The Dead of Winter

Patricia Hall, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-15148-5
The bleak Yorkshire Dales in winter provide the backdrop for the third segment (after Dying Fall) in the Michael Thackery/Laura Ackroyd mysteries. In Bradfield, Chief Inspector Thackery investigates the death of an attractive sales agent for the successful Cheetham and Moore estate agency. Meanwhile, journalist Ackroyd is sent for a short stint to the nearby village of Arnedale as temporary assistant editor for the local paper. No sooner does Ackroyd go to work than a fatal truck crash in the small village brings hostilities to the surface involving a controversial development scheme and local corruption. A group of New Age travelers in caravans-and the murder of a village woman protesting the development plan-bring Thackery and Ackroyd together. The person of Barry Moore (of Cheetham and Moore) may connect both cases. Complicating matters is the fact that the on-again, off-again relationship between the cop and the reporter is haunted by demons from Thackery's past, which lie in Arnedale. Thackery, who has yet to fully disclose his skeletons, remains an enigma to Ackroyd and the reader. Hall's remarkable balancing of the professional and personal lives of her characters, however, proves as riveting as the mystery itself, and she once again delivers an insightful, well-paced tale of lives infected by greed and ambition. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1997
Release date: 02/01/1997
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