Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Frozen Shroud-Martin Edwards

The Frozen Shroud

Martin Edwards

Poisoned Pen, Apr 2 2013, $24.95

ISBN 9781464201073

Five years ago in Ravenbank, England, someone viciously murdered Katya Moss on Halloween with a shroud used as a frozen cover to conceal her battered face. The homicide eerily reminds locals of the Faceless Woman brutal murder in the exact same way on Halloween just prior to the start of WWI because her ghost allegedly haunts Ravenbank. Criminologist Daniel Kind finds the eerie similarities too macabrely fascinating to ignore; so he begins to look into the murders almost a century apart.

Meanwhile Cumbria cold case Detective Chief Inspector Hannah Scarlett must deal with austerity that cuts her office’s budget cuts to a level in which she must reduce her workforce as salary is the major expense. When a third killing identical to the two cold cases Kind investigates happens, Scarlett opens up an inquiry into those murders with the criminologist assisting her and her unit.

The latest Lake District police procedural (see The Serpent Pool and The Hanging Wood) is a strong entry that grips the audience from the opening murder and never loosens its hold until the final denouement. Fast-paced, the romance between the DCI and the criminologist for the most part simmers on the back burner as the murder investigation takes center stage throughout in this super whodunit(s).

Harriet Klausner

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