Dead of Winter by Elizabeth Corley
|Dead of Winter by Elizabeth Corley|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A police procedural which had me hooked from the first page. Excellent plot, 3D characters and great atmosphere. What's not to love?|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 544||Date: September 2013|
|Publisher: Allison & Busby|
|External links: Author's website|
Inspector Louise Nightingale is investigating a series of sexual attacks which are becoming increasingly violent. The latest victim is in hospital and Nightingale sees something of her younger self in the girl in the bed. Jenni has been sleeping rough. It's not her real name, but she's very insistent about the i. Superintendent Andrew Fenwick is brought in to investigate the disappearance of seventeen-year-old Isabel Mattias, the daughter of an artist and a rock star who died five years ago in a car crash. She disappeared from her exclusive boarding school, but has she run away or been abducted? Her friends seem unwilling to provide much information and even the teachers feel that respecting Issie's privacy is important.
If he's not getting much feedback at the school, Fenwick is being pressured on other fronts. He's been brought into the investigation to provide support but the word scapegoat keeps slithering into his mind. And then there's Issie's family. Her mother has remarried and bombastic doesn't really do justice to Lord Saxby's manner. Threatening comes a lot closer. His step-daughter is going to be found. Just to complicate matters further it looks as though there might be a connection between Issie's disappearance and Nightingale's investigation - how will Nightingale cope with working with Fenwick again? Then evidence emerges that Issie might have been sexualy abused.
The story centres on Fenwick and Nightingale, but it's Issie who dominates the plot. She's a brilliant creation - a girl who has had an instinct for survival from an early age, but who's been traumatised to the point where her decisions are no longer sound. You ache for what she's gone through and for the horror of the situation she finds herself in. But it's not just the main characters who come off the page well - on the police teams even relatively minor members have real personalities but I was particularly impressed by Lord Saxby who becomes more understandable as the bluster is peeled away.
It's a big read at 544 pages in the hardback edition but I read it in two sittings with a reluctant break for food in between. As I got closer to the end I suffered that horrible temptation to flick to the final pages - I had to know what happened now. The tension is steadily ramped up throughout the book to the point where it's almost unbearable. There's a real sense of atmosphere too - the investigations take place in December and it's bitterly cold and with blizzard conditions on occasions. It's so real that I shivered. Splendid, splendid stuff.
You could read this book without any knowledge of what has gone before in the series - you'll pick up the essentials as you go along. It's some four years since I read the [[ Innocent Blood by Elizabeth Corley|last book]] - I just hope that I don't have to wait as long for the next. I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If you enjoy police procedural series we can recommend Under A Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes - the first in what looks like a very promising series.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dead of Winter by Elizabeth Corley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Dead of Winter by Elizabeth Corley at Amazon.com.
Dead of Winter by Elizabeth Corley is in the Top Ten Crime Novels 0f 2013.
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