Thursday, February 11, 2016

In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward : Book Review

Title: In Bitter Chill
Author: Sarah Ward
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Published Date: September 29th 2015
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Page Count: 320
Format:  Hardback

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★.5

Goodreads Summary: 
The deepest secrets are the ones we keep from ourselves in this richly atmospheric, compellingly written, and expertly constructed crime debut from an emerging talent.

Derbyshire, 1978: a small town in the idyllic English countryside is traumatized by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls, Rachel Jones and Sophie Jenkins. Within hours, Rachel is found wandering alone near the roadside, unharmed yet unable to remember anything, except that her abductor was a woman. No trace of Sophie is ever discovered.

Present day: over thirty years later, Sophie's mother commits suicide. Detective inspector Francis Sadler and detective constable Connie Childs are assigned to look at the kidnapping again to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She wants nothing more than to continue living quietly beneath the radar, but the discovery of the strangled body of one of her former teachers days after the suicide brings the national media back to her doorstep. Desperate to stop a modern killer from striking again, Rachel and the police must unpick the clues to uncover what really happened all those years ago as the past threatens to engulf the present.

 My Review:
"He said to do nothing. It's always been his default position. If in doubt, maintain the status quo..... None of us could have forseen the later events. But, without a doubt, your mother knew the whole story."

For this being a debut novel I was not expecting to like it as much as I did.
When Rachel and Sophie were taken as they were walking to school, their lives would be changed forever. Rachel would be scarred for life, and constantly questioning if a person was genuine or if they just wanted to be around her because of what happened to her. Rachel tries to go on with her life and becomes a successful genealogist and runs her own business. She keeps to herself and tries to stay out of trouble.
All of this changes though when Sophie's mom is found dead and her case gets reopened, and she tries to start figuring out for herself what happened in 1978.

We also get to see a point of view of Connie and Sadler police detectives and Palmer to (He's to stressed out about his upcoming wedding and isn't involved a lot). Sadler and Connie work together and try to stay one step ahead of the reporters and towards the end Rachel to figure out who the kidnapper was and what exactly happened to Sophie.

This story kept me guessing who it was. I did figure out who kidnapped them about seventy-five percent of the way through, but I still wanted to know why Sophie was the only one hurt and why they did it. I was not expecting all of the twists and turns the story took either and was surprised by some of them.

Mystery is slowly becoming my favorite genre and these types of books are why. Ward did such an amazing job of mixing police protocol and real-life and what Rachel now does as a job into the story and explained them in such a way that told you what you needed to know without it being an overload of information.
I did find the last page a little unnecessary though as we already knew that that is where she was and what happened.

"That's the funny thing about it. Everyone knew and did nothing. That's what you and I need to remember about the past. That secrets could be everywhere and no one would mention a thing. "

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