cover image A Deadly Thaw

A Deadly Thaw

Sarah Ward. Minotaur, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-06918-4

At the start of Ward’s gripping sequel to 2015’s In Bitter Chill, a police procedural starring the officers of the Derbyshire Constabulary, a body lies in an abandoned morgue built during WWI. The deceased, Andrew Fisher, was shot dead more than a decade earlier. At the time, Fisher’s wife, Lena Gray, identified the body, confessed to the murder, and was sent to prison. Det. Constable Connie Childs and Det. Sgt. Damian Palmer are keen to question Lena, who’s out on parole, about the possibility she misidentified her husband. Kat Gray, Lena’s sister, wants answers, but the clues that an anonymous teen is feeding her aren’t adding up. More deaths follow, and while the detectives struggle to put together the pieces, their superiors seem to be holding something back. Supt. Dai Llewellyn suggests the case involves sex, and Connie and Damian begin to suspect that rape is at the heart of events. The confusion and obfuscation that delay the solution are frustrating but also true to the realities of this sort of crime. Agent: Kirsty McLachlan, David Godwin Associates (U.K.). (Sept.)