A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward

I received this book from TripFiction.com .  

A thriller to keep you guessing     

My rating:  4 out of 5

Amazon.2amazon-co-uk

Set in North Derbyshire, this fast moving thriller will keep you guessing who and why all the way through.

The book opa-deadly-thawens with a murder; Lena admits guilt and goes to prison for killing her husband.   Many years later, shortly after Lena is released her husband is found murdered.  So who was the first victim, and why did Lena not say anything about the mistaken identity?  And that’s only the beginning of the mysteries that keep coming thick and fast.

The chapters are short and fast moving, with lots of cliff hangers.  Each chapter deals with what is going on in the investigation from various viewpoints including the police and Lena’s sister.  Even with these alternating different perspectives the story flows smoothly, and all the characters are so well drawn that they are easy to remember.  Characters that include Connie, one of the police team who has plenty of personal issues she’s ignoring, and Lena’s sister who keeps being given unnerving clues from an unknown boy.

There are flashes back to childhood events and history unknown to even family members.

Set in a small town called Bampton, there are frequent drives down Derbyshire lanes to the beautiful moors plus other trips to less inviting but equally remote places.  Whitby is also visited a few times.  Whilst some interesting details are given about these places, there is little detail for the tourist – though the moors do sound a lovely place to visit.

This is only Sarah Ward’s second novel, and the first one I have read.  Her fast moving style was great, and the way she approaches some hard hitting themes, including some old police practices made interesting reading.  The plot goes in many directions, there is a lot happening, all cleverly held together and easy to follow (I was reading the paper version).

As an aside, I see that the book, and its predecessor In Bitter Chill, have added on to the title the sub-title of (Inspector Francis Sadler) – UK editions.  For me the main character in the police force was DC Connie Childs,  not her boss Sadler.  I do hope that she continues to feature in any more books of this series that Sarah Ward may be planning/writing.

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