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A Death in Winter: 1963 Not all murders are equal
by Jim McGrath Troubador Publishing Ltd Matador
Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult) Pub Date: 25 April 2016
An intense debut to a mystery series set in 1960s Britain...
Wealth and power provide some with a sense of entitlement, a sense of being "above" the law. Wealth enables the satisfaction of desires that the masses find abhorrent. But how can you successfully go against those with the power to destroy your life and your career? When the broken, badly used body of 14 year old Simone Winston is found in a frozen ditch, Probationary Police Constable Michael Collins and Constable Clive Clark take it upon themselves to seek justice, despite being warned off by higher ups. Agnes Winter, Constable Collins's landlady and former member of British Intelligence provides them with valuable assistance in unraveling the complex crime and determining the identity of the culprits being protected.
Abuse in different forms plays a major role in A Death in Winter. The culprits are a deadly group of paedophiles, used to having others cover their crimes. Agnes Winter is a Quaker, who opens her home to any woman who is being abused, whether by her pimp or her spouse. It is difficult to know who can be trusted amongst the "old guard". Probationary Constable Collins is Irish, and despite his intelligence and drive knows that he will have to work twice as hard to be recognized because of his ethnicity. Constable Clive Clark is perceptive and highly skilled, but remains at his level because he does not cater to higher-ups. While the trio work well together, there is always the sense that if they do not find sufficient evidence, the three will easily be cut off and left to falter. Jim McGrath's leads have a depth of character and a drive for justice that not only makes them believable as individuals, but makes them appealing to the readers.
Despite the darkness of the plot, there are numerous uplifting bits. Like life, there is a combination of the tragic and the hopeful. I definitely look forward to the next book in Jim McGrath's series.
I received a copy of A Death in Winter: 1963 from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
They thought that the police, MI5 and the Security Services would protect them. They were wrong. When the body of fourteen year old Simone Winston is found in a frozen ditch they quickly find themselves in a deadly conflict with two mismatched policemen and a Quaker woman of ferocious intelligence.
Meet: Probationary Police Constable Michael Collins – Just six months out of Ireland, he has the drive and intelligence to go far. But first he has to learn how to police the streets of Handsworth while he tries to survive his battle with gangster Eddie Bishop and a group of deadly paedophiles.
Constable Clive Clark – At five foot seven and nine stone soaking wet he’s the smallest police officer in Birmingham. Despite his size it’s Clark’s job to show Collins the ropes and protect him from harm during his first month on the force. Unfortunately, his love of West Bromwich Albion and a desire to share it with Collins threatens to send the younger man into a coma.
Agnes Winter – Quaker, friend to any woman who has been beaten by their husband, boyfriend or pimp and Collins landlady. With her War Record stamped ‘Most Secret’ she has many friends in both high and low places.
Unable to trust anyone, this band of strangers form ties that will never be broken as they fight for their lives and justice for Simone.