Derbyshire, 1978: a small town in the idyllic English countryside is traumatized by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls, Rachel Jones and Sophie Jenkins. Within hours, Rachel is found wandering alone near the roadside, unharmed yet unable to remember anything, except that her abductor was a woman. No trace of Sophie is ever discovered.
Present day: over thirty years later, Sophie's mother commits suicide. Detective inspector Francis Sadler and detective constable Connie Childs are assigned to look at the kidnapping again to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She wants nothing more than to continue living quietly beneath the radar, but the discovery of the strangled body of one of her former teachers days after the suicide brings the national media back to her doorstep. Desperate to stop a modern killer from striking again, Rachel and the police must unpick the clues to uncover what really happened all those years ago as the past threatens to engulf the present.
In Bitter Chill: A Mystery by Sarah Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward is a 2015 publication. This review is the copyrighted property of Night Owl Reviews.
I love British mysteries, cold cases, and dark family secrets, so this book is just my kind of read. There is nothing here, however, that follows the familiar police procedural formula. In fact, the story sucked me in very quietly, hypnotically pulling me into the tangled web so expertly and intricately woven over time. I was so utterly absorbed in this story, I was shocked to discover I had nearly read the entire book in one sitting!
The plot is very cleverly crafted and the writing is simply spellbinding. The pacing is spot on, and the story relies, not on shootouts, explosions, car chases, or grisly forensic details, but instead, forces the reader to concentrate on fascinating and connecting details, dialogue, and curious revelations in order to piece together the true story. I absolutely loved it!
I highly recommend this book to all mystery lovers. 4.5 stars
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