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In Bitter Chill    by Sarah Ward order for
In Bitter Chill
by Sarah Ward
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In Bitter Chill is a debut mystery by Sarah Ward who is already known in the mystery field as a reviewer and a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian crime novels. In this captivating novel, Ward has brought the past to meet the present. And done it well.

Two eight year-old girls were kidnapped in 1978 while walking to school in a quiet, lovely English town.
Rachel came home and Sophie was never seen again. Jump forward to today. A woman has fallen into a ravine on a cold, cold day. Even if she had survived the fall, she wouldn't have lived. She wasn't found for many hours after the fall and the cold did her in. Sophie's mother commits suicide.

Detective Inspector Francis Sadler and Detective Constable Connie Childs are assigned to look into the possibility that the two incidents could be connected in any way. Or connected to the kidnapping. Rachel has tried to live a quiet life under the radar. But when her former teacher is found strangled to death, the world media is at her door. Readers are also treated to what could be budding romances.

Trying to stop any more deaths, the local gendarmes must unravel any clues – no matter how small – to prevent more death. Tense and tightly written, this is a great debut book. Don't miss it. The dénouement is a complete surprise. Many different personalities make up the cast. And will, hopefully, appear in the next of what should be a popular series.

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