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Synopsis: Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one. When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?  As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika. The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

My review: I’m really not sure how I feel about this book. On one hand I struggled to like most of the characters but at the same time I read all 400 pages in one evening finding it very hard to put down.

DCI Erika Foster returns to work 9 months after the death of her husband and several other police officers due to a judgemental error on her part. It says in the story-line she’d asked for around another 6 months admin work before returning to active duty. Instead she’s thrown straight into a high profile murder enquiry and then berated less than 24 hours into this with higher ups demanding psychological profiles. As someone with mental health issues I know this is fictional but that treatment really struck a negative note with me. Then again if she’d got her request we wouldn’t have a book would we???

I’d also started the book straight after binge watching The IT Crowd so ended up superimposing various characters from the TV show onto characters in the book. Moss became…Moss essentially keeping the hair but adding a skirt. And Foster I could see as Katherine Parkinson. I now want to see Parkinson given her own police series.

There was a lot of stereotyping of the rich elite – the establishment – all of them thoroughly horrible individuals and I was glad when pretty much all of them got their comeuppance for various events that unfold during the story. I didn’t even really feel much sympathy with the victim which isn’t good in a crime thriller.

BUT the book is very fast paced, the crime is solved in just a few days. The chapters are short and as mentioned earlier when you sit down to read it; it’s the type of book you are compelled to finish and never mind the housework etc. After several romance novels this is the authors first foray into crime drama. I’m part of a crime book club and we often read the first book of a series and a common thread in our discussions is often that the first book is not that great compared to later works. I can see the characters developing here over time and there is a second book which I’ll have a look out for.

Thumbs firmly in the middle for this one though