Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock

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Published by Nosy Crow, 2016.

While travelling through central London by bus, Maya innocently takes a photo on her phone of the Christmas lights and bustling street scene. Unfortunately, it’s a case of wrong place, wrong time because Maya also unwittingly photographs a violent altercation between a man and a woman. Unluckily for Maya, they see her too.

What follows is a tense, action-packed thriller complete with kidnapping, murder, shoot outs and criminal gangs. Maya is placed under police protection and moves in with her aunt who lives in the middle of nowhere in the Welsh mountains. Her surly cousin, Ollie, is not impressed by her arrival and makes her very unwelcome.

Fleur Hitchcock has used the wintry weather and remote location to great effect. Blizzards cut them off from the outside world and trap their enemies dangerously close. The heavy snow provides perfect cover for anyone wishing to track Maya down, and fleeing for your life in a swirling snow storm takes on a whole new level of peril.

I loved that Maya was a daring, resourceful and hands-on female lead; she’s a great role model. Relationships are well drawn, particularly the one between Maya and Ollie. When the cousins are pitted together against great danger, Ollie’s barely disguised resentment gives way to respect and friendship.

Murder in Midwinter is a really exciting read – an atmospheric page-turner. I got so hooked in and caught up in the action that sometimes I found myself flicking forwards because I couldn’t stand the tension and wanted to know right away what was going to happen! This is definitely the perfect book to curl up with under the covers on a dark winter’s evening.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 10+

Thank you to Nosy Crow for sending me this book to review.

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