A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward reviewed

A Deadly Thaw Book Cover A Deadly Thaw
D C Childs
Sarah Ward
Faber& Faber
February 2, 2017

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 is the second book by Sarah Ward’s D C Childs series of police stories. I’d not read the first however I didn’t find that a handicap. I really did like the start of this book a lot. The basic story is that a woman (Lena) is accused of murdering her husband in bed one night. She serves her sentence. Twelve years later a body is found in a long abandoned morgue building and it turns out to be the freshly murdered body of her husband. This then is a tale of a murder investigation coloured by the fact that the police obviously blundered in their original investigation.

There are a few key characters in this. The immediate boss of this case is Inspector Francis Sadler however he doesn’t really feature that much. Connie Childs is a DC under Sadler and she and DS Palmer are a major part of the police presence in this book. I did find Connie a decent enough character I guess however Palmer was for me fairly colourless. Much of the “investigation” is actually done by Kat, who is Lena’s sister, and a friend of hers. The two sisters were better characters than most of the others to me however there were hardly flawless and never really gripped me.

The overall story line in this book really appealed to me before I started reading it and it still does now. In general the development of that story line in the book worked well for me too. The pace is good however I simply never really became fully engaged in the story. While some of the characters were not bad some were really two dimensional at best. Equally I found that the story lacked any real tension which I felt should be in this sort of book. It didn’t stop me reading it however I doubt this book will stay with me for very long. I also feel peeved in a way because I do think it could have been a better book. That said I’m sure many others will like this book.

Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review