Book Review: A Deadly Thaw – Sarah Ward

Title: A Deadly Thaw
Author: Sarah Ward
ISBN: 9781250069184
Pages: 384
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Crime Fiction
Source: Publisher


When the body of a recently murdered man is discovered, it appears to be a routine homicide investigation for Detective Constable Connie Childs and her team. But it turns out to be anything but once the victim is anything but when the ID comes back: It turns out the body matches the identification of a man believed to be dead. Not only that, but he was murdered, and his wife, Lena, identified his body and then served a sentence, convicted of murdering him. Why would Lena identify a body that she knew wasn’t her husband’s? Where has he been all this time?


Fall is the time I love to curl up with a good mystery, after the breezy books of summer, and A Deadly Thaw served that purpose nicely. This meaty mystery is told from varying points of view, including DC Childs’, Lena’s, and that of Lena’s sister, Kat, so you are treated to a well-rounded perspective of the crime, its aftermath, and the investigation into what really happened. Ward is talented at developing her characters; you come to care about each of them, even as you recognize how flawed and imperfect they truly are.

Sometimes the multiple perspective game can be grating, especially in a crime novel, but Ward uses it to great effect in A Deadly Thaw. She knows how to use her different characters to reveal key bits of information without giving away too much. It’s effectively done and serves to heighten the suspense and narrative tension of the novel.

In the last quarter or so of the book, as everything comes together and the deeper answers begin to come to light, A Deadly Thaw moves from believability to pure entertainment. That’s not to disparage it; I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. But the end result isn’t exactly easy to buy into; there’s definitely some suspension of disbelief involved. This novel is atmospheric and well-written, with characters you’ll really become emotionally involved with. If you’re okay with swallowing some disbelief and enjoying the ride, you should absolutely pick up this entertaining crime novel

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