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The Winter Foundlings    by Kate Rhodes order for
Winter Foundlings
by Kate Rhodes
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Winter Foundlings is the third in Kate Rhodes mystery series starring English psychologist Alice Quentin. Though I missed the first two books (Crossbones Yard and A Killing of Angels) and hence a little of the back story, that did not affect my enjoyment of this third mystery.

As the novel opens, Alice has taken up an opportunity to study treatment methods at the Northwood high-security hospital outside of London, where serial child killer, Louis Kinsella, has been incarcerated for over a decade. And readers share the point of view of a very intelligent, tough-minded little girl, Ella, as she's abducted after school. We continue to see what happens to her afterwards.

Detective Don Burns, with whom Alice worked in previous episodes, is investigating Ella's disappearance along with the abductions of three previous young girls in North London all in the space of a year - two bodies were found months after the girls were taken. They were obviously starved to death. Burns has a new deputy, DI Tania Goddard, an attractive woman who arouses jealousy in Alice.

DI Goddard calls Alice, asking her to interview Kinsella, since these new abductions mimic his previous murders and Ella was a pupil at the school where the child killer was headmaster. Though reluctant, Alice agrees, knowing that a little girl's life is at stake. Kinsella plays her during their interviews, but it does become clear that he is in contact with the new serial killer.

Alice begins to wonder about her fellow workers at Northwood - surely one of them must be Kinsella's follower? And while she agonizes over Ella's fate, complications arise in her personal life. When another child is taken, the pressure increases. But little does Alice realize the danger creeping ever closer to her own orbit. The Winter Foundlings is engrossing and Alice a character I plan to follow.

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