I was delighted to find that I had won a copy of A Deadly Thaw in a recent competition by Sarah Ward.
Having not (yet) read In Bitter Chill, I read A Deadly Thaw as a standalone thriller.
It is listed as being #2 in the Inspecter Francis Sadler series but for me the star of the show was, without question, DC Connie Childs who is a vibrant, well defined and likeable character.
The same cannot be said, however, for Kat and Lena, both of whom I found myself unable to engage with.
I also had some issues giving clarity to Sadler, Palmer and Llewellyn; I do wonder if that may be the downside of having not read In Bitter Chill.
Throughout the story another issue runs, one of Police errors and misconduct, I liked that this was addressed, it worked well and good a eye opener for me. It is unbearable to imagine a woman reporting a crime and being dismissed. Although awful to think about, it felt very genuine that it should be raised – makes me wonder how real an issue this still is for long serving offices.
All in all, a good book and I will now go back and seek out In Bitter Chill. Most of all – I look forward to reading more with DC Connie Childs.
Synopsis: A man whose killer—his wife—was convicted 15 years ago is discovered freshly murdered in this rivetingly suspenseful mystery from critically acclaimed author Sarah Ward.
Lena Grey is found guilty of murdering her husband, who was found smothered in their bed. She offers no defense, and serves fourteen long years in prison. But within months of her release nearly two decades later, his body is found in a disused morgue, recently killed. Who was the man she killed before, and why did she lie about his identity?
Detective Inspector Francis Sadler and his Derbyshire team try to discover how such a well-orchestrated deception could have occurred. DC Connie Childs is convinced that something greater than marital strife caused the murders, but before Lena can be questioned further, she vanishes. Back in Lena’s childhood home, her sister Kat, a therapist, is shocked by her sister’s duplicity. When she begins to receive mysterious packages from a young man claiming to know her sister’s location, Kat is drawn into her own investigation of her family’s well-hidden secrets. As her inquiries begin to collide with the murder investigation, a link to the sisters’ teenage lives emerges, and the line between victim and perpetrator becomes blurred in this tightly-plotted, compelling novel perfect for fans of Deborah Crombie and Sharon Bolton.