"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dead of Winter

TITLE: The Dead of Winter
AUTHOR: Rennie Airth

This is the third John Madden historical mystery, set in England near the end of World War II. The first two books established a pattern that this book also follows. A murder victim is discovered and as the investigation goes on, the author shows other characters who will play into the resolution even if there's no obvious reason how or why. In the first book, we saw the killer's pov; in the next two, the killer's identity becomes known early on. This isn't a traditional mystery as much as a look at crime detection at the time, how the local police and Scotland Yard handled unusual criminals whose motives aren't clear. And as with the other books, it's the characters that make the story worth reading. I enjoyed it a lot, but not as much as the first two because of that pattern. Things fell into place as I was expecting and therefore, there weren't any surprises or real suspense this time, despite how well the book is written. And there is a wonderful woman cop who gets a chance to help out the detective squad at the Yard, and I'd love to see a book featuring her.