and events to ultimately showcase God’s enduring love and forgiveness. Blaming herself for negligence after finding out her friend is dead, Helen Pike has not truly healed and moved on. It doesn’t help that her friend’s brother, Sergio Ross, also holds her partially responsible, a wound that reopens when Sergio shows up to conduct his own investigation of sorts. With danger dogging their heels, this unlikely duo doesn’t have much time to solve the “Cold Case Connection.” Christian suspense is always a treat because it offers the thrill and mystery without undue violence and in a clean environment. No scene is wasted, and there is undeniable suspense throughout. With this particular book, adding in an extended timeline and previous history between the characters enhances the mystery and intrigue. The lines are not always clear-cut, as in real life, but the promise of hope and deliverance never wavers. I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Pattistep 7 days ago
This book is SO good and has everything I love about the Christian Suspense genre: An intriguing storyline that kept me guessing until the very end; interesting characters that aren’t perfect but have their struggles; a budding romance that doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the storyline; and a faith-based hope that gives light all through the book. This every book in this series by Dana Mentink has been great, but I think this book is now my favorite. Even though there’s past references to the other books in this series, this one is easily read as a stand-alone. The setting plays a major role in this book, too. There’s quite a bit of mystery surrounding the tunnels, and that raises the suspense level in this story. Everything works together very well in this book and I enjoyed reading it. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
KrisAnderson_TAR 8 days ago
Cold Case Connection by Dana Mentink is the third book in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series. It can be read as a standalone. Helen Pike is checking out the old cabin one last time before it is demolished when she hears a noise outside. Everything fades to black when she is whacked on the head. Sergio Ross arrives at the cabin to find it on fire and quickly gets Helen outside. Fifteen years ago, Helen and four of her friends entered the old tunnels on a dare. Only four of them walked out alive. Three years ago, Fiona Ross was at the cabin and died later that day from a hit-and-run driver. Neither culprit has been apprehended. Helen recently found a note from Fiona in the cabin and turned it over to the police which is why Sergio has returned to Driftwood. He wants justice for Fiona and Helen is determined to help him. Cold Case Connection is a riveting tale with suspense, mystery and action. Sergio Ross wants to find the person responsible for his sister’s death and he believes Fiona’s death is connected Trish’s who died fifteen years prior. Helen feels responsible for Fiona’s death and she knows that Sergio blames her. They end up working together especially after someone tries to kill Helen in the cabin fire. Helen’s older brothers would prefer to wrap Helen in cotton wool and keep her locked in her bedroom, but Helen is just as stubborn as her brothers. The characters are developed, and I like how they progress. There are two adorable little girls along with a cute dog which add humor and lightness to the story. I like how faith is woven into the tale along with the importance of forgiveness. The mystery was interesting, but it was a cinch to solve. However, I enjoyed following our characters on their journey for the truth and justice. It has me eager to read Chad’s story. The ending of Cold Case Connection will leave readers smiling. Cold Case Connection is a well-written story with solid characters, an intriguing plot, and two mysterious deaths. Cold Case Connection is an enticing suspense with sweet twins, a precious puppy, a callous killer, overbearing brothers, and two cold cases.
