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The Ice House by [Walters, Minette]
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The Ice House Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Length: 436 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Review

"Unholy passions seethe inches beneath a proper surface: a brutal, literate debut."--"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) "Splendid . . . an extraordinary debut."--"St. Petersburg Times" "A stylish, nontraditional mystery in which ambiguity abounds."--"The New York Times Book Review" "Electrifying."--"Rocky Mountain News" "[A] zinger of a debut . . . Walters skillfully brings together the relationships between the women and the policemen into a complicated but believable puzzle, which she solves with panache."--"Publishers Weekly"

Review

"Unholy passions seethe inches beneath a proper surface: a brutal, literate debut."--"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
 
"Splendid . . . an extraordinary debut."--"St. Petersburg Times"
 
"A stylish, nontraditional mystery in which ambiguity abounds."--"The New York Times Book Review"
 
"Electrifying."--"Rocky Mountain News"
 
"[A] zinger of a debut . . . Walters skillfully brings together the relationships between the women and the policemen into a complicated but believable puzzle, which she solves with panache."--"Publishers Weekly"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 866 KB
  • Print Length: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (3 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0044KLOQG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,894 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I first read this I was shocked - by its incredible originality, style and sheer top-quality. The characters are some of the most carefully formed, interesting, and complicated I have ever come across. The plot is great too, filled with twists at every corner that leave you stumbling in the dark in this maze of a mystery. The dialogue is pin sharp - full of smart, wry observations - especially from the character Anne Cattrel who is no shrinking violet to put it mildly. She is brash, honest, and funny and her conversations with Seargant Andy McLoughlin are simply stunning. I am so surprised this is Minette Walters first novel because, in my opinion it is her best. There are simply so many layers in this book, and it just gets better and better. The action scenes near the end are brilliant - the kind that makes you feel horrified and excited at the same time. What else can I say? Just read it!
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Format: Paperback
Ten years after a brutish businessman walked out on his wife and children and was never seen again, a dead and decayed body shows up in a forgotten corner of their country estate. Is it the missing husband finally discovered? And if so, is his wife - the prime suspect in the original case - really the killer?

This cross between a police procedural and a country house murder has a good and twisting plot, but suffers from the fact that many of its characters fall into the hinterland between caricature and actual character. Walters does provide the reader with more details than Dame Agatha Christie would have, but they still don't leap off the page as real, living people and the plot suffers as a consequence. It's difficult for the reader to truly empathise at the big confrontations, or to be surprised at the sudden shocks as we don't know these people well enough to genuinely care, nor have a firm understanding on what they would or wouldn't do. In addition, I can accept the ostensibly unsympathetic policeman actually being sympathetic (and vice versa), but it happens so suddenly in this book as to make the Damascene Conversion look long and drawn out.

It maintains its air of mystery well and the denouement was not quite what I was expecting (well the very last bit was) and I'll give it points for that, but this felt more like a book to pass the time than to be riveted by.
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Format: Paperback
If you expect a traditional crime story ... that is not what you are in for! Sexy, young detective Andy McLoughlin guides you through the entangled web of suspicion. The trigger of the story is a dead body in the ice house of the mansion Streech Grange which is the home of three extraordinary women. From the very beginning Minette Walters gives a deep insight into the psychological structure of the characters although they are a bit overdone sometimes. The twisted plot leads towards a totally unexpected solution which makes the book unputdownable especially at the end.
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Format: Paperback
I had read one of her later novels ‘Fox Evil’ which nearly put me off reading it through because of the initial animal cruelty, but decided to go back to the beginning with this author. This début novel, ‘The Ice House’, is probably well known by most readers. I found it enjoyable enough, but not sure why it won the John Creasey award. However, everything dates, including the themes and treatment of them in ‘The Ice House’ and I made myself remember that it was written long ago in 1992. It all felt a bit Home Counties and cosy.
The threat to the 3 women from the community in which they lived was portrayed, but I never really felt it. Characterisation was often stereotypical and I did not believe in the two contrasting detective police officers on the case. The character of Ann was also a bit hard to take. Obviously, by the time of ‘Fox Evil’ in 2002 her writing had developed and that book is quite different in tone and perspective. However, it is an interesting experience going back to earlier works. (3 stars)
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Format: Paperback
You don`t need to be a crime story fan to enjoy the Ice House ! The book is entertaining, easy to read and tension is kept alive all through the book ! The reader won`t get to unravel the crime until he comes to the very end of the book . Minette Walters plays with the reader`s prejudices; three of the main characters appear to be lesbian. The persons the book deals with are like everyday people who could be your neighbours and you get an insight into their personal problems, e.g. Sergant Detective Mc Loughlin`s, who is not the typical investigator that you would expect of a crime story. The Ice House is really worth reading !
(by students of the Wesergymnasium Vlotho, Germany )
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Format: Paperback
When David Maybury disappeared from his home, the Streech Grange Estate, his beautiful, young, red-haired wife, Pheobe, told police he just walked out on her and their two children one evening and never returned. Maybury was known to have been in financial difficulties. His wine business, funded by his wife, which he ran from the cellars of her estate, was virtually bankrupt. It was widely believed that Maybury physically abused Phoebe, although she excused her often bruised face as the result of clumsiness, falls, etc.. After ten days with no sign of the man, the police searched the Grange and the surrounding wood thoroughly, even digging up the Maybury's extensive gardens - to no avail. An overly zealous detective questioned Pheobe to the point of harassment. He also implied she was responsible for her parents death in an auto accident a few years before. Finally the unsolved Maybury mystery was laid to rest in the cold case files.
Ten years later Pheobe Maybury, now in her mid-thirties, is still living at her elegant country home, along with her two best friends from childhood, Anne Catrell, a journalist, and Diana Goode, an interior decorator. The three women are shunned by local society, and much maligned - believed to be witches, lesbians, or both. When a badly decomposed corpse is found in the estate's ice house, two cynical detectives arrive at the scene to investigate. The nightmare of ten years before begins anew. Detective Chief Inspector Walsh was originally in charge of the missing husband case ten ago. He has never lost his conviction that Pheobe murdered David, and is sure the unidentifiable body must be his. It appears Walsh, with the one-track mind, has his own agenda.
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