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A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward - Review

Monday, December 2, 2019

After I ready the first book in this series, I bought the next two off eBay for just a few quid each. I had enjoyed the first book and liked the three main detectives involved - Francis Sadler, Damian Palmer, and Connie Childs. So I thought I would keep going with the series. I have been enjoying reading more crime fiction by women; I genuinely think it's a genre where the differences between how women write and how men write are really stark! I was, for example, shocked when I found out S K Tremayne is a man, because I think his writing skews very feminine.

Anyway, this book sees the same detectives in the fictional town of Bampton in Derbyshire. At the beginning, a body is found in an abandoned morgue some way out of town, and Sadler is called to the scene. He recognises the body straight away as that of a man called Andrew Fisher, who Sadler knew as a teenage. The problem is that Andrew Fisher was killed in 2004 by his wife, Lena, who has just served twelve years in prison for murder. Sadler and his team go to interview her immediately.

Lena lives with her sister Kat in their childhood home, Providence Villa. The place is falling apart, but Kat sort of loves it, and Lena has had little choice but to be there. She's not overly surprised by the police's visit, but she then goes missing. Lots of the book is told from Kat's point of view as she tries to work out what her sister did and where she is now. She starts receiving messages from Lena and is utterly confused about what's happening.

Meanwhile the police are doing their thing trying to work out who the actual body in 2004 was and where Andrew Fisher has been hiding all these years.

I liked the story, I thought it was compelling and interesting. However, I didn't like the ending very much. While I understood the motives involved, I didn't think they were written in a way that made them believable. And I thought the book went on for too long after the denoument, for no reason. Plus Palmer just really annoys me.

I'm giving this book three out of five stars, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one. I will probably read the third one, though.


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