Phyllis_H 8 days ago
A fast-paced adventure My rating is 4.5 stars Cold Case Connection is a fast-paced adventure as Helen and Sergio attempt to find the person who murdered his sister (her best friend) Fiona, three years earlier, and whom they suspect also murdered a high-school girl in the nearby caves fifteen years earlier. Danger lurks on every side and likely suspects seem to pop up everywhere. I enjoyed seeing how Sergio was so devoted to his lovely toddler nieces he adopted at Fiona's death. His love for them was so strong! Unlike some daddies in stories who are a bit of a superman, he was quite a bit at a loss of what to do - which made me like him more. Sergio's strong sense of family caused him to desire vengeance - enough that he became licensed as a private investigator so he could pursue the case! He had such a lesson to learn about allowing the Lord to be the one to take vengeance instead of taking matters into his own hands. Helen's many brothers were familiar from the other stories in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series. Though not brothers through blood, they were a close-knit family, sometimes smotheringly so. I loved the way they all cared for each other. One of the things I really enjoyed was the way each character's relationship with the Lord was so natural and so much a part of who they were. There was nothing preachy about the story and yet the spiritual aspects flowed throughout. While the real murderer was not very high on my suspect list, this person really was there. (Do you like the way I'm not giving away the gender?!) I confess, I really liked my own convoluted theory and the way it would have thrown a wrench into things but the real solution worked, too. :-) Though Cold Case Connection can easily stand alone, I recommend reading the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series in order in order to get the full backstory of all the characters. Read my review of Cold Case Connection by Dana Mentink at I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
GmawFL 12 days ago
light reading , love story and search for who killed trish. At times I felt like I was pulling leave off a daisy.." he loves me or she loves me, loves me not etc. mixed emotions but sometimes repeat to often. otherwise enjoy the journey
Betti1 16 days ago
High school seniors exploring some old tunnels, racing to see who can get out first - a race that ends in tragedy. One of the 5 does not get out alive - a case never solved. 12 years later, another is killed in a hit and run after doing some sleuthing on her own. Now there are only three left and someone is out to make sure that there will soon be only 2! What a fabulous, spell-binding, action-filled book! A note that seems to indicate there is more to the first murder and perhaps the reason for the second, fire, gun shots, explosions and more possible accidents had me glued to my chair until the mystery was solved. I must admit the author did a fine job of suggesting many suspects which only heightened the suspense. This novel was published by Love Inspired Suspense and Harlequin Heartwarming with a copy given to me through CelebrateLit. The comments, impressions and five star rating are my own and were in no way solicited.
train_lady 17 days ago
Dana Mentink weaves a fine mystery in this book! Sergio blames Helen for not being there to prevent his sister's death which he believes was murder. Helen was Sergio's sister's best friend, and she likewise blames herself for her friend's death. Sergio and Helen are very unlikely to ever be friends. But, they are drawn together in the desire to solve the murder of Sergio's sister, and in the process perhaps determine who killed one of her high school friends years before. As they start to poke around, they soon discover someone is trying their best to put an end to their investigations by putting an end to their lives! Helen is drawn to her murdered friend's adorable twin daughters whom Sergio is raising as his own. He begins to see Helen for the truly wonderful person she is, and she begins to find Sergio is a pretty nice guy after all. They start a reluctant romance that neither wants to admit is blossoming. Will they solve the mysteries before their time runs out? I have to admit, I was not able to figure out which of the several suspects was the real murderer until the last piece of the puzzle was put in place. This is a good read, and there is funny banter between Helen and Sergio. Helen's "brothers" also put in amusing and helpful appearances as well.
Christa4 17 days ago
Dana Mentink's newest release is a thrilling read! Cold Case Connection is the third book in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboy series. Helen Pike will never forget that night fifteen years ago, when her friend Trish was murdered. Helen and Trish were with three other high school friends that night, Fiona, Gavin and Justin. They were never able to find out who killed Trish. A few years ago, Fiona went looking for more clues because she had a suspect in mind. Unfortunately, Fiona also was murdered and now Sergio Ross, Fiona's brother is determined to see that justice is served. Helen teams up with Sergio in hopes to find the killer before it is too late. You will definitely want to read this book to find out the rest of the story! The author really brings the characters to life. They experience emotions we can all relate to including, guilt, frustration, anger, hope, faith and love. Once you start reading this book, you will not be able to put it down until you finish it! A must-read! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book from the author and have given my honest opinion.
PamHamilton255 20 days ago
I loved this book. Author Dana Mentink opens her story with a bang and does not let up on the suspense. She paces that action nicely with some sweet moments that make for heartwarming breaks in the mystery. The book's main characters, Sergio and Helen, are well developed and you root for them to not only find the killer in the two, linked cold cases but to also discover their own happily ever after. If you like your books filled with suspense but not violence, then this is the book for you. Disclaimer: I did receive a complimentary copy of the book from the author but this review is my honest opinion.
SusanFSF 21 days ago
Sergio Ross is sure that his sister Fiona was purposely run down by a cold-blooded murderer. So sure he gave up his diving career to become a private investigator. He must learn the truth. A trip to the area around Roughwater Ranch and the cabin she was staying in at the time is important. In a riveting opening Fiona's best friend Helen Pike is thrust into his life fanning the flames of his anger. A cold case murder, one that marked Fiona and Helen's teen years, spurs another investigation and a plot that moves like rough water with questions and danger. The ranch family ever protective of Helen watches over she and Sergio. I think this is my favorite of the series so far. Anger and guilt can be overpowering, family ties overbearing and the loss of two friends overwhelming for Helen. I like how the author brought Sergio and Helen together with the progression of them needing to help one another. The suspense builds as the believable plot carries forward. Characters from the first two books such as Aunt Ginny, Uncle Gus, Chad and Mitch are intertwined in this story giving protection and advice, even brotherly pestering. Cold Case Connection is the third book in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series. It will work as a stand-alone read but I recommend the set. There's a good suspense story here with a conclusion I suspected. The author had me doubting myself a couple of times though. I enjoyed this book very much. My thanks to the author and publisher for an advanced copy of the book.
NanceeMarchinowski 22 days ago
The third in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series, Cold Case Connection can easily be read as a stand alone. Connections from prequels are well defined and easily understood. This is another fast paced and unpredictable suspense story that kept me hooked throughout. A murderer has struck twice in the same circle of friends, and with no clues to his identity the author takes us back to the events surrounding the first murder committed several years ago. Characters in this series are likeable and realistic, and it's easy to feel swept away and a part of their lives. That is not to say that all characters are upstanding and honest. Relationships are strained as events from the past have not been redeemed, but forgiveness becomes a strong point in this book. Dana Mentink has a talent for keeping her readers interested and involved in her suspense stories. There is no time for boredom as action and mystery lurk around every corner, and the plot moves along swiftly. I love these books for numerous reasons. They're easy to read, fast moving, and they take me away from the more pressing issues in my life. Highly recommend, and looking forward to the fourth in this series! Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book. All expressed opinions are honest and my own.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 22 days ago
Let's get something straight right now. I don't want or need you involved in this investigation. Am I clear?' Dana Mentink brings us another novel in her Roughwater Ranch series and it's the best yet! I think. Each one she writes I feel is the best. But this one is great. Fifteen years ago a high school girl was killed in a series of tunnels she and her friends were exploring. The case was never solved. Three years ago another woman is killed, one of the ones who helped explore the tunnel. Sergio Ross has come to town to find his sister's killer. He is raising her two year old twins and is determined to get vengeance for her death. Helen is one of the ones who helped explore the tunnel and lives in town but Sergio holds her partly responsible for his sister's death. Now someone is trying to kill Helen! What is happening? Why is this murderer still trying to kill everyone who was in that tunnel? It's up to Sergio, Helen and Helen's brothers to figure it out before anyone else dies. Mentink once again proves her ability to write a great suspense novel here. I read it in just a few hours. Great characters, good plot and enough intrigue to keep your nose planted in the book till you've finished. Recommended. *My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. The opinion here is my own. (less) flag 3 likes · comment · see review
BrittanyMc 23 days ago
Cold Case Connection is a really good suspense story! It is book three in the Roughwater Ranch series, but can absolutely be read as a stand alone novel. The author kept me guessing throughout the book. It was intriguing to learn how these two cases were related and there were quite a few possible suspects that could have been behind the two murders. The tunnels were a scary place to be, both in the past and in the present story! It definitely added a sense of urgency to the book when the main characters had to venture down into them. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Amigagal 23 days ago
Cold cases are fascinating to me. Clues are hard to come by or they would have been found long ago but the loved ones left behind are still grieving. Such is the premise of this latest book by Dana Mentink. As with the other books in this series, the author writes compelling & fast paced suspense. There are plenty of suspects in this story as to who killed two people - one, a high school girl 15 years ago, and another, a young mother, Fiona, of twins just 3 years ago. The brother of the mother of twins, Sergio, has become the guardians of them and he wont rest until he finds the killer. It's been 3 years and the authorities are still no closer to finding his sister's killer so he comes to Roughwater Ranch to do it on his own. His sister's best friend, Helen, works on the ranch and she's never forgiven herself for not being there for Fiona when she needed her the day she was killed. Together Sergio and Helen are going to find the truth, even though they don't particularly like each other! As I said, there is lots of drama and plenty of suspects. You will have a hard time putting this book down! I loved the scenes with Sergio and the darling twins! It was so hard for him to be a dad when that role had been thrust upon him! Check it out!
susanmsj 23 days ago
What a great mystery with lots of twists and turns. As usual, Ms. Mentink left me guessing until the very end. I loved the evolution of the relationship between Sergio and Helen. I also loved that both Sergio and Helen were both needing to quit blaming themselves for Fiona’s death. Forgiveness, especially forgiving one’s self, was a theme throughout. I would recommend this book. I received a copy of this book from the author and was not required to write a review.