Title: In Bitter Chill (Inspector Francis Sadler #1)
Author: Sarah Ward
Genres: Crime | Mystery | Thriller
Length: 353 pages
In 1978, two girls were kidnapped. One returned, the other didn’t.
Thirty-six years later, the latter’s mother is found dead in a hotel room, apparently a suicide.
What really happened then and on that faithful day?
In Bitter Chill engaged me from the beginning. I don’t usually enjoy crime novels because I either don’t have the patience for the procedural aspect or find it lacking, but in this case there was a great balance between story, procedure and characters. I actually found myself shivering when reading this because the cold truly travelled across the pages and I enjoyed meeting all characters. They each had their particularities and they were obviously much better constructed and developed than my previous experiences on the genre.
It was pleasant to see a variety of female characters. Not only were their personalities quite different but there were both big and small ones, which was a very welcome change. Almost overweight women still had appeal and that was amazing.
I felt the book dragged on a bit around the middle and there were a bit too many characters. Also, I could not understand certain characters’ actions, like why to keep some things from the police. It felt like it was done to drag the plot.
Still, things wrapped up very nicely towards the end culminating in a thrilling conclusion. The parallel narrative of 1978 and current day was so nicely done, as well as both stories’ development – there were enough clues laid out to be satisfied everything would fit in if I chose to reread everything, but not too many that I would guess the conclusion.
For the most part, In Bitter Chill enthralled me, and I am looking forward to beginning the sequel, A Deadly Thaw.
Read from Jan 1st to Jan 7th, 2017