Sunday 11 September 2016

Winter's War (Guy Winter Mysteries #1) by James Philip (2014) Narrated by Melanie Fraser (2016)

Winter’s War is the first full length Guy Winter Mystery. It is set in England in the Second World War at the time of the Battle of Britain and the start of the London Blitz. 

August 1940 - Chief Inspector Guy Winter has been Fleet Street’s favorite detective for over a decade. Dubbed the ‘Mystery Man’ by his friends and enemies alike, for all his fame he cuts a lonely figure at Scotland Yard, where every newspaper story is fresh grist to an already tired mill. Laid low by personal tragedy there are many who suspect that the great detective’s career is over. 

In Winter’s War Guy Winter, still in mourning the death of his wife in a tragic traffic accident the year before is summoned back to Scotland Yard to hunt for a psychopathic killer who is retracing Jack the Ripper’s fifty-two year old bloody trail of terror through London’s East End. 

Evil stalks the London blackout at the height of the Battle of Britain as a madman sets out to sow panic in the streets. But nothing is quite what it seems. As the threat of invasion looms ever larger and great aerial dogfights rage in the skies over southern England, as air raid sirens wail in the night, searchlights play across the face of the heavens and the first bombs fall, old scores are being settled and we discover that Guy Winter, the ‘Mystery Man’, has been living a double life more mysterious than anybody ever suspected. 

Now that double life has returned to haunt him. Now he no longer knows whom to call friend or foe. 

Now the sins of his past may be the death of him… 


The premise of the story i.e. a Jack the Ripper inspired murder mystery set in London during the Blitz, really appealed to me. The element of espionage added a layer of complexity and mystery to the story. The story line was very intriguing and the mystery had me hooked while the twists and turns kept me guessing. There were plenty of suspects and conspiracy theories as Guy Winters discovered who his friends and enemies really were. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

I liked Guy Winters; a complex and clever, albeit flawed, character with a skewed moral compass. There is never a dull moment as he flits from one woman to the next while investigating a string of gruesome murders. 
I also liked his Sergeant George Ransom who made a very likeable sidekick.

As always Melanie Fraser gives a flawless performance and The Guy Winters series is now one of my favourites. Her accent lends itself very well to the time period and the upper class characters portrayed in the novel. Their old fashioned phrases were in tune with the era and because Melanie voiced them with her RP accent I really felt like I was transported back in time. 


I received the audio book in exchange for my honest review.

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