Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cold Waters” as Want to Read:
Cold Waters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cold Waters

(Normal, Alabama #1)

by
3.70  ·  Rating details ·  12,309 ratings  ·  708 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

...more
Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published May 1st 2019 by Brilliance Audio
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cold Waters, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Debbie Herbert It is a stand alone as far as the resolution of the characters and their predicaments. The second book in the series has the same setting of Normal,…moreIt is a stand alone as far as the resolution of the characters and their predicaments. The second book in the series has the same setting of Normal, Alabama but will have new characters.

Thanks for asking!(less)
Debbie Herbert
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,309 ratings  ·  708 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Cold Waters
Joey R.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.0 Stars —“Cold Waters” by Debbie Herbert was another Kindle First selection that I finally got around to reading between books by more established (and better)thriller authors. After showing some early promise, I really wish I would have left this one on the shelf. “Cold Waters” tells the story of Violet who returns home after several years of mental health treatment to live with her somewhat senile father and manipulative, spoiled sister, Delaney. The book is primarily written from the ...more
Mackey
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
...more
Carrie
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Cold Waters by Debbie Herbert is the first book of the new Normal, Alabama series. This one is a thriller that is told from multiple points of view throughout and then also different timelines.

Violet is the central character of this first book of this series with the biggest point of view in the book. Violet has just returned to Normal, Alabama to live with her father and step-sister after being away for over a decade, most of which was spent in a mental health care facility.

Years earlier Violet
...more
Darinda
Violet returns to Normal, Alabama after 11 years away. She returns to claim her inheritance from her deceased mother’s estate and help her sister take care of their ailing father. Violet left town after her friend Ainsley went missing. The locals believe Violet killed Ainsley, and now with Violet’s return home, they believe the truth will finally be revealed.

When Violet was 14 years old, she and Ainsley met up for a late night swim. That night, Violet was found confused and wandering the woods.
...more
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
...more
Megan
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Charles  van Buren
Charles van Buren

TOP 1000 REVIEWER

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 Southern
...more
Kat Brownell
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.
Diane D White
Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Suze
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Amelia
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Kevin Dowson
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've wavered over how to rate this book for a few days. There was a lot to like about it but some things that I wasn't so keen on, in the end I decided to round up to four stars because it is basically a well written psychological mystery mixed with a bit of Southern gothic, and as a recipe it works well.

The main character truly frustrated me, for her inability to see through the things going on around her, but in hindsight I'm sure the author has a much better grasp on the mindset of someone in
...more
J.A. Schneider
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing story! My heart broke for sweet Violet, trying to climb out of her haunted past against the odds of a toxic family filled with lies and hostility.

At age fourteen, she went for a late-night swim with her friend Ainsley, who was never seen again. Violet was found wandering the woods in a state of mental breakdown, while Ainsley’s body was never found. Violet’s small town of Normal, Alabama still considered her a murderer, and she was sent to a psychiatric facility.

Ten years later
...more
Laurie Buchanan
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Sharon
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Donna Hines
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
The company we keep is as important as our mental state and Cold Waters is proof of this concept!
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure, that you are not in fact surrounded by A-holes." Sigmund Freud
Toxicity in the family, overstepping personal boundaries, crossing the line of the 'norm' is what this book capitalizes upon with a young lady accused of murder and a cover up worthy of an Oscar.
It all happened when Violet was 14 in Alabama while skinny
...more
Kayla Dumas
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Got this books as my March Amazon First Reads and absolutely loved it! I’m so happy with my choice! I’m not sure how there’s going to be a second book with how it ended but I guess I will wait and see.
Nathalie
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Josie Mae
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 ...more
Cari
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,
...more
Linda Romer
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, reviews
Loved Cold Waters! This book blew me away. A surprise ending I didn't see coming. A fast paced mystery thriller that will have you guessing. Great characters in this riveting novel. I loved the evil Delaney. And my heart broke for sweet Violet. A mesmerizing plot, this book has it all.

I give Cold Waters 5 stars for its thrilling read.
I would recommend this book to Mystery/Thriller fans.
Nola Arganbright
Dark and healing

This was a very hard book for me to finish. It is just dark enough to feel a weight within me to feel the heaviness of the actions of those involved. Strong plot and deep characters make this a strong, moving, and suspenseful book.
Ann Hebert
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alabama mystery

I totally enjoyed this mystery of two sisters and their friend, living in the small town of Normal. The tragedy of disappearance of Ainsley, changes life for so many . The twists and turns were totally unexpected, and I loved the ending.
Jayasree B
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a page turner!
This book had oodles of good and bad. Good hearted Violet who is suffering from the guilt of an incident over a decade ago. She comes back from a mental health rehab to her hometown and wants to stand on her own two feet. But when she gets to Normal everyone around her is just evil. The only safe place for her was the institution she lived in all those years.
With everyone conniving around her, she has to prove her innocence. And somehow manages to do it.
The mystery of who
...more
Randee
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did my best and lost patience at about 80% in when THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE PLOT TWIST EVER (tm) occurred. I finished it anyway. Good luck and skill to you, on this journey of WTF.
Megan BG
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks-i-own
Probably 3.5 stars. I wouldn't really call it a "thriller"... more like a mystery. It played out pretty much as expected, but was still enjoyable.
Elizabeth Jarcy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Quinn Ellory
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On a hot humid Alabama night, Violet Henderson goes skinny dipping with her best friend, Ainsley, and is found wandering hours later, clad only in torn panties. Her friend is never seen again. Years later, the whole time spent in a mental asylum, Violet returns to her hometown of Normal, Alabama to confront her family and her past. What follows is a dark, twisted tale of jealousy, revenge, family secrets and betrayal.

Ms Herbert skilfully crafts a story that weds Southern Gothic with
...more
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
...more
Brooke Scott
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...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add page count ASIN B07K4WZXH8 3 20 May 06, 2019 07:15AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • One Small Sacrifice (Shadows of New York, #1)
  • Blood for Blood (Ziba MacKenzie, #1)
  • False Step
  • The Dark Bones (A Dark Lure, #2)
  • Nine Elms (Kate Marshall, #1)
  • The Rescue (Ryan Decker #1)
  • Here To Stay
  • The Eighth Sister (Charles Jenkins #1)
  • The Killer Collective (John Rain, #10; Ben Treven #4; Livia Lone #3)
  • Cut and Run
  • Thin Air (Jessica Shaw #1)
  • What You Did
  • If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood
  • The Elephant Tree
  • The Zombie Room
  • Trance (Alex Madison #1)
  • Forgotten Bones (Dead Remaining #1)
  • A Lily in the Light
See similar books…
516 followers

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.
...more

Other books in the series

Normal, Alabama (2 books)
  • Scorched Grounds (Normal, Alabama, #2)
“The fall sky was pewter and the air pregnant with rain.” 1 likes
“But interpreting other people’s emotions placed me on dangerous ground.” 0 likes
More quotes…