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Cold Waters

(Normal, Alabama #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,156 ratings  ·  178 reviews

From USA Today bestselling author Debbie Herbert comes a thrilling story of murder and madness set in the darkest corner of Alabama.

Everyone thinks fourteen-year-old Violet is a murderer. After a summer-night swim with her best friend, Ainsley, Violet is found confused, wandering in the forest—and Ainsley’s never seen again. But without a body, murder charges won’t stick

Kindle Edition, 310 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2019 by Thomas & Mercer
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  • Cold Waters by Debbie Herbert
    Cold Waters (Normal, Alabama #1)
    Release date: May 01, 2019
    From USA Today bestselling author Debbie Herbert comes a thrilling story of murder and madness set in the darkest corner of Alabama.

    Everyone thinks fo

    Format: Kindle book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 100 copies available, 1819 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Mar 31 - Apr 30, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    3.83  · 
    Rating details
     ·  2,156 ratings  ·  178 reviews

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    Wow! To say that I like Southern Noir is an understatement and when it done well, it knocks my socks off. Cold Waters, my Amazon First Reads selection for March knocked it out of the park and into the parking lot beyond. This is one amazing chilling, twisty, dark book!

    When Violet was 14 years old, tragedy struck in the town of Normal, Alabama and the town blamed Violet for its loss. A young girl vanished without a trace, the last person to see her was Violet, who was found wandering in the fores
    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    I have terrible luck with Amazon First Reads Books. I didn’t hate COLD WATERS as much as I have previous months’ choices, but I didn’t like it either.

    Violet’s friend Ainsley disappears and Violet is suspected of her murder. She spends years in a psychiatric hospital and is now back in Normal, Alabama to help her (awful) sister care for their father who has dementia.

    COLD WATERS is filled with unsavory characters from liars to mean girls (women) to sociopaths. Violet, who narrates a good portion o
    Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Cold waters hold secrets

    This was my First Read choice for April, I love psychological suspense books so this was a no-brainer. The story goes back and forth between the disappearance of Ainsley and the present day. Violet has no memory of what happened and it has wrecked havoc on her mental health since that night.

    By the end of the book many mysteries come to light, it is definitely a psychological nightmare. It's a page turner, well worth the read.
    Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Two girls go into the woods for a midnight swim but only one stumbles out incoherent and unable to remember what happened.

    A decade later, a skeleton is discovered and old secrets come to light.

    There were many narrators in this story which might have been confusing but actually added to the insight into the characters’ psyche.

    The central character earns sympathy off the top though it’s unclear exactly her role in her friend’s disappearance. Is she guilty or was it all an accident?

    Getting to the
    Diane D White
    Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
    This Does Alabama NO Favors

    Bless this author's heart, she wrote a book I'm sure exacted enormous amounts of effort, time, and determined hopes from her, and the most charitable thing I can say is "So THAT happened".

    It's pretty awful.

    Every sordid stereotype of inbred Alabama dysfunctional society crawls out from the dark pages of Herbert's tale. I didn't even grow up there and I'm still embarrassed for the poor place.
    Kat Brownell
    Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
    I just wasnt that into it. I was all set to give it a 3, until near the end, when it turns out that every character is either: a murderer, covering up a murder, protecting a murderer, concealing evidence, planting evidence, framing innocent people, disposing of bodies, and/or stealing corpses. And these are the protagonists! And then they all live happily ever after. Hard no from me.
    Charles  van Buren
    Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Charles van Buren


    2.0 out of 5 stars

    Very predictable

    April 7, 2019

    Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

    This review is of the Kindle edition:
    Publication date: May 1, 2019
    Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
    Language: English
    ASIN: B07HF4SCB7

    Not my usual sort of book but the author lives in Alabama and the book is set there in a town named Normal. And the description promised that the town is anything but normal. It all happens right next door in Alabama and is described by some as South
    Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
    One of the worst books I've ever read

