What the blurb says: “Bampton, Derbyshire, January 1978. Two girls go missing: Rachel Jones returns, Sophie Jenkins is never found. Thirty years later: Sophie Jenkins’s mother commits suicide.
Rachel Jones has tried to put the past behind her and move on with her life. But news of the suicide re-opens old wounds and Rachel realises that the only way she can have a future is to finally discover what really happened all those years ago.
This is a story about loss and family secrets, and how often the very darkest secrets are those that area closest to you.”
Out this month, Sarah Ward’s debut novel – In Bitter Chill – perfectly captures the hauntingly chilling atmosphere of the best Nordic Noir crime fiction, within a closer to home Derbyshire setting.
This intricate mystery follows Rachel Jones as she tries to piece together why Sophie Jenkins’s mother would commit suicide thirty years after the abduction. Now a professional genealogist, Rachel is no stranger to digging through public records to connect seemingly unrelated information and family histories. She starts putting her skills to use investigating the events around the time of Mrs Jenkins’s death, and in the process unravels a complex web of secrets and lies which have devastating consequences.
Meanwhile, DI Sadler, DS Palmer, and newbie DC Connie Childs are working the case too. As they wade through old case files from 1978 and the facts from Mrs Jenkins’s suicide, they are unable to find a connection. Then a woman is found murdered, and the mystery surrounding the cases deepens – someone is still guarding the secrets of the past, and they’ll kill to do so.
In Bitter Chill is a haunting debut. Beautifully written, with a complex and compelling mystery at its heart, it pulls you deep into the secretive community of Bampton from the first page to the last.
Highly recommended for fans of Nordic Noir and detective crime fiction.
To find out more about Sarah Ward hop on over to her website at www.crimepieces.com/ and follow her on Twitter @SarahWard1
[With thanks to Faber for my copy of In Bitter Chill]
And be sure to check out all the other fabulous stops on the blog tour …