#4 Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock

Sitting on the top deck of a bus days before Christmas, Maya sees a couple arguing violently in the middle of a crowded Regent Street. They see her watching, she looks away, and the woman disappears. Maya goes to the police, who shrug and send her away. Then a body turns up… Now convinced she is a vital witness to a crime, the police send Maya into hiding in rural Wales. She resolves to get to the bottom of the mystery. Then the snow comes and no one can get out. But what if someone can still get in?

Paperback | 254 pages

Published by: Nosy Crow (6th October 2016)

I was supposed to start reading this in December, but getting around to in in January isn’t too much of a fail. I decided to read this in between two meaty thrillers, to break the pace a little. The blurb on the back made me think that the situation Maya has found herself in, isn’t going to be quite so easy to solve as one would imagine. It was a quick story to connect to and from the beginning I felt that I was reading a story that was unique and one that had a very distinctive voice.

I found this very easy to read. Once everything got going, I was invested in reading Maya’s story and discovering just why she had to go into hiding and just what she had seen that was so important.

I often felt that Maya was older than she was presented as. Much of her characteristics and mannerisms made me view her as an older teenager rather than a child on the cusp between child and teenager. Besides that, I found Maya’s character to be someone that was easy to follow and captivate and a character who had room to grow as the story progressed. Her interactions with those around her spoke much of her character and I enjoyed the way that her relationship with her cousin Ollie progressed.

With Ollie, you really don’t get a sense of what he’s about till a throwaway comment towards the last third of the book. I spent much of the time being irritated by his character but I feel that I wasn’t given the opportunity to feel anything other that irritation towards his character.

This was very easy to read. The scenes were few and the character pool was small, so it was easy to clearly visualise everything from the beginning and to continue adding and imagining as the story continued.

This is a very easy going binge read. I picked it up between reading meaty thrillers to give me a break and it does just that. I’ve read Hitchcock’s work before and have found that she writes compact stories within a few pages. Her writing style and overall flow are easy to follow and there are plenty of moments for the reader to come to their own conclusions without the help of the author. I enjoyed this read but it didn’t stand out to me in any way. It was simple, creative and acceptable.

I enjoyed this but I wouldn’t go out and demand everyone read it. It was perfectly ordinary and a great book for a child whose interested in the crime genre but it didn’t fizzle my book buds as other books have done. I still enjoyed it and certainly don’t regret reading it. I’m glad I bought this book and had the opportunity to read it. There are a lot of Hitchcock books I still want to read. Overall, enjoyment level was average.

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