Frozen Charlotte (Martha Gunn Police Procedurals) Paperback – 30 Sep 2011
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This is a fascinating and chilling mystery which will lead the police and Martha herself down some strange byways of human behaviour before the solution is finally unravelled. I found this an absorbing read. Martha and Alex are interesting characters and I like the way, both they and their relationship are being slowly developed through the series.
I’m finding this series to be absorbing reading and this is the second one which has kept me up late into the night because I just had to finish reading it to find out what happened. If you like mysteries or crime novels which are a bit different then try the Martha Gunn series. They can be read in any order but reading them in the order in which they were published gives extra insight into the relationship between Martha and Alex.
Initial questioning of this quiet well-dressed woman brings forth no answers - only questions. PC Constable Gethin Roberts is relieved to hand over to Sergeant Paul Talith but he doesn't get much further. Eventually Detective Inspector Alex Randall takes over but even the basic question of `why did you bring a dead baby to the hospital, why not call the police?' produces no explanation.
Coroner Martha Gunn also has questions, and together with Alex Randall they attempt to uncover the mystery behind the death of this child.
I have mentioned PC Gethin Roberts, Sergeant Paul Talith and Alex Randall, and there are many other characters in this mystery that will remained unmentioned in this review, but this story is rich in characterisation. All of their lives and many more are touched-on, and all of their lives equally fascinating. In Martha's life are her twins now fifteen - Sam is pursing a career in football, while Sukey has different ideas and nothing that Martha could have even envisaged.
In book discussions the question is often asked of the readers what is the most powerful element in this book, plot, writing, or character? I love an easy question, in this book equally all three. If I should be asked what is your favourite type of mystery? I can say it is 'Frozen Charlotte'. A `mystery' that grips the reader from the first to the last page. In short one of the best books I have read in a long time. It is compelling, fascinating, intriguing - a real mystery. It moves at an incredible pace, every chapter taking the reader to a new place, more questions, and more interesting characters. I wanted to follow all their lives, so intriguing were they masterly proffered.
Although, the conclusion was eminently satisfying, there are a couple of tantalising personal situations left open, making me hot to read the next book.
To say `highly recommended' sounds in adequate I think `must read' is nearer the mark.
Priscilla Masters at her best.
The characters are well researched and realisitcally dealt with and the sub plots are intriguing and make you want to find out more.
Martha Gunn is a totally believable character,like most women trying to juggle a career,raise a family and have a social life.
The characters are well described and conjure pictures in the mind and allow you to build up your own vision of the character.
The mystery has you guessing right until the last page.