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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

First Frost by James Henry

It's Denton, 1981. Britain is in recession, the IRA is becoming increasingly active and the country's on alert for an outbreak of rabies. Detective Sergeant Jack Frost is working under his mentor and inspiration DI Bert Williams, and coping badly with his increasingly strained marriage. Probably not helped by the fact that he never goes home...Superintendent Stanley Mullett has been at Denton for only six months, and is desperately trying to restore order within the chronically depleted ranks, while refurbishing the dilapidated Eagle Lane HQ. But DI Williams is nowhere to be seen, and DI Allen has failed to return from his walking holiday. So when a 12-year-old girl goes missing from a department store changing room, Mullet has no option but to put DS Frost in charge of the investigation.

I am a great fan of the television programme, Frost, however when reading the R.D. Wingfield books I was not so keen, although I think that this was because I had seen the TV dramatisation first, it took away the element of surprise and solving of the crime. When I saw this book, I was intrigued as to learning about Frost's earlier life.

This book is actually written by two authors: James Gurbutt and Henry Sutton and has been approved by R.D. Wingfield's son Phil Wingfield.

Frost is a Detective Sergeant, Mullett has just been promoted to Superintendent and Frost is joined by DC Arthur Hanlon and newspaper journalist Sandy Longford is chasing stories, all popular characters which are in RD Wingfield's orginal books.

The book starts with the disappearance of a school girl, Julie Hudson, from a department store, who's mother is beaten and left for dead and her father disappears. There is also the death of a police officer just weeks away from retirement and a blind man who is found dead in Denton Canal. With a suspected Rabies case in the area, a young child is hospitalised but the truth is even more severe. In true Frost style, the investigations are not done by the book, and with Mullett breathing down his neck, he is determined to solve the cases and even at this early stage of his career, his wife is left behind.

A good read, a great insight into life before Frost becomes an Inspector. The authors have managed to include regular and popular characters from R D Wingfield's books and the television series.

I would recommend this book to all Frost fans or lovers of crime fiction.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review.

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