“When Maya takes a photo from the top of a bus, she has no idea of the trouble it will bring”. This is how the story starts and Fleur Hitchcock wastes no time in this murder mystery. In the first 6 chapters, there is a murder and a kidnapping. From the get go, Maya is thrown into a world where people will stop at nothing to get their hands on what they want and they want what she has got.
Fearing for Maya’s safety in London, the police send her to her aunt’s farm in the Welsh Mountains where they think she will be safe. Maya has been to her aunt’s before a long time ago. She really wasn’t in a hurry to rush back there due to its remoteness and her vile cousin, Ollie, who used to put salt in her ice cream. The farm is still remote and Ollie is still vile. Snow starts falling as soon as Maya arrives and it is not long before they get cut off. The police think Maya is safe on the mountain cut off by snow until news reaches them that the suspected murderer from the start of the book is in the area.
This book gallops a long at a real pace and Hitchcock uses the remoteness of the setting to really build up the tension. The characters in the book are well drawn as are their developing relationships. Hitchcock drops lots of lovely observed detail in about her characters. For example, when we first meet Maya’s Auntie she finds something in the ladle she is serving them with that she doesn’t like and just tips it down the sink in a no nonsense way and this is what she is like. How much I like a book depends on how quickly I read it and I read this one quickly! Enjoy!
Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock
Nosy Crow ISBN: 978-0857636386
You can read about the launch of this book here.