A Deadly Thaw (Ward)

A Deadly Thaw: A Mystery (Inspector Francis Sadler) - Sarah Ward

I enjoyed Sarah Ward's first mystery novel, In Bitter Chill. This sequel was, for me, a bit of a sophomore slump, though I'm not giving up on her. My problem with this one was that the motivations of the principal characters in the mystery seemed to me far-fetched, and those of DC Connie Childs, who now appears to be established as the lead police protagonist, off-putting if not quite as incomprehensible when she lets herself fall into a sexual relationship with a married colleague.


For future reference, this is the story where a woman kills her lover, but goes to jail for the murder of her husband (having deliberately misidentified the body). The husband also turns up murdered years later. I had half of the solution fairly early on (I solved the identity of who brings gifts to the murdering woman's sister), but I had a wrong suspect in mind for the second murder, mainly because I didn't find the romance between him and the sister at all credible.


In the police station, there were some misunderstandings because the administrator couldn't let them know they were under internal investigation for past failings in dealing with victims of sexual assault - a depressingly timely theme, and very much relevant to the main plot too.


I'm sticking with DC Childs for a bit - I still find the writing solid and the situations imaginative. I'm hoping the third book int he series will also have rather more plausible motivation for the crimes, and rather less of poor interpersonal judgment on Connie's part.