“Sometimes the truth can be unpalatable”.
Detective Inspector Isabel Blood – at fifty-six years old, Isabel has worked her way up through the ranks of the Derbyshire Police. She is happily married and is a mother of three, with only one of her children, fourteen year old Ellie still living at home.
Isabel’s own family history was traumatic and riddled in family secrets. When she is called out because human remains have been found, she is shocked to learn that it is in the back garden of the house she lived in as a child. When she was just fourteen years old, her father left the family and she never heard from him again.
Detective Sergeant Dan Fairfax – is single and in his early thirties. Dan was married, but his work life didn’t agree with his ex-wife, Alice. He has only been working under DI Blood for a few months and has yet to really know her and what she expects from him.
Detective Constable Lucas Killingworth – is a new father, and is sleep deprived. He is a diligent worker and valuable member of the team.
Detective Constable Zoe Piper – is single, and has little in the way of a social life outside of the police. She too is a diligent worker who spends many unpaid hours working the case, mostly because she’d rather be at work than be home alone…
This novel was a very pleasant surprise. It is a ‘whodunit’ and cold case murder investigation which is slow to give up its secrets. We don’t even know WHO the murdered man is until about forty percent of the way through the book.
Isabel Blood was a well-developed character who is struggling to maintain her work-life balance. She has personal baggage, but tries valiantly to keep her own troubles separate from her workplace. I really enjoyed her police team, and the characters were very vivid in my mind. They all worked well together and had a good rapport.
Cold cases always interest me. Crime investigation has progressed so much over the years that using modern methods to solve historical crimes makes for interesting reading.
This is an old-fashioned mystery novel, though it is set in the present day. Some readers have said it is a ‘cozy’ mystery, but I would disagree. It had far more heft than a cozy, yet it maintained its Vera-like charm . This was a gripping police procedural, with an interesting, well crafted plot and likable characters. Kudos to Jane Bettany for writing such an engrossing and polished debut novel. Her writing style was clear and enjoyable to read.
“In Cold Blood” was an excellent introduction to a new fictional detective. I have purchased the second and third titles in the D.I. Blood series and they are loaded and waiting for me on my Kindle. Surely that is endorsement enough?
Jane Bettany‘s debut novel In Cold Blood, a crime novel featuring DI Isabel Blood and set in the fictional Derbyshire town of Bainbridge. The book won the 2019 Gransnet and HQ writing competition, which was for women writers over the age of 40 who had written a novel with a protagonist in the same age range.
She has been writing short stories and non-fiction articles for over 20 years, many of which have appeared in women’s magazines, literary magazines, newspapers and online.
There are now three novels in the DI Blood series.
She lives in Derby, England and has an MA in Creative Writing.