Plot: Fenwicke has written an intense thriller that has so many creative twists and turns that the ending comes as a pleasant surprise. Numerous misdirects and layers to this story keeps the reader wanting to learn more. The conclusion provides a great wrap-up to the story and a feeling that justice prevailed.
Prose: While the timeline is somewhat jumpy, the prose is clear and easy to follow.
Originality: This story is fresh and unique. Telling the story through the viewpoint of the wife and the best friend adds an unusual perspective.
Character/Execution: The characters are very detailed and distinctive, with extensive backgrounds and layers of conflict and complexity.
Date Submitted: June 28, 2021
After the death of her husband, a young woman inherits his business and discovers the dark side of internet entrepreneurship in Fenwicke’s thriller.
The author sets up her novel as a conflict between Jess Cullinane, the wife of entrepreneur Andrew Cullinane; and Henry Turner, Andrew’s best friend and business partner in Vaultange, a cryptocurrency exchange. When Andrew dies from ulcerative colitis complications during his honeymoon with Jess in Fiji, she discovers that he bequeathed her millions in assets and control of Vaultange, cutting Henry out of his expected company inheritance. However, Jess is forced to rely on Henry’s expertise even as he deals with urgent money-related troubles of his own. To accent the tension between them, Fenwicke organizes the novel using third-person perspective for Jess and first-person narration for Henry’s flashbacks, which detail his involvement with organized crime. Although the novel focuses mainly on Jess, Henry’s narration unexpectedly contributes the most lively and memorable prose, as when he recalls when Murray Chambers, a professional money launderer, and his henchmen violently broke into his apartment in mid-December “to wish me the compliments of the season, minus the Christmas spirit,” or when he tells of stealing a man’s clothes and sandwich, dropping “crumbs in my wake like a modern-day Hansel.” The novel contains relatively few familiar thriller tropes, such as car chases or murders, instead choosing to rely on technological credibility—as when it make sense of its title, defining hot wallet as online funds and cold wallet as offline money storage. Overall, it’s an intelligent and offbeat contribution to the genre that will appeal to its fans.
A savvy, psychologically rich novel of tech-based intrigue.
LOVEREADING EXPERT REVIEW OF COLD WALLET
I was intrigued by Cold Wallet from the very start. We begin the story from Henry’s perspective and enough detail is shared to tell us about the relationship between Henry Andrew and Jess while simultaneously raising questions that keep you intrigued to read on.
We then follow Jess on her tragic honeymoon and as she scrambles to get to grips with the company she has inherited. Her relationship with Henry is strained but when he offers to help manage the cryptocurrency business Vaultange is it because he’s changing or because he has something more sinister planned.
I liked the basis of this storyline, although some of the more in depth conversations went over my head to begin with it came across as very well researched and I slowly became immersed in Andrew, Jess and Henry’s complex world. I liked the depth of each of the characters, all multifaceted and in their own way unreliable, with each development sending me in a spin as I read. The author takes the time to set the scene, with flashbacks that show how relationships develop as the plotline moves forward. With revelations and resolutions that left me spinning I think that this is a really good thriller and I would recommend it.
Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador