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In Bitter Chill - Sarah Ward

This is an assured debut from Sarah Ward. This isn’t a book filled with core or bloody scenes. It is a gentle paced novel but don’t let that fool you. This is a story that creeps up on you and draws you in without really noticing. I soon got lost in the pages and looked forward to reading it when I was away from the book.

 

I liked the character of Sadler and would love to see him return in future books. He had a gentle way of dealing with people and situations, though was not without personal issues. It would have been nice to learn more about his back story and see more of his character develop, hence my hope for more from him. Of his colleagues Connie and Palmer I felt that Connie was the stronger of the two. Palmer almost faded into the background. I found myself a little distanced from him and unable to figure out the dynamic between him and Connie. As for Connie I would have liked to know more about her, as what was revealed helped shape her for the reader.

 

The real focus of the story is Rachel. We see how the kidnapping has effected her life, her distrust of women conflicting with the fact that her family tree focussed on the matriarchal line only, or perhaps because of it. The genealogy aspect was fascinating and very relevant to the story. It allowed Rachel to be her own form of detective, looking into things that she can control i.e. the past.

 

I had fun figuring out the twist in the tale and the outcome was one I can’t recall coming across in recent crime novels I’ve read.

 

A great read. I’m looking forward to more novels from Sarah Ward.