Today’s book review is brought to you by Paul Gitsham. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes
Synopsis: Ella Williams is ten years old. She loves her granddad and her sister and her shiny new red shoes. She’s just been abducted by a killer – someone who kidnaps young girls, holds them for a few weeks then returns their bodies clothed in white foundling dresses. The crimes are clearly linked to notorious child murderer Louis Kinsella, locked away in a high-security hospital. Is it a copycat? Or is he giving someone direct orders from behind bars? To save Ella’s life, psychologist Alice Quentin must form a relationship with Kinsella. But he is slow to give up his secrets, and all the while, time is running out…
I first met Kate Rhodes a couple of years ago, when she kindly gave me a paperback copy of the first book in the series, Crossbones Yard. Unusually for me, I read it in two sittings. Since then I have happily paid full-price for the next two in hardback, which I devoured at similar speed and will do so again when the next in the series is released.
After her ordeals in Crossbones Yard and A Killing of Angels, psychiatrist Alice Quentin takes a research sabbatical at a secure mental hospital. However it isn’t long before her old friend DCI Burns is asking for her help again. A sick killer is kidnapping little girls and leaving their mutilated bodies in white dresses inside cardboard coffins, reminiscent of the way that abandoned orphans were once left on the steps of The Foundling Hospital.
When another girl is taken, Alice is drawn into the hunt for the young child before she too ends up dead. Soon it becomes clear that unless the killer is found, not only will his latest victim be killed but he will continue kidnapping until he’s captured. But what is the link between a long – term resident of the psychiatric hospital and the current spate of murders?
Again, Rhodes gives us a cast of compelling characters, all brilliantly written. Some familiar faces return alongside others new to this novel, all woven into a tale full of plausible suspects, complex motives and heart – breaking and heart – thumping action. Although the subject matter is necessarily unpleasant, it is skilfully and sensitively handled and the reader’s investment in the story is total.
Alice Quentin is a wonderful heroine beautifully written by an author at the top of her game.
I can’t wait for the next book.
Sounds great. Thank you, Paul.
Paul Gitsham started his career as a biologist, working in such exotic locales as Manchester and Toronto. After stints as the world’s most over-qualified receptionist and a spell making sure that international terrorists and other ne’er do wells hadn’t opened a Junior Savings Account at a major UK bank (a job even less exciting than being a receptionist) he retrained as a Science Teacher. He now spends his time passing on his bad habits and sloppy lab-skills to the next generation of enquiring minds.
Paul has always wanted to be a writer and his final report on leaving primary school predicted he’d be the next Roald Dahl! For the sake of balance it should be pointed out that it also said “he’ll never get anywhere in life if his handwriting doesn’t improve”. Twenty five years later and his handwriting is worse than ever but millions of children around the world love him.*
Paul writes the DCI Warren Jones series of novels, modern British police procedurals, set in North Hertfordshire. The first two in the series, The Last Straw and No Smoke Without Fire, were Amazon best-sellers. The third in the series, Silent as the Grave, was released in 2015, alongside an exclusive short story, Blood is Thicker Than Water. You can find out more about Paul at his website: www.paulgitsham.com.
He also spends more time than he should on twitter @DCIjoneswriter #DCIWarrenJones and Facebook www.facebook.com/dcijones
*This is a lie – just ask any of the students he has taught.
Links to Books
- The Last Straw: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Straw-Warren-Jones-Novel-ebook/dp/B00IPKD2WK
- No Smoke Without Fire: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Smoke-Without-Warren-Jones-Novel-ebook/dp/B00L5GV2N2
- Silent as the Grave: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silent-Grave-DCI-Warren-Jones-ebook/dp/B00ULOOOIY
- Blood is Thicker Than Water: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Thicker-Water-Warren-Jones-ebook/dp/B00URUBS6S
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If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.