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The Dead of Winter
By Rennie Airth

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The Dead of Winter

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The Dead of Winter
A John Madden Mystery
By Rennie Airth
Charnwood Large Print, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-44480-000-5
Genre: Crime, Mystery

Reviewed by Herbert White - July 26, 2010

The third book in Rennie Airth's John Madden mystery series, The Dead of Winter is a chilling story of murder, intrigue, and war. Set in war-torn London in 1944, former Scotland Yard Inspector John Madden is once again drawn into a murder investigation. In this case, Rosa Nowak, a Polish refugee who worked on his Surrey farm as a land girl, is brutally murdered in London during a blackout. Madden feels it his duty to bring her killer justice. To this end he enlists the aid of several of his Scotland Yard collogues.

Once again, what should be a rather simple case turns out to be anything but as black marketeers, war profiteers, and the war itself continually impedes progress on the case and the ability of the police to conduct a proper investigation. In fact, the officers initially assigned to the case are not really interested in investigating it in the first place. To them it is simply a random murder in a war-torn city where death - in all its various forms - has become the residents constant companion. The police have better things to do than investigate the murder of a refugee. Madden, however, will not let the matter rest and he soon has the coppers out doing their job. As events unfold, Rosa's murder is anything but random, and is related in some manner to the theft of some diamonds and the resistance movement in Europe.

Can Madden get to the truth before the killer strikes again? Can he keep the police on their toes and on the case? Will Airth let Madden return to his farm and leave him alone to enjoy is retirement in relative peace? We will have to wait and see. The Dead of Winter is the third and final volume in Airth's planned John Madden trilogy. Yet, will Airth call upon this amazing detective in future volumes to use his keen wit and uncanny ability to see the true core of a crime or will he let him simply fade away into obscurity? Hopefully not, but if he does, and you've not done so already, you can still enjoy the first two books in this series, River of Darkness and The Blood-Dimmed Tide, both available in large print from Ulverscroft.

The Dead of Winter can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft, the parent company of Charnwood Large Print.

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