A Deadly Thaw

28220875 A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward begins with a terrific, double mystery. A body turns up at an old morgue, but the victim was supposed to have been murdered fifteen years before. It’s up to DI Sadler and his team to figure out to whom the unidentified body belongs, and who was, in fact, murdered all those years before.

The premise of the mystery is very good, and there are some wonderful twists in the plot. It also deals with policing issues that are pertinent today. The characters are nicely detailed, and I enjoyed getting to know them.

What I had problems with were the motivations of some of the characters. While it makes sense that a traumatized victim would not want to turn to the police during a time of trouble, it doesn’t make sense that the person would willingly go to prison for fifteen years in order to avoid talking to them. There were several times that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief, and more than once, the motivation of certain characters left me scratching my head. Many times, I felt as if the characters were forced into actions in order to make the plot work instead of having the plot flow from their actions.

I enjoyed this book well enough to finish it, but I’m not sure I’ll read on in the series.

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Hunted on the Fens Book Review

downloadHunted on the Fens by Joy Ellis is a face-paced mystery with on-your-toes suspense. I didn’t realize that it was part of an ongoing series, but now that I know, I’ll be coming back for more.

When DI Nikki Galena wakes to find her shed on fire, her world begins to spiral downhill. Someone is stalking her. Someone who thinks reparation is in order. But as Nikki struggles to understand what the reparation is, her comrades are being targeted one by one.

I enjoyed the setting of this novel as well as its characters. Sometimes in a crime book, the police and others in charge act like fools, but that wasn’t the case here. Everyone in the book was smart and did their jobs well. As the mystery’s clues were rolled out, it was fun to guess who the bad guy would be. The ending came as a bit of a surprise, almost too much of one, but in the end, things were tied together nicely.

One thing that did bother me was that some of the actions of the criminal were inconsistent. At times, the criminal was diabolical while at other times, he was almost helpful. And I was left with a few questions at the end of the book.

On the whole, however, this was a fun read, and one I’d definitely recommend.

[I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.]

Chill the Bones – Sten Ostberg

Chill the BonesKarl Vollen, a fifty-something police officer, is watching his daughter’s nanny cam from the comfort of his office when a man in a black mask enters the nursery. Then things get really scary.

This is a fast-paced book to be sure. The action begins on the very first page and never lets up. Once I started this book, I couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened.

The book is actually more of a short novella than a full length work, and although it contains plenty of action, it misses the mark in character development. Other than his age and job description, I know very little about Karl Vollen or his wife (both of whom are integral players in the novel.) I like novels where I become attached to the characters. I want them to leave a strong impression on me. That never happened in Chill the Bones, and because of this, the action didn’t impact me as much as it could have. If I would have cared about the characters, I would have cared more about what happened to them.

I really enjoyed the book’s fast pace, but I would have liked a trail of clues. In a mystery, the clues are woven throughout the story, coming together satisfactorily in the end. Although the author did this a little bit, the end seemed to come out of the blue. If this had been a longer book, I believe that the ending would have been much more satisfying.

On the whole, however, this was a very good read. I would recommend it to people who enjoy mysteries.

[I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]