Published by Faber Books, July 2018
Source: review copy
Three bodies discovered.
A family obliterated.
All evidence seems to point to one murderer: the mother.
DC Connie Childs, determined to discover the truth about the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane, realises that a fourth body – one they cannot find – must hold the key to the mystery. But what Connie fails to realise is that her determination to unmask the murderer might cost her more than her health – this time she could lose the thing she cares about most: her career.
A Patient Fury is the third book in Sarah Ward’s series featuring DC Connie Childs, but the first one that I’ve read. It won’t be the last! Whilst the book hints at events in previous books, it can easily be read and enjoyed as a standalone, though now I want to jump back and catch up with the earlier adventures (and misadventures) of DC Childs.
It’s a deeply atmospheric book, from the chilling underground caverns of the Peak District to the small village of Brampton in which the main story takes place. Similarly, Ward holds nothing back when it comes to the grisly scene of the murder, leaving little to the imagination in the fire-wrecked shell of a house.
Connie Childs is relentless in her investigation, despite pressure from above to just close the case, she won’t (or can’t) let it go, and is drawn into the world of George and Julia, whose family were lost in the blaze. But of course there are deeply held secrets in the family, and is anything quite as it seems?
Of course not – but Ward deftly weaves the various threads of their story through present and past, showing us glimpses of a earlier time where a mother vanishes leaving her two children alone, and the repercussions that entail. The siblings George and Julia are such different characters, and both compellingly drawn with all their faults and foibles and bluff and bluster that you can’t help but be sucked into the mystery of their former life and what it means for the present day.
DC Childs is a great character and I’m looking forward to finding out more about her in the first two books (and the next, due in September). She feels very real and honest, never letting the apparently obvious get in the way of the investigation.
The plot is complex and twisty, just the way I like a good police procedural, winding its way to an entirely satisfying conclusion which I’d love to say I saw coming, but didn’t!
Highly enjoyable, and well worth picking up.
Many thanks to Emma @damppebbles for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About Sarah Ward:
Sarah Ward is the author of three DC Childs novels, In Bitter Chill, A Deadly Thaw and A Patient Fury set in the Derbyshire Peak District where she lives. The fourth in the series, The Shrouded Path, is out in September. On her website, Crimepieces (www.crimepieces.com), she reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world. She is a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian translated crime novels. Sarah was a 2015 Amazon Rising Star and A Patient Fury was The Observer’s Thriller of the Month in 2017.