A DEADLY THAW by Sarah Ward


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The present always owes a debt to the past.

When DI Francis Sadler is called to a murder at a disused morgue, he little suspects that the case will drag him and his team into an exploration of past bad deeds. Sadler recognizes the body as that of his old schoolmate Andrew Fisher, who was supposedly murdered by his wife, Lena, in 2004. Lena identified the body, admitted to killing him, and served 11 years in prison. Whom did she really kill in 2004, and where has Andrew been since then? Lena and her sister, Kat Gray, had a normal, happy childhood but Lena suddenly changed, becoming very private and closed-in, just before she was set to go to university. Now Kat’s a counselor who has trouble keeping her relationship with one of her clients, former soldier Mark Astley, purely professional—a problem that DC Connie Childs also has with her married partner, DS Damian Palmer. Lena, who shares their childhood home with Kat, suddenly vanishes after Andrew’s body is found, but she keeps using an unidentified young man to send Kat odd clues, such as the murder weapon and an old blouse. Although the first body was cremated, the police finally identify the victim as a friend of Andrew’s rumored to have gone to Australia. When an old friend who closely resembles Lena is found, an apparent suicide, Kat is angry, confused, and fearful for her sister. The police investigation opens a nasty can of worms about how badly rape victims were treated by the police force at the time of the earlier murder—knowledge that will eventually lead to the killer.

The second from Ward (In Bitter Chill, 2015) is an excellent police procedural that shows how psychological damage from the past casts shadows over the present.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-06918-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2016


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