In Bitter Chill was released in paperback on 5th November 2015 by Faber & Faber. My thanks to the publisher and author for my review copy and inviting me onto the blog tour.
You can't bury the truth forever
Rachel Jones and Sophie Jenkins were abducted in 1978, but only Rachel returned home. Over thirty years later, Sophie's case is reopened when her mother commits suicide. The question is, why now? Did Yvonne Jenkins find out something about her daughter's disappearance.
Rachel has spent years trying to put the past behind her. But news of the suicide makes her realise that the only way she can have a future is to finally discover what really happened all those years ago.
This is a story about loss and family secrets, and how the very darkest secrets are those that are closest to you.
This is a compelling story of mystery and intrigue spanning over thirty years. It flips backs between the present day and 1978 when the dreadful kidnappings occurred and Sophie never come home.
I found this book to be very atmospheric throughout. The setting of the woods in Bampton, Derbyshire and the surrounding area providing the perfect backdrop to these horrendous crimes.
I actually felt this book to be a mixture of all the types of crime books that I love, partly psychological thriller, part mystery and partly the solving of the police case. It worked well and all of the elements were perfectly blended to create a gripping and very real story. I felt alarmed that it is the type of story you could see in the news, anytime or anyplace.
The author managed to create a sense of unease in me throughout the story, and for me anyway there was no second guessing the ending. A brilliant examination of family secrets but also lies and how eventually they do catch up with you, and the lasting damage they can cause.
I loved the resilience of Rachel, how she has managed to forge ahead with her life after the abduction, clearly damaged but still whole. I found the elements of her working as a family historian fascinating.
The author has managed to write an excellent debut. Perfectly balanced between gripping and intriguing. Little clues coming about bit by bit, until the ending which was amazing and testament to the tangled web of lies and deceit that she had created throughout.
I recommend this one so very much.
About the Author:
Sarah Ward is an online book reviewer whose blog, Crimepieces (www.crimepieces.com), reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world. She has also reviewed for Eurocrime and Crimesquad. She is a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian translated crime novels. She lives in Derbyshire.
Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahrward1
Please have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.