A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward

Published 1st September 2016 by Faber & Faber. My thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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 . . .

My Thoughts:
This book has been one of my most anticipated reads this year and I am delighted to say that it did not disappoint. I would even say I enjoyed the premise of this story more than the first. Last year I was lucky enough to be on the blog tour for the author's debut novel In Bitter Chill, you can see my review for that here. 

Sarah Ward has really carved herself a niche in the crime fiction world. The setting of Bampton in Derbyshire, which could be described as a character in its own right is present throughout. A chilling landscape that paints a picture against a backdrop of mystery and intrigue, of secrecies and heartache. Lena's husband has effectively been killed twice. You might be asking yourself why Lena admitted to killing her husband. Why is there danger now? 

All of the answers to the questions you will have to find out for yourself. I simply love the way this author unravels the story before our eyes. Creating suspense and also some red herrings, this story is bold and has the power to shock, even when you the think the end has already occurred. Some short sharp chapters aid the pace and I rattled through the story in no time. 

I love that the books flicks between past and present and it allowed the story to unfold bit by bit. It becomes clear that the past and present are fused together and this culminates in some inescapable truths.

This book also sees the return of Connie, Sadler and Palmer. The police officers that we first met in, In Bitter Chill. I really enjoyed the dynamic between these three and especially like the fact that Connie seems to be the driving force in getting the job done. Even though in terms of rank she is not the most senior. 

It would seem to me that Sarah Ward is not afraid to tackle important issues and whilst a work of fiction, some important social problems. They are also tackled with care and sensitivity despite the brutality of the story. 

Excellent and assured, I know I am in safe hands when I pick up one of this authors books, from the gripping first chapter until the final closing sentence and I can't wait for the third.

About the Author:

Sarah Ward is an online book reviewer whose blog, Crimepieces (, 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

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