Book Review: First Frost

R.D. Wingfield’s bumbling and irreverent police detective Jack Frost returns in this prequel by James Henry.

First off, I have to congratulate Henry on so perfectly capturing the feel of Wingfield’s original stories. The dry humour, the narrative voice, the various subplots, the characters and the run down setting of Denton all feel just like they did in the original books, almost as if they were written by Wingfield himself.

In true Frost style, there’s plenty going on all at once: a missing girl, a dead officer, a battered woman, rumours of a rabies outbreak, bomb scares, armed robberies, a murdered woman (not the same woman who got battered) and to top it all off, Frost needs to buy an anniversary gift for his wife who he doesn’t really like anymore.

I don’t know about Frost, but it started to confuse me after a while. While the main characters are pretty vibrant and well rounded (especially those returning from the original books), I found the numerous suspect and witnesses and victims all started to blend together a bit, making the ending a little unclear to me. I wasn’t exactly sure who had done what, especially since there were a few loose ends left untied to open the way for another book.

All in all, an excellent book and a true tribute to Wingfield’s original work. It was gripping, atmospheric but still retained a generous dose of that dark humour that sucks you into the grim town of Denton and doesn’t let you go. Just a trifle confusing for a casual read.

My rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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