Every secret has consequences.Autumn 2004
In Bampton, Derbyshire, Lena Fisher is arrested for suffocating her husband, Andrew.Spring 2016
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.
Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward, published in hardback by Faber on 1 September. A Deadly Thaw is the author's second novel. I read and reviewed her first, In Bitter Chill on Random Things in November last year.
I was incredibly impressed with In Bitter Chill and have been looking forward to her next book for a long time. Well, I'm not sure that my words are going to do this incredible story justice, it really is very very good. I actually woke up during the night thinking about it ... a sign of a fantastic book!
A Deadly Thaw takes the reader back to the small Derbyshire town of Bampton, and more murder.
This is no ordinary murder case, it appears that this murder victim has been killed twice. Lena Fisher served twelve years of a prison sentence after admitting to the murder of her husband Andrew, yet the latest victim has also been identified as Andrew Fisher. Why did Lena admit to killing her husband? Who did she kill? And, where has Andrew been for all of these years.
It's a puzzle, and I was wary that Sarah Ward was going to produce a plot that was so implausible that I wouldn't enjoy it. Fear not, she hasn't. Instead she's created a complex, tightly woven story that reveals secrets from the past. This author deals with issues that have arisen over the past couple of decades, and she's done it so very very well.
I'm so impressed by this author's scene setting. The town of Bampton is atmospheric and so realistic. I come from Derbyshire's neighbouring county of Nottinghamshire and I recognised the small-town setting, how everyone knows everyone, and things are remembered for many years. A Deadly Thaw would probably not work so well in a city setting, where neighbours don't know each other and events go unnoticed and not remembered. In Bampton, residents stay put, and those who do move away are remembered, and discussed. The author cleverly moves from the present-day, to the past, and back again, stitching up her plot securely and tightly.
A Deadly Thaw's characters are as strong as the plot. The team of police officers are vibrant, yet flawed and her lead copper, DC Connie Childs is especially enigmatic. Alongside the police characters is a cast of civilians, not least Lena's sister Kat who at times can be frustrating, but is the lynch-pin that holds the rest together.
Sarah Ward is an extremely talented author, she's written two stunning novels. I'm looking forward to reading her next book.
My thanks to the publisher, and author who sent my copy for review and for the invitation to take part in this blog tour.
Sarah Ward is the author of In Bitter Chill, which was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. On her blog, Crimepieces (www.crimepieces.com), she reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world, and she has also reviewed for Euro Crime and CrimeSquad. She is a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian translated crime novels. She lives in Derbyshire.
Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahrward1
Find her on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/SarahWardCrime