Sunday 1 November 2020




David Kellgren is a process server, a job where everyone wants to kill the messenger and things can get a little bit dangerous and out of hand. David is attacked when trying to serve legal papers to a gang member and an angel comes to his rescue: nineteen-year-old Gabriella Amaya, trapped in a large dilapidated house, caring for her dying aunt. This elderly aunt has money, diamonds, and real estate, promised to Gabriella when the aunt dies. Is there any way the sultry caregiver can get her crafty hands on that wealth sooner? And share it with her new lover, the unsuspecting process server who starts to wonder if he's become a patsy in a elaborate murder plot, or if he simply cannot allow himself to trust any woman who says, "I love you." Set in San Diego, Chula Vista, and Tijuana, Hard Cold Whisper is Michael Hemmingson at his finest, most terse and torqued prose in the crime genre.

Hard Cold Whisper is a book I had wanted to read for a long time after seeing a couple of reviews for it over on Goodreads. It was a tricky one to get hold of, but eventually I managed to get an Audible copy. It was well worth the effort.

It's one man's tale of a fast, slippery descent into darkness, as David Kellgren, an honest process server falls for the sultry Gabriella Amaya. With hooks into his loins and soon his heart, he doesn't stand a chance.

I really enjoyed this one. Pace, plot, characters, setting and outcome were all massive ticks in the box. There was a point in the story where I kind of guessed what was happening to our man, but Hemmingson added unforeseen layers to the twist which had me marvelling at the outcome.

I don't want to give too much away about the plot and how it unfolds, but it's dark, funny, exciting, interesting and highly recommended to anyone who reads in the crime genre and crosses paths with this little gem.

4.5 from 5

I'll be keeping an eye out for other Hemmingson books in future. Sadly the author passed in 2014, at the young age of 47.

Read - (listened to) October, 2020
Published - 2011
Page count - 154 (2 hrs 56 mins)
Source - Audible purchase
Format - Audible


  1. You had me with the setting, Col. I live in San Diego County and I've been to Tijuana and to Chula Vista. It'd be interesting to see those places through Hemmingson's eyes. The story itself sounds good, too. I haven't read a lot of stories about process servers, so it'd be interested to get to know this one. I can see why you liked this as well as you did.

    1. Margot, I would recommend this one if you ever cross paths with it.

  2. Great title and cover which reflects on the story inside.

  3. Some very appealing features there, definitely one to consider.

    1. Yay, another vote for! It's a bit scarcer than rocking horse poo, though!