    I chose this as the free kindle book and it was hugely disappointing. The story line was absurd and the characters were poorly developed. Huge waste of my time. Don't bother reading it.
    Josie Mae
    Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
    It left a bad taste in my mouth. They kept trying to convince us the protagonist was a good person, a little too hard. Maybe she was a good person in bad circumstances, but how could she live with the way this book ended? I agree with many of the reviews - flat characters, too many tropes, badly planned and too many unbelievable twists. There weren't any characters we could like... they were all pretty despicable. SPOILERS:, but I kept expecting Violet to grow some balls and go to the police wit ...more
    Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    As I slowly learned the truth about a troubled woman, I became totally caught up in her life where questions about the past and present keep mounting. I have read many of the prior books written by Debbie Herbert, and was thrilled to get her latest release. She has a knack for creating original plots plus unique characters, and the first story in the Normal, Alabama series is a great example of her talent. There are numerous uncertainties from the very start of COLD WATERS, and as each unknown f ...more
    Laurie Buchanan
    Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I'm a fast reader, but COLD WATERS by Debbie Herbert made me read like greased lightning — I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen next. Especially with one of the sneaky, conniving, and manipulative characters — the personification of evil. Twists? Yes! Characters you love to hate? Most definitely! Rooting for the underdog? Absolutely! I highly recommend this book!
    Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: thriller
    Unfortunately this just didn’t work for me; I felt that the characters were all flat, confusing and unlikable, the twists weren’t twists at all and the revelations were dull.
    Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Cold Waters was my Kindle First pick for the month of April 2019...
    ... And I think I did a pretty good job picking this month!

    The book begins with the main character, a young woman by the name of Violet Henderson, returning to her hometown of Normal, Alabama after she is finally declared mentally competent and released from the state's care. News of Violet's homecoming quickly spreads like wildfire through the small town of Normal, dredging up a lot of pain for several of the town's citizens, es
    Darcia Helle
    Debbie Herbert's writing style makes it easy to get lost in the story. I felt like I was there in the small town of Normal, Alabama, along with the colorful cast of characters. That being said, I found the plot too predictable and, at times, far-fetched.

    The story opens with a bang, and I was immediately fascinated by Violet and her haunted past. As we learn about the circumstances surrounding the night of Ainsley's disappearance, I thought certain details would too easily be public knowledge, or
    Brooke Scott
    Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
    The Amazon First Reads books have been lacking lately-but at least I could finish this one.
    The suspense of it kept me intrigued and I kept reading because I wanted to know what exactly had happened that night. The answer wasn't that big of a shock, but there were some other twists thrown in there that were kind of over the top. I do find myself a little interested in what happens to the characters in the future...
    Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it
    Too Convenient

    Without adding spoilers, I feel like a lot of scenarios in this book are too convenient. Characters change their ways for the good of the story. It was an interesting read, but it left me thinking that there’s no way would this person do that. Also, the words “cacophony” and “copse” were used too many times. Having said all that, I would read more into this series.
    Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
    Cold Waters was a tepid read at best. The first half of the book fails to hold you to attention, not giving any character depth. The last half of the book attempts to bring twists but the setup wasn't there and the twists could al be guessed.

    I think how the author handled Violet's mental instability was written well.

    Overall I can't complain since this was an Amazon First Read, but I can't help but wonder if another book would have been worth it.
    Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing

    Wow! Loved the characters! Loved the story!! You think you have it figured out and bam it’s not that. Several times that happened to me!! Great book!!
    Bonnye Reed
    Apr 01, 2019 marked it as to-read
    April 1 First Reads Amazon
    Cyndi Aldrich
    Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
    I did not care for this story. The story line jumped around to much and was not even close to being believable.
    Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
    True Southern Gothic that is moody and depressing.

    COLD WATERS is a true Southern Gothic, with all that entails. It is so moody and atmospheric that you can feel the oppressive heat shimmering off the asphalt and see the paint peeling off the porch on the dilapidated home to generations of a once wealthy family. The house, and family, bear little resemblance to their former opulence and status in a small town, along the Tennessee River.

