Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pierce’s Picks

A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.

In Bitter Chill, by Sarah Ward (Faber and Faber UK), involves the apparent suicide, in England’s Peak District, of elderly Yvonne Jenkins, whose only daughter, Sophie, perished during a still-unsolved kidnapping back in 1978. As a pair of police detectives investigate, they connect Jenkins’ demise to that snatching as well as to the more recent strangling of a retired teacher who’d once known both Sophie and Rachel Jones, the latter of whom was also abducted but managed to escape. Might Rachel, now a genealogist, provide the clues needed to solve these crimes--even if she has no memory of the long-ago kidnappings to which they appear so firmly linked? Little Pretty Things, by Lori Rader-Day (Seventh Street), introduces Juliet Townsend, who in high school dreamed of becoming a track star, but 10 years on is cleaning rooms in a shabby Indiana motel. Imagine her surprise when Maddy Bell, her onetime athletic rival, checks in to that same lodging, looking prosperous and wanting to share a drink with Juliet. Something is quite wrong here, but Juliet doesn’t inquire until it is too late: Maddy is found dead and the cops figure Juliet was involved. To save herself, Juliet sifts through her past and memories of Maddy, hoping to identify a killer in the present.

Click here to see more of this season’s most-wanted books.


Kiwicraig said...

Read and really enjoyed Sarah Ward's IN BITTER CHILL while travelling in the Peak District last weekend (seemed appropriate). Really enjoyed it - kind of a modern take on an old-school village mystery, with little to no onstage violence or sex etc. But very intriguing and twisty, with some nuanced characters and interesting themes re: family secrets and whether it's better to keep them or not.

Anonymous said...

Thought this was a perfectly written book -- a twist on an English village mystery. One thing I liked about the plot is that the reader was finding out the evidence at the same time as the detectives, so no shocking denoument. That shows respect for the reader.
Can't wait for the second book by this writer.