“In Bitter Chill” by Sarah Ward – Book Review

DC Connie Childs – is a policewoman with a tiny stature but with an attitude that more than makes up for it. She knows the Derbyshire area well because it is her home county. She works with her instincts and intuition and is quite brusque at times.

DC Damian Palmer – is Connie’s rival on the squad. They are both astute and ambitious and vie for the recognition of their superiors. He has more seniority on the squad that Connie. Palmer is about to get married and he has cold feet. This puts him off his game somewhat.

DI Francis Sadler – thought to be quite handsome, Sadler is a shrewd policeman. He is single, but currently in a relationship with a married woman. He is the direct superior to Childs and Palmer.

DCI Llewellyn – is the most superior officer on the current case and he was also involved in the 1978 case when he was just a new policeman.

When a crime is committed that seems to link back to a historic case Llewellyn reopens the old case to discover whether modern police methods and fresh sets of eyes can solve the old case. In 1978 two young schoolgirls were abducted on their way to school… only one of them returned. What happened that long ago day remains a mystery to all involved.

Rachel Jones – is the girl who survived the abduction. Now in her late thirties, she is single and working in the field of genealogy. She researches and creates family trees for her clients.

Back when I was posting polls on my blog, this series was recommended highly to me by my fellow bookbloggers.  Once again, it seems they’ve chosen wisely. This debut novel was an extremely well plotted police procedural. The joys of starting a series late is that you can read the next one without having to wait a year for the sequel to be written. So far, this series is comprised of four novels. Personally, I can’t wait to read the next three.Set in the Derbyshire Peak District, this was crime fiction with an intriguing plot that features long-held family secrets and the linking of current crimes with a cold case crime in 1978. The police team were personable and made real by their astute rendering by the author. I really liked Connie Childs with the exception of the fact that she despises cats. Her one major flaw in my opinion. LOL

Compelling in its execution, I can highly recommend this novel to all fans of mysteries, family secrets, and character-rich police procedurals.

I purchased a digital copy of this novel from Amazon.ca

Published by Faber & Faber – Publication date: September 29, 2015

Also published by Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press in September 2015.

ISBN: 9780571320981 ASIN: ‎ ‎ B00V38KC6U – 368 pages

Sarah Ward is the author of four contemporary crime novels set in the Derbyshire Peak District. Her debut novel, In Bitter Chill, was described by the Daily Mail as a ‘tense, well-told story of loss and family secrets’. Her second book, A Deadly Thaw, was called ‘relentless in its grip’ by the Financial Times. The third book in the series, A Patient Fury, was The Observer’s Thriller of the Month and The Shrouded Path was described as ‘macabre and unsettling’ by The Guardian.

Her Gothic thriller, The Quickening, published using her middle name, Rhiannon Ward was a Radio Times book of 2020. The Shadowing was published in September 2021 and was a Daily Express book of the year.

Sarah is the writer of the Doctor Who audio drama The Unwilling Assassin for Big Finish and The Perils of Nellie Bly, featuring the Fifth Doctor.

Connect with Sarah Ward via her website, or  Twitter.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in 1st in series, Book Reviews, debut novels, Mystery fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “In Bitter Chill” by Sarah Ward – Book Review

  1. I loved this series. Each new book would come out right before I left on my holiday to Tuscany so it was always my first read by the pool.


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