    The writing was good but Cold Waters is depressing from start
    Bill Williams
    Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
    It's more drama than mystery...

    More drama llamas running through this book than bulls at Pamplona!

    I picked this book hoping to get a sense of small town Alabama, and a good mystery in the mix... instead, I know more about the Keurig machine in the police station in an 'old man vs new tech' trope than I do about the building itself. The characters themselves are drawn straight out of central casting and never really developed past their tightly confined narratives... they boarder on base stereot
    This was my Amazon First Reads pick for the month of April.

    What to say about this book. I didn't hate it, so there's that. I didn't love it either, so there's that as well. It was a decent but very problematic psychological thriller for me. Initially it was engrossing but then my attention started to wane about halfway through and there's a few reasons for that. One is the unlikable characters, which is pretty much everyone in this book. I honestly couldn't tell you one person I cared for. Then
    Richard Propes
    Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
    "Cold Waters (Normal, Alabama #1)" is a book that grew on me as it moved on, especially in the final third of the book as secrets start to unfold and truths start to be told. If you've ever watched a film where you didn't particularly like any of the characters, you'll likely know what it's like to read "Cold Waters," though it's certainly a book where there's some redemption as all unfolds. That said, I struggled with the first half of the book quite a bit as I simply didn't find the characters ...more
    Susan F
    Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Wow! This is a powerful story overall. I was rooting for Violet throughout. What a sad life in ways but she pushes forward despite the people around her in the town of Normal. I don't want to say much so am carefully pulling at things that will keep me from giving away anything. The story goes back and forth between the past and present with the main characters showing their own version and reactions to what is happening. Usually I don't care for this but the effect is riveting. Violet is a pers ...more
    Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
    First read of this author and really enjoyed the story.

    Violet Henderson was accused of killing her best friend, Ainsley. Well they never found the body, but everyone in town blames Violet. Violet and Ainsley were together that night that Ainsley went missing. But, Violet can't remember what happened that night. She is sent away to a mental hospital where she stays for over 10 years. She is now coming home. Her Dad has been in the care of her sister, and Violet is going back home to help her sist
    Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Gaslighting and Manipulation
    I have a love-to-hate relationship with stories where the main character is being manipulated in some regard. It’s so intoxicating to read but I just want to grab Violet and shake some sense into her!
    I loved Violet’s superstitious quirks, they reminded me a lot of my grandmother.
    Herbert’s characters feel well rounded, even Delaney. However, I do wish more time was spent fleshing out Violet and Hyacinth’s relationship. The elderly ladies of Normal, Alabama seem really
    Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Cold Waters held my attention throughout. Usually I don't enjoy stories that alternate among several viewpoints, but Herbert made this one work. The main viewpoint is Violet, a young woman who has been locked up in a mental hospital since the age of 14. She's had no visits from family and constantly fights guilt and fear about the night her best friend, Ainsley, disappeared. The whole town considered Violet a murderer, and sometimes she's afraid they are right. After her release, she lives in a ...more
    Joyce Patterson
    Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Cold Water will keep your temperature jumping.

    Meet Violet, after spending many years locked up in mental health facilities & halfway housing she is returning to her hometown. Her homecoming will not be welcoming from the townsfolk or what's left of her small dysfunctional family. These people feel she had something to do with the disappearance of her 14-year-old best friend but even Violet doesn't know what happened to her friend. They had snuck out at midnight to go skinny dipping. Hours la
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    Debbie Herbert, a USA Today and Publisher's Weekly bestselling writer, pens Psychological Suspense, romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels. She’s always been fascinated by magic, romance and Gothic stories.

    Married and living in Alabama, she roots for the Crimson Tide football team. When not working on her upcoming books, Debbie enjoys recumbent bicycling and jet skiing with her husband.
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