In Bampton, Derbyshire, Lena Fisher is arrested for suffocating her husband, Andrew.
A year after Lena’s release from prison, Andrew is found dead in a disused mortuary.
Who was the man Lena killed twelve years ago, and who committed the second murder? When Lena disappears, her sister, Kat, sets out to follow a trail of clues delivered by a mysterious teenage boy. Kat must uncover the truth – before there’s another death . . .
A Deadly Thaw confirms Sarah Ward’s place as one of the most exciting new crime writers.”
I’m extremely excited to welcome you to my stop on the A Deadly Thaw paperback blog tour. A Deadly Thaw is written by the very talented Sarah Ward and is book two in the DC Childs series. Having been released in eBook format last year it is now also available in lovely paperback as well (published 2nd February 2017). And what better way to celebrate than with a blog tour packed full of some of my very favourite book bloggers!
It’s 2004 and Lena Fisher is a murderer. After welcoming her husband home and spending some hot, sweaty time in their bed together, Lena suffocates her husband with a pillow. She’s eventually arrested, stands trial and ends up in prison for 10+ years. Fast forward to 2016 where Lena is a free woman once again. She returns to her childhood home; Providence Villa – a large, crumbling, Victorian estate. Her parents are long dead but she has her estranged sister, Kat for company. Lena isn’t surprised when DC Connie Childs and DS Palmer turn up on her doorstep, after all she is a convicted felon. What she isn’t expecting is for them to inform her that her husband’s body has discovered in a disused morgue. That he is very recently deceased with a gaping chest wound and that they know the man Lena killed in 2004 wasn’t her husband. Will DC Childs and DS Palmer be able to uncover the complicated truth? When Lena goes on the run, Kat struggles to understand what is happening and exactly who her sister is. Kat’s muddle is not helped when a teenage boy, who claims to be a friend of Lena’s, starts leaving cryptic clues for Kat. Who will be the first to solve a mystery that dates back many years. And is Kat’s life in danger? Is she the only one….?
A Deadly Thaw is an excellent example of how to write a gripping, multilayered, character focussed crime thriller. It’s full of secrets, family tension and bucket loads of suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be making a point of downloading the first in the series, In Bitter Chill to my Kindle immediately after finishing writing this review.
Author Sarah Ward has been on my radar for a while now. I remember seeing the reviews for A Deadly Thaw back in the Summer and being intrigued. And who wouldn’t be drawn in by that brilliant blurb. Some authors you read because…well, just because really. Other authors you read because you know deep down, that their words, their story and you will be a brilliant fit. That’s exactly how I felt about A Deadly Thaw.
I don’t know where to begin with DC Connie Childs. You can probably guess that I absolutely loved her. Yes, there are two male detectives who work alongside Connie. Yes, they are also brilliantly written, essential characters. But, for me, they faded into the background. She’s the first character in a while that I’ve found to be relatable. OK, so the fawning over DS Palmer I probably could have done without but it gave an incredibly strong character a necessary weak spot (which probably made me feel for her just a little bit more). I loved the get up and go attitude, I loved the fire in her belly when it came to the treatment of the victims, I even loved her naivety – something which would drive me quite loopy in other characters. Although DI Sadler led the investigation, I felt at times that there wouldn’t BE an investigation if it wasn’t for Connie. She’s definitely high on my favourite character list and I can’t wait to see where Sarah Ward takes her in future.
I found the setting to be suitably creepy and loved the eerie feel of Sarah Ward’s Derbyshire (I’m terrible at geography and have to admit to consulting a map of England to discover where Derbyshire is. Yes, I am British. Yes, I live and have always lived in England/UK/GB. Yes, I feel suitably ashamed!) Whitby also features heavily in the book and that also needed investigation as to its location (rubbish at geography!). Ward paints such a vivid picture of these grey, dank places that I can’t help but want to go and see them for myself. Bampton, Derbyshire felt like a living, breathing character. Strangely mesmirising.
The plot has many different strands to it and at times it is hard to see how they will tie together. But tie together they do in an explosive, nail-biting conclusion. At times, I found myself getting quite upset by the stories unfolding in front of me. I experienced anger as well, at the injustice and poor treatment of the victims. It’s quite a shocking and unsettling read, but oh so good!
Would I recommend this book? Of course I would! But prepare yourself for a lot more than you expect. Sarah Ward knows how to tell a brilliant story and I can’t wait to read more from her. Dark, creepy and highly addictive (and I may be a little bit in love with DC Connie Childs).
Five out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of A Deadly Thaw. Many thanks to Faber & Faber and NetGalley for providing me with a copy. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward was published in the UK by Faber & Faber on 2nd February 2017 and is availble in hardcover, paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads | Faber & Faber |
Crime fiction is in my blood. From Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five to Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew, I was reading the genre at an early age. In my teens it was Agatha Christie followed by Ruth Rendell and PD James. Later influences include Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Minette Walters. Then I discovered Scandinavian crime writers.
I’m the author of two crime novels In Bitter Chill and A Deadly Thaw which are set in the Derbyshire Peak District where I live. They are published in the UK by Faber and Faber and by Minotaur Books in the US.
In addition to this blog, I have reviewed at the Los Angeles Review of Books, crimesquad.com and Eurocrime. Articles and short stories have appeared in the Sunday Express magazine, Traveller and other publications. I’m one of the judges for The Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel and I particularly love reading translated crime fiction.