Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Can't Wait to Read: IN BITTER CHILL by Sarah Ward

Last year I launched a new irregular series here on Crime Watch, "I Can't Wait to Read", which features myself and some great guest bloggers highlighting crime novels that we are really looking forward to reading. The series went into a hiatus, has now returned. I'm looking forward to sharing some fascinating books over the coming months - exciting titles from new, on-the-rise, and well-established crime writers.

Today I'm pleased to share the upcoming debut novel from someone who is pretty well-known in reviewing and festival circles: IN BITTER CHILL by British crime fiction blogger Sarah Ward of Crimepieces. 

The book blurb: In 1978, a small town in Derbyshire, England is traumatised by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls. One girl, Rachel, is later found unharmed but unable to remember anything except that her abductor was a woman.

Over thirty years later the mother of the still missing Sophie commits suicide. Superintendent Llewellyn, who was a young constable on the 1978 case, asks DI Francis Sadler and DC Connie Childs to look again at the kidnapping to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. However, Sadler is convinced that a more recent event triggered Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide.

Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She remembers nothing of the abduction and is concerned that, after Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide, the national media will be pursuing her for a story once more. Days later, the discovery of one of her former teachers’ strangled body suggested a chain of events is being unleashed.

Rachel and the police must unpick the clues to discover what really happened all those years ago. But in doing so, they discover that the darkest secrets can be the ones closest to you.

The author: Sarah Ward is an online book reviewer whose blog, Crimepieces, reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world. She has also reviewed for the Eurocrime and Crimesquad websites. As a reviewer, her particular interests are European fiction and she is a judge for The Petrona Award for translated Scandinavian crime novels.

After years of writing professionally in a government agency, she moved to Greece to teach English as a Foreign Language. It was in the Athenian heat, homesick for the English countryside, that she started the crime novel she’d always wanted to write. Sarah now lives in rural Derbyshire in England where her debut novel, IN BITTER CHILL, is set.

Why I can't wait: 
I've known Sarah from around the crime fiction blogging traps for a while now, and we met in person recently at Iceland Noir. I was pretty excited to hear she had been picked up for publication by Faber, in a two-book deal, as I've always enjoyed her reviews and she seemed a thoughtful and articulate person when it came to crime fiction. I'm further intrigued by the story in her debut novel as I often enjoy crime stories that combine historic events that lie dormant then come to startling fruition in the present. I'm curious about the rural Derbyshire setting as well, as I've read many British crime novels over the years, but that may be a new setting for me. The plot sounds exciting, with lots of potential for twists and turns and the development and unveiling of character. The effect of the media on individuals caught up in big stories, the use of modern techniques to solve historic crimes, the quest for answers versus moving on - there could be a lot of terrific themes bubbling away beneath what will hopefully be a page-turning plot.

When it's available: 
2 July 2015 (UK) in hardback, 29 September 2015 (USA) in hardback


You can read more about Sarah Ward and IN BITTER CHILL here: 


What do you think about contemporary crime thrillers set in rural England as opposed to the big cities? Are you a fan of book centred on historic events affecting the present day? Based on the book blurb, is IN BITTER CHILL something you could see yourself wanting to read this year? Comments welcome. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post - I've just linked to it on twitter so more people can see it. Really looking forward to this too and we have lots of crime novel fans in the library here so have been tipping them off about it too ;) Hopefully we'll get to meet Sarah on her book tour! :)