A Winter Kill – Review

Vicki in an interview with Cheryl Freedman

Vicki in an interview with Cheryl Freedman

One of the really great things about travelling to the US and Canada is having the chance to discover new writers I’d never usually meet. And the last trip to Canada was one of those opportunities I couldn’t miss. Although it’s not easy to carry home roughly twenty books, I did manage it.

I’ve already mentioned the excellent “Fire on the Runway” by Mel Bradshaw and Donald J Hauka’s brilliant “She Demons“. Today it’s the turn of a lady we don’t see in the UK too often -Vicki Delany.

Vicki (who is the current Chair of the Crime Writers of Canada) is one of Canda’s most prolific writers. She’s two main series on the go, and regularly writes one-off stories too. This book is not one of her series, but is a quick story written for Rapid Reads. Now, defining this kind of thing isn’t easy, but let’s just say I’d guess it’s about 15,000 words, with roughly 110 pages with largish print. That, to me, means a short novella, not a long short story!

A Winter Kill starts with the discovery of a young woman found murdered in the snow. The rookie constable, Nicole Patterson, is the discoverer of the body. The victim is a high school student who happens to have a dreadful reputation with her classmates. Her parents are poor and have less than glowing reputations too, and when added to that it’s learned that her father has a drink problem and issues with his temper, it’s easy to see why the girl has earned her reputation. But, although Nicole has no investigative role, and she is only a trainee, she is young enough to understand the kids at the school, and empathise with the victim. It leads her to explore different routes, and brings out a very effective resolution.

I can’t say too much, because that would give away the plot; however, this is a superb little read. It kept me going for quite a long while, during several short walks. What I really liked about this book was the perspective of the young cop. WE don’t often get to see the crime world through the eyes of someone who’s on the right side of the law, but who is this young and – perhaps a little naive – enthusiastic.

Whatever the reason was, I really enjoyed this little book. I’d define this as a good cosy. Not too violent, but with good characterisation and motivations. I’d happily recommend this to any crime reader, and I’ll be looking out for more of Vicki’s books in future!

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