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 Books I have read

Morning Frost – James Henry

Crime Fiction 4*'s
Crime Fiction
4*’s

Published 7 November 2013 by Bantam Press

The year is 1982, the place Denton, England and a foot is found in a nearby field while Frost buries his wife Mary. As his colleagues and a large contingent of the Masons in attendance at the wake the criminals in Denton go on a crime spree. With no time to mourn the loss of his wife, a wife who by his own admission he hadn’t put at the top of his priorities, Frost is soon investigating a rape at a school, the shooting of a small-time crook and coming to terms with the fact that a new computer system is being installed in Denton Police Station.

This is the third prequel that James Henry has written to the brilliant R.D. Wingfield books featuring Frost. This last one takes us up to Frost at Christmas the first in the original series. James Henry does a fantastic job of recreating Frost and the writing of R.D. Wingfield, so much so that I forget that it this isn’t the original. The crimes are sufficiently bizarre enough without being unrealistic, Frost is instantly identifiable, if a little younger and the references to the England of the eighties subtly inserted. I had forgotten how Radio Rentals and Rumbelows were ubiquitous in many towns, how life before mobiles meant the police would stake out telephone boxes and that once upon a time renting a video was the height of the technological revolution.

A great read for those of us who mourn the passing of R.D. Wingfield but Frost really couldn’t have been put into a safer pair of hands.

Morning Frost: (DI Jack Frost 3)

R.D. Wingfield’s books were first published in the United Kingdom in early 1989, and in 1992 Frost first appeared on television in A Touch of Frost, played by David Jason. Wingfield was never enthusiastic about the TV adaptation of his detective, once saying he had nothing against David Jason but “he just isn’t my Frost”. Wikipedia

With three prequels written by James Henry the books in order are:

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)

This is my second read in COYER challenge

COYER Challenge button

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (November 5)

Teasing Tuesday CB

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My current read is Morning Frost by James Henry due to be published by Bantam Press on November 7, 2013
This is the third prequel written by James Henry to the brilliant original series by R.D. Wingfield.

Morning Frost

Blurb

It’s been one of the worst days of Detective Sergeant Jack Frost’s life. He has buried his wife Mary, and must now endure the wake, attended by all of Denton’s finest.
All, that is, apart from DC Sue Clark, who spends the night pursuing a bogus tip-off, before being summoned to the discovery of a human hand. And things get worse. Local entrepreneur Harry Baskin is shot inside his nightclub, fake fivers are being circulated, and a famous painting goes missing.
As the week goes on, a cyclist is found dead in suspicious circumstances, and the more body parts appear. Frost is on the case, but another disaster – one he is entirely unprepared for – is about to strike . . . Goodreads

My Teaser:
Nev Sanderson pointed authoritatively with a large wooden stick. ‘That there is a foot.’
The dog continued to sniff the prominent big toe. Sanderson leaned on his stick and smirked.