Sunday, 19 November 2017

Winter's Return: Guy Winter Mysteries #4 by James Philip (2015) Narrated by Melanie Fraser (2017)

Publisher's Information

Winter's Return is the fourth full-length Guy Winter mystery. It is set in England in the Second World War in the third month of the devastating night Blitz which followed the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. 
In Winter's Return Guy Winter returns to London, a city at once reeling under the relentless nightly bombardment, yet oddly growing ever more accustomed to the ongoing nightmare. 
Shunned and unwanted by Scotland Yard, the Mystery Man - a sobriquet earned long before the war because he was the man the Yard turned to solve the mysteries no other man could resolve - is assigned to S Division in Hampstead. However, his exile is short-lived. 
Within days he and his faithful sergeant, George Ransom, are heading for the English Midlands, where on a country estate a few miles south of Coventry, Helen Chase, the nation's most famous actress, has been grievously wounded in an apparent orgy of mindless violence that has claimed several other lives in the most bizarre and gruesome of circumstances. 
Little does Guy Winter suspect that no matter how far he travels from London, the ghostly echo of the Whitechapel Murders of 1888, the machinations of his former MI5 associates, and the extraordinary revelations of an exotic German spy captured six weeks before in Scotland, will eventually catch up with him. 
But before he must confront one fate, he must confront other demons in the fires consuming Coventry, the "city of spires". 
Please be aware - cliff-hanger ending!

Review rating 

This fourth instalment of the Guy Winter series is certainly full of mystery and suspense. Murder and mayhem abound which makes for thrilling reading. The cliffhanger ending came quite abruptly but the high drama ensures that I will be reading the concluding episode, Winter's Spy, as soon as possible.

There is quite a bit of historical information at the beginning of the book regarding the origins of New Scotland Yard which I found very interesting. The detail surrounding the blitz was also well done and I liked how the author brought the social impact of the bombings into the story line. We get a real sense of the hardships faced by people who lost their homes and the community spirit that developed as people banded together to help one another out.

Again, Melanie Fraser gives a flawless performance. There is such quality and clarity to her voice I really feel like I have stepped back in time as I listen to this series.

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