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Book Review: A killing Frost By R.D.Wingfield

Updated on July 19, 2014

Book Review: A killing Frost By R.D.Wingfield

I must admit that I have not in the past been a reader of crime thrillers, in fact I have almost exclusively read science fiction with a smattering of fantasy thrown in for good measure. I had been a fan of the Inspector Frost series on television but did not know the name of the writer, whose novels the shows were based upon.

Over recent months I have begun to widen my reading due to what was an accident. I bought a “bag of books” from a charity function. As there were a limited number of my (old) favourite genre, I made up the number of books with one or two which sounded readable from their back cover reviews. Oh boy, did I get it right. I so enjoyed my foray into thrillers that they are all I have been reading for some time now. I have a new set of favourite authors and I have been trying to catch up with a number of series by these writers.

Writers with names such as Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver, Dean Koontz, have thrilled me – I can’t get enough of them. I have also started to read historical novels and much more. A whole world of fiction had passed me by. I have made a collection of many books which are waiting to be read, in fact I am adding to this collection faster than I can read it. One series of novels, which I read as soon as I find a book however, is the Inspector Frost series. By R.D. Wingfield. This book is the sixth, and last written by Wingfield who died from prostate cancer in 2007. The book being published posthumously in 2008. Three further books have been written based on the characters created by Wingfield with the permission of his family.

So, A Killing Frost; the paperback had over 570 pages and I read it in three days. Maybe not a world record but I did have to get out of the house and go to work. The main character is Detective Inspector “Jack” Frost, an experienced officer who is constantly harassed by his senior officers because of his attitude to the administrative side of his job – filling in all those forms. This provides an element of humour in an otherwise fast paced crime thriller.

Jack is portrayed as a loveable character, who wants to bring the villains on his patch to justice. He is a fair and hardworking copper and is familiar with the town of Denton and lesser criminals that inhabit this mixed community.He works hard, often long hours, and he expects no less from his subordinates. The book reflects a period in which a number of crimes are happening, including discoveries of old, unsolved crimes which are intertwined. Missing teenagers, snuff movies, blackmail, finds of body parts and of at least two well “matured”, rotting bodies all happen with rapid frequency at a time when the local force is short-staffed since men have been lent to other divisions by Frost’s superintendent.

Jacks persistence leads to the solving of all the crimes but there are many “red-herrings” popping up along the way.

Another element of the story is based around a new recruit to the Denton area, a certain Detective Chief Inspector, who has been bought in by Superintendent Mullet to hasten the transfer of Frost to another Division. Mullet and Frost do not see eye to eye about the daily administration tasks. This part of the story was left a little open but clues are given as to the outcome for Jack.

All in all, a marvellously readable novel; as are all the six books by Wingfield in the series and the three written after his death. As I said I enjoyed the popular TV series, but I don’t think having seen that made any difference to my enjoyment of the book. I simply could not put it down and would recommend it to anyone wanting a good crime novel to while away a few hours.

There are more books in this series all with the same mix of crime fighting from our favourite Detective Inspector. Lots of pathos and snippets of humour are found throughout the books by RD Winfield, and I would also recommend the three books based on this character written after the death of Wingfield. I do not believe that the order of reading the books would have any bearing on their enjoyment. They all stand on their own.

Winter Frost
Winter Frost

Although a series of murders is upsetting the peace and quiet of Denton, Jacks main concern is a missing 8 year old child

 
Hard Frost
Hard Frost

More crimes aimed at young children. One boy is found murdered and another is missing and a psychopath is stabbing babies in their cots. A busy time for Jack

 
Frost at Christmas (Crime Lines)
Frost at Christmas (Crime Lines)

* days to christmas and Jack is up to his eyes in crime-fighting. He is hampered by a new recruit who just happens to be the Chief Constables nephew. Can they work together?

 

Are you a fan of David Jason (who plays DI Jack Frost), have you seen the TV series and the occasional TV films? And were you like me unaware of the wonderful novels by Wingfield? Or maybe you read the books because of the TV series. Share your experience of this very popular detective, I would love to know if I was the only latecomer to these novels.

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    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 3 years ago

      Absolutely brilliant character. David Jason is wonderful. I have the audio books too.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I really think my mom would enjoy this book (if she hasn't read it) - she loves to read crime mysteries etc, and she's an avid reader - so although I personally don't read fiction, I'm always eager to read book reviews here on Squidoo so I can get ideas on books I could get for her! great review too

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've never read any of these, so maybe I'm a "latecomer" too. I love mysteries and have a stack of books that I'm working my way through. Thanks for adding more to the list of those I want to try. :)