The Dead of Winter

Rennie Airth, Author . Viking $25.95 (407p) ISBN 978-0-670-02093-5

Set in London and rural England in 1944, Airth's fine third mystery to feature ex–Scotland Yard inspector John Madden (after The Blood-Dimmed Tide ) shows how five years of war and an overstretched police force have brought “a new dimension to lawbreaking,” with a serious rise in murders, thefts and extortion. Even decent citizens aren't above black-market dealings. The murder of Rosa Nowak, a young Polish woman, on a deserted London street during a blackout appears to be another act of random violence. Since Nowak worked on Madden's farm, his reputation ensures that his former colleagues thoroughly investigate the case, which leads to continental Europe, stolen diamonds and a string of murders, including that of a Jewish furrier. Airth takes a perceptive look at the frayed emotions of his fully realized characters as he carefully lays the groundwork for the next book in this rewarding series. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 07/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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