Title: The Dead of Winter
Author: Rennie Airth
Published By: Penguin Books, 2010
Reviewed By: Jessica B
Rating: 4/5 Stars
The Dead of Winter takes place during World War 2. John Madden is still retired and living with his wife Helen. His kids have grown up, with his daughter working in London, and his son fighting in the war. When a night murder looks more than just a chance murder, Scotland Yard begins to investigate. It is then they discover the person murdered previously worked for none other than John Madden. He becomes slightly involved in the case, as he feels he owes it to his late worker.
Although I enjoyed this book, I think the first and second novel of Airth’s are better. The plotline was suspenseful, up until the end when everything and everyone comes together. However, there was no perspective of the murderer, so readers only gained the viewpoints of the Scotland Yard employees and John Madden. Also, John does not become heavily involved as in the previous two novels, which took away slightly from the story.
This book still deserves 4 out of 5 stars for multiple reasons. One, the plot is intriguing and another crime story. Two, the writing style is the same as Airth’s previous novels, which I enjoy. Three, the plot moved quickly and kept me engaged until the end.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy British crime and detective novels, or fans or Airth’s previous novels. I would recommend starting with his previous two books to understand the characters, especially John Madden, and his relationship with Scotland Yard. However, I don’t think readers would be entirely lost if they started with this book.
Check out this link to read my review of his previous two novels.
About the Book:
On a freezing London night in 1944, Rosa Novak is brutally murdered during a blackout. Scotland Yard suspects the young Polish refugee was the victim of a random act of violence and might have dropped the case if former police investigator John Madden hadn’t been her employer. Madden feels he owes it to Rosa to find her killer and pushes the investigation, uncovering her connection to a murdered Parisian furrier, a member of the Resistance, and a stolen cache of diamonds.
Delivering the atmospheric writing and compelling characters that have already established Rennie Airth as a master of suspense as well as style, this long-awaited third installment in the John Madden series is historical crime writing at its best.
About the Author:
Rennie Airth was born in South Africa and worked as a foreign correspondent for Reuters for many years. He currently resides in Italy.