The Ice House: A Novel

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9780312951429: The Ice House: A Novel

With this stunning debut--a marvelous marriage of classic convention and contemporary sophistication--Minette Walters sets a new standard of excellence for the mystery novel.

The three women living in seclusion at an elegant Hampshire country house have long been fodder for village gossip...even whispers of a witches' coven. So when a faceless corpse of uncertain vintage is found in the Streech Grange ice house, Chief Inspector Walsh can't wait to make a case of it.

Lady of the manor Phoebe Maybury, still haunted by Walsh's relentless investigation of her husband's strange disappearance ten years ago, is calm. She and her two housemates--sensitive, charming artist Diana Goode and pretty, earthy Anne Cattrell--seem as puzzled as the police. But do they have something to hide?

While Walsh strives to nail Phoebe for murder, sexy young Detective Sergeant McLoughlin turns his attention to the exasperating and magnetic Anne. Soon his inquiry and his impulses will draw him into a tangled thicket of love, loyalty, and deadly intrigue.

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About the Author:

Minette Walters is the author of many suspense novels and the winner of the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the CWA John Creasey/New Blood Dagger Award, among others. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives with her husband in Dorset, England.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Ten years ago, Phoebe Maybury's hateful husband David disappeared from Streech Grange after his wife caught him in bed with their traumatized daughter Jane. Now a naked, unidentifiable corpse has been discovered in the icehouse on the Grange, and Inspectors Walsh and McLoughlin have to decide whose it is, whether he was murdered, and who killed him. The cozy British setup is countered by an unremitting ferocity of tone, as Walsh--who planted the story years ago that Phoebe killed her husband--and McLoughlin slug it out with Phoebe and her aggressively lesbian companions, interior designer Diana Goode and magazine writer Anne Cattrell. For good measure, McLoughlin, stung by Anne's accurate taunts that he's fallen for her, also tangles with unblushing liar Maisie Thompson, whose husband has done a bunk (could that corpse be his?); with his long-unfaithful wife; with the village queer- bashers; and finally with Walsh himself. Unholy passions seethe inches beneath a proper surface: a brutal, literate debut--especially welcome to fans of Ruth Rendell.(I) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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