‘Possibly the most accurate picture of police work in crime fiction today… An absolute cracker’ – Mike Ripley
Denton is having more than its fair share of crime.
A serial killer is murdering local prostitutes; a man demolishing his garden shed uncovers a long-buried skeleton; there is an armed robbery at a local minimart and a ram raid at a jewellers.
But Detective Inspector Jack Frost's main concern is for the safety of a missing eight-year-old. And soon after another girl is reported missing, her body is found . . . raped and strangled.
Then Frost's prime suspect hangs himself in his cell, leaving a note blaming Frost for driving him to suicide.
Frost may be coarse, insubordinate and fearless. But he’s also in serious trouble.
DI Jack Frost (Night Frost; Hard Frost; etc.) returns in a relentless, and often humorous, page-turner. In this fifth outing, a serial killer is murdering hookers, while yet another is kidnapping and killing young girls. The harassed Denton (U.K.) police force also faces a host of lesser problems, including a drunken soccer mob, an extremely successful burglar and the discovery of a buried skeleton. Wingfield, author of many radio plays and comedy scripts, excels in comic episodes like Frost's attempt to date the skeleton as more than 70 years old, so he won't have to add it to his case load: "`Great Plague victim,' he pronounced firmly. `A bit later than that, I think....' `Fell out of a zeppelin then. Eighty years old if it's a day.'" The overall joking and bawdy tone (particularly from Frost's lecherous Welsh assistant) sometimes makes this book sound like a police procedural written by the late British comic Benny Hill--a good thing, unless you object to almost every female in the novel, including child murder victims, being called a "poor cow" at least once. Frost sits in on forensics sessions and interrogates suspects, as each separate investigation dovetails into another. The pace is so frantic that the DI never seems to snatch more than three or four hours of sleep at a stretch. The same may apply to those caught up in this compulsive, funny read. Fans of A Touch of Frost, the TV show based on the series, will also be smitten.