Hard Frost, by R.D. Wingfield

Inspector Jack Frost has to cut short his holiday to investigate the murder of a child, and then gets involved in the investigation of two other murder and two kidnapping cases.

It's often the case with murder mysteries that there's just not enough information in the story for the reader to work out whodiddit, and you have to rely on a section at the end where the detective explains everything that's gone on. More rarely, there are books where you are provided with the same information as the hero, but manage to work out the solution before he does. This book falls into the latter category, but the effect was spoiled by the fact that Frost, not to say the rest of his team, seem to be pretty bad at picking up the clues that were being strewn about by the author.

The plots are implausible (Denton sounds like a pretty dangerous place to live considering the number of seemingly unrelated homicides Frost comes across). The characterisation is a bit simplistic: Frost is a maverick, bending the rules and generally incurring the wrath of his self-serving superior and fellow officers (who are even slower on the uptake than he is). But, it works: despite the criticisms, this was an undemanding and enjoyable read and I was sorry when it ended.

Completed : 02-Apr-2003 (audiobook, read by Robin Browne)

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