Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Review of In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward (2015, Faber & Faber)
In Bitter Chill is the debut novel of Sarah Ward. Following in the tradition of Scandinavian crime fiction the story told is a rather understated police procedural that focuses on the present day repercussions of a tragic crime committed thirty years previously. As such, as much attention is paid to family and community members as to the police team, and there is no lead character as such, with the narrative mostly split between two police officers and the surviving victim from the original crime. The characterisation is quite nicely done, there is a good sense of place, and the plot is for the most part well constructed and measured, though the ending was a little melodramatic and to me at least there was something off with the timeline regarding one character. Overall, a solid British police procedural that should appeal to fans of Scandi crime fiction.