Publisher: Avon Books (Harper Collins) | Publication date: 31st March 2016
Well, well, well. The Girl Who series continues and it’s another consistently feisty one, just like it’s heroine.
The story is set two years later from the incident with the psychotic Butcher in Book Two, and not only is Georgina McKenzie back as a trained criminologist she’s now managed to involve her whole family in this case. They make a formidable team – and you wouldn’t want to cross them, that’s for sure!
Their origins and quirky family background helps to lift the oppressive plot of child trafficking, kidnap, and the appearance of a cold-hearted killer called Jack Frost, who settles his scores armed only with an icicle. This murder weapon leaves no clues as to his identity for the authorities, as no finger prints or witnesses remain.
Georgina McKenzie’s expertise stretches only so far, especially as her efforts are being concentrated on making Paul van de Bergen suffer for his non-committal in their relationship. But although he desperately needs George’s mind to help further his existing case, at the front of his own mind is his pregnant daughter, who is the same age as George, making him realise just how odd a crinkled detective and a fresh-faced criminologist must look when they’re together.
Now, not only does this character ‘Jack Frost’ feature heavily, the storyline follows a young couple’s ups and downs in the media spotlight when their two toddlers go missing from their back yard. Like the adverse weather conditions, the plot becomes weighty under several heavy layers until it’s hard to discriminate between the good and the bad guys in a complex investigation stretching between London, Cambridge, and Amsterdam. The inclusion of the three very different locations of this series keeps the flow moving rapidly – it’s never settles, not even for a second, a bit like George’s erratic life and the constant threat to it.
The Girl Who series wouldn’t be the same without its shady characters crawling out of the woodwork, including The Duke, a low life enjoying a high position of power and literally getting away with breaking every moral code you could think of. There are feuds and a long distance relationship to mend (mainly George’s), and deadly confrontations that’ll knock your socks off.
While this may not be my favourite plot of the series (but still a damned fine one, I would add), it is delivered with more precision and barbed wit than all of them put together. Where many people fail, Marnie Riches excels: the magnificent feat of drawing a colourful personality, a distinct odour, or misshapen appearance of one of her creations with only a few choice words has more impact than any photographic still.
I bet I’m not the only one hoping that George will in return in the future. Although the immediate case is wrapped up the rather warped ending has left the door somewhat ajar …
Enticingly gritty crime and as pacy as hell.
(My thanks to the publishers, Harper Collins – Avon Books – for providing a digital copy of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
Europe is in the grip of an extreme Arctic blast and at the mercy of a killer, who leaves no trace. His weapons of choice are razor-sharp icicles. This is Jack Frost.
Now a fully qualified criminologist, Georgina McKenzie is called upon by the Dutch police to profile this cunning and brutal murderer. Are they looking for a hit man or a frenzied serial-killer? Could there be a link to a cold missing persons’ case that George had worked with Chief Inspector Paul van den Bergen – two abducted toddlers he could never quite give up on?
The hunt for Jack Frost sparks a dangerous, heart-rending journey through the toughest neighbourhoods in Europe, where refugees and Romani gypsies scratch a living on the edge of society. Walking into the dark, violent world of a trans-national trafficking ring, can George outrun death to shed light on two terrible mysteries?
(Amazon kindly informs me I’ve had this on pre-order since 15th January!)
Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester. She learned her way out of the ghetto, all the way to Cambridge University, where she gained a Masters degree in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. Previously a children’s author, now, she writes crime and contemporary women’s fiction.
Marnie Riches is the author of the George McKenzie crime thriller series, published by Maze and Avon at Harper Collins.
In her spare time, Marnie likes to run (more of a long distance shuffle, really) travel, drink and eat all the things (especially if combined with travel) paint portraits, sniff expensive leather shoes (what woman doesn’t?) and renovate old houses. She also adores flowers.
Winner of the Patricia Highsmith award for ‘Most Exotic Location’.
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