Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Frost at Midnight – James Henry

Crime Fiction
4*s

For those who loved R.D. Wingfield’s original crime series featuring DI Frost, James Henry has recreated this dishevelled detective in earlier times; Frost at Midnight is the fourth prequel in the series.

It’s 1983 and Denton CID are confronted with a dead body on top of a tomb in the local graveyard, the case is instantly a PR nightmare as the body is Rachel Curtis, a domestic violence victim who acting under coercion was jailed for murder but had now been released early. Added to the now increased workload there are more immediate problems as Detective Sergeant Waters is getting married and he’s unable to attend the rehearsal with his best man Detective Inspector Jack Frost.

With the police station in a state of flux a the officers get to grips with the new-fangled computers and pagers everything is taking longer than it used to – Jack isn’t the only one who is sceptical of the use of these new additions to crime fighting. Superintendent Mullett, as ever, has his priorities at total odds with Frost and it is only thanks to the habitual nifty footwork in ignoring his orders that the team have any chance of solving the crime.

Meanwhile DC Sue Clarke has finally reached the end of her tether; looking after a baby and having Frost sleeping on her sofa following the death of his wife is not compatible with a good life. Sue wants to return to work but Mullett aka Hornrim Harry is reluctant. And then a prostitute goes missing leaving a young boy to fend for himself and CID need all the help that they can get.

I’ve enjoyed all the prequels that James Henry has written and found that the language and the characters have been kept faithful to the original books. The sense of time with all the accompanying misogyny and racism along with the emerging new technologies are present and correct and a huge amount of my enjoyment is on a nostalgic level. The plotting is well thought out with the sense of urgency mounting as the team try to wrap multiple strands of the investigation up before the wedding takes place. It isn’t just dead bodies and missing women, there is also the mystery of the missing money left by a newcomer to Denton in a cement mixer along with the ever-present worry of where Frost’s next meal is coming from! On that note the Frost in this book is more chaotic, even shabbier and perhaps a little less sharp although he has time to woo a couple of ladies (I’m really not sure of the appeal here) as he deals with his changed personal circumstances. In a modern crime book there would be trips to the force doctor and supportive colleagues discussing grief but this is 1983 and there is no doubt Frost is struggling without a single nod to mental health.

I’d like to say a huge thanks to Random House UK for allowing me to read a copy of Frost at Midnight which is another excellent prequel, one that kept me thoroughly entertained as Denton once more comes to life with all its myriad of characters and Frost’s caring and clever mind fighting to the fore.

First Published UK: 17 May 2017
Publisher: Bantam Press
No of Pages: 352
Genre: Crime Fiction – Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

The Frost books Prequels and Originals

First Frost: (DI Jack Frost 1) (James Henry)
Fatal Frost: (DI Jack Frost 2) (James Henry)
Morning Frost: (DI Jack Frost 3) (James Henry)

Frost At Christmas: (DI Jack Frost Book 1) (R.D. Wingfield)
A Touch Of Frost: (DI Jack Frost Book 2)  (R.D. Wingfield)
Night Frost: (DI Jack Frost Book 3) (R.D. Wingfield)
Hard Frost: (DI Jack Frost Book 4)  (R.D. Wingfield)
Winter Frost: (DI Jack Frost Book 5) (R.D. Wingfield)
A Killing Frost: (DI Jack Frost Book 6)  (R.D. Wingfield)

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (June 11)

Weekly Wrap Up

Mum’s last trip to Jersey July 2010

 

This has been a sad week as my Mum who had been suffering with dementia for the last few years, had a massive stroke and passed away a few days later on Friday. Mum wasn’t a huge reader but she did encourage my love of books, she was the one who taught me to read before I started school and took me to the library from a young age where I would sit happily choosing my latest haul, some things never change!
So because I tend to write and schedule my posts at the weekend, the content has been there but I haven’t been responding as usual…

This Week on the Blog

On Monday I posted my review of Love Like Blood by Mark Billingham a superb book which has the subject of honour killings at its heart. This, the fourteenth book in the Tom Thorne series got the full five stars from this reader.

My excerpt post came from Each Little Lie by Tom Bale, a psychological thriller which will be published on 29 June 2017.

This Week in Books featured the authors Beryl Bainbridge, Jane Corry and Nicci French… unsurprisingly I haven’t got too far through the list this week.

My review on Thursday was of my first read for my 20 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, What Remains Behind by Dorothy Fowler which is set on an archaeological dig in New Zealand. A different type of mystery to many with the storyline split between two, one hundred years apart.

Next I reviewed the fantastic second book by Fiona Barton, The Child. Her storytelling style had me hooked with the mysterious burial of a baby decades earlier and three unconnected women who react to a brief news item about the find.

Sadly I wasn’t as enamoured with Beryl Bainbridge’s novel Winter Garden which is set in Soviet Russia in the early 1980s, which was reflected in my last review of the week, although I will continue to explore this author’s other books.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge. I adored the setting of a theatre in 1950s Britain where we meet Stella a sixteen year old who is a stage hand. The story of Stella and her infatuation with an older man is at times painful to read but I loved the darkness, the cleverness, the period details and the sardonic humour.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover

Blurb

It is 1950 and the Liverpool reporatory theatre company is rehearsing its Christmas production of Peter Pan, a story of childhood innocence and loss. Stella has been taken on as assistant stage manager and quickly becomes obsessed with Meredith, the dissolute director. But it is only when the celebrated O’Hara arrives to take the lead, that a different drama unfolds. In it, he and Stella are bound together in a past that neither dares to interpret. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

This week I gained two new reads courtesy of NetGalley:

Frost at Midnight by James Henry who has written the three previous prequel’s to R.D. Wingfield’s series and for me the tone has been consistent with the originals. I have a soft spot for Jack Frost in 1980s Denton.

Blurb

August, 1983. Denton is preparing for a wedding. Detective Sergeant Waters should be on top of the world with less than a week to go until he marries Kim Myles. But the Sunday before the big day, instead of a run-through with his best man, the church is sealed off. The body of a young woman has been found in the churchyard, and their idyllic wedding venue has become a crime scene.

Detective Sergeant Jack Frost has been homeless for the past three months, ever since his wife’s family sold the matrimonial house. He’s been staying with Detective Constable Sue Clarke but with a baby to take care of and the imminent arrival of her mother, she’s given him his marching orders.

But as best man to Waters, he’s got a responsibility to solve the mystery of the dead girl in the churchyard. Can he put his own troubles aside and be the detective they need him to be? All in all, August looks set to be a wicked month in Denton… NetGalley

I was exceptionally lucky to be approved for a copy of The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham, a psychological thriller that sounds like it will indeed thrill! The Secrets She Keeps is due to be published on 11 July 2017.

Blurb

Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it’s Meghan Shaughnessy’s.
These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common – a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear.

Both will risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone. NetGalley

Do let me know what you’ve found to read this week?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained 2

The current total is therefore 181 
Physical Books – 106
Kindle Books – 62
NetGalley Books – 13