Wednesday, February 22, 2017

In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"In 1978, a small town in Derbyshire, England is traumatised by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls. One girl, Rachel, is later found unharmed but unable to remember anything except that her abductor was a woman.

Over thirty years later the mother of the still missing Sophie commits suicide. Superintendent Llewellyn, who was a young constable on the 1978 case, asks DI Francis Sadler and DC Connie Childs to look again at the kidnapping to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. However, Sadler is convinced that a more recent event triggered Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide.

Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She remembers nothing of the abduction and is concerned that, after Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide, the national media will be pursuing her for a story once more. Days later, the discovery of one of her former teachers’ strangled body suggested a chain of events is being unleashed."

My Thoughts:

In Bitter Chill was one of those books that I anticipated for months and months prior to getting the chance to read it.  I read the above description and just couldn't help but want to start reading it.  Happily enough this book was just as good as I had hoped it would be with a chilling mystery among the pages.  There is just something about a book where the main character is missing memories that I can't get enough of.  It adds this layer of suspense to the story line in a way that almost feels like when you have an unreliable narrator.  I can't help but wonder while reading what other memories are we not being told about.  What else might come to the surface as time passes?  It is such an intriguing way to tell a story and for me it is something that I can't get enough of as a reader.  I love books like this for that reason alone!  

This book begins a series featuring DI Francis Sadler but really the major focus of this book was on Rachel herself.  Rachel is struggling to remember what happened that day when she and Sophie were abducted.  These were memories that she repressed for so long and it seems now that they might start trickling back if she tries hard enough.  I found this book to be quite the page turning read which is how I like my mysteries to be.  I didn't want to set this book down and I really couldn't read it fast enough.  I loved reading about Sadler's investigation into the abduction that happened so long ago.  It is always interesting to see a book where the focus is on a cold case and the investigation is trying to take a fresh look at it.  All of this added up to a very good read for me overall.  Then you add in one of those endings that leaves you breathlessly trying to finish- definitely a winner in my book!

Overall I really enjoyed this book and am glad that I'm finally writing up my thoughts on it.  I can go read the second book, A Deadly Thaw, without feeling guilty for not having written my review for this book.  LOL!  Seriously though, I really enjoyed this book and have been meaning to share about it every since I finished it last year.  I'm really excited to see what this author comes up with next since I enjoyed this one so much.  If you enjoy mysteries that you cannot put down, this is definitely a book to pick up!  I would highly recommend it to fans of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense.  A book that came very close to making my top reads list for 2016!

Bottom Line:  An enjoyable mystery and series that I can't wait to read more of!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a Goodread's giveaway.


  1. I have both of the books in this series on my shelf - both unread as yet. Thanks for the nudge about this one. Sounds like one I'll like a lot.

  2. I am not familiar with this author or series, but it sounds good, Samantha! Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  3. Sam, I'm glad that this chilling mystery was just as good as you had hoped it would be. Your enthusiastic review was fun to read!

  4. I've been hearing about this author and really want to check out this series. Sounds like a promising series!


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