Morning Frost – James Henry

The third of the reborn Frost series, this repeats the success of the first and second: you get familiar and interesting characters in an entertaining plot (this one the best of the lot, so far) that delivers an exciting read. As before, I liked it.

We are again back in 1982. Jack Frost has just suffered a personal strategy, on top of which somebody has found a human foot in a farmer’s field, a local ‘businessman’ is shot, there’s a wages robbery, a paper boy on a bike is found dead, and one of his in-laws’ valuable paintings is stolen. There is worse to come…

Maybe it’s a guilty pleasure, but I cannot get enough of this stuff. It’s moderately formulaic, comfortable, and easy reading. But the action is far from soft, and there is a dark edge lurking in the shadows. And, thankfully, there are several plot lines left hanging – meaning there may be more on the way.

If you want a good read, this is perfect.

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Fatal Frost – James Henry

The second of the reborn Frost series, this repeats the success of the first: you get familiar characters in an entertaining plot (this one a bit less wobbly) that delivers a great page turner of a book. It’s not great literature, but it is not bad literature – so much as there is such a thing. It’s well written in the sense that it does what it sets out to, and does that well.

So far as the details are concerned, it is 1982 (I think) and the events are kicked off with the discovery of a young girl’s body in Denton Woods. Then, in the midst of a golf club relaunch, Superintendent Mullet is called to deal with the body of a young boy on the course. And, to top it all, there are burglaries and robberies happening all too regularly.

The background does throw up some references to the Falkland War of the time. That was not so convincing. The introduction of a black officer from the Met is more roundly realised.

Of course, things get worse in Denton, and Mullet wants it all sorted, and sorted now!

Although the plot is suitably twisted, it’s the central character of Frost upon which the whole exercise hangs. It is a testament to R D Wingfield’s creation, that the character manages, with ease, to shoulder the burden.

In short, if you liked the other books or any of the TV stuff, this will not disappoint you.

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First Frost – James Henry

R. D. Wingfield, who created the character of D. S. Jack Frost, died in 2007. His estate allowed James Henry – a pseudonym for James Gurbutt and Henry Sutton – to bring Frost back to life with this and two other books which are prequels, set in the 1980s.

I did not find the book as well written as Wingfield’s output. However, that is probably of no consequence. The goal here is entertainment, and that – for me – is what has been well and truly achieved. Of course, like many I have this mental image of actor David Jason playing the role and speaking the dialogue. And that brings an added vitality for free; something the authors did not have to work to get.

The other characterization is a bit sparse, though Inspector Mullet gets a reasonable airing. The plot is a bit wobbly, but just about works. But, despite these imperfections, it races along. It’s a page turner, for sure.

Bottom line: I’ll be reading them all in due course.

Frost is back, and he’s worth spending time with.

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