3 June 2011

Forgotten Book: THE ICE HOUSE, Minette Walters

This week's Friday's Forgotten book for the meme hosted by Patti Abbott on Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books appears in my records for 1993.
One could possibly argue that Minette Walters is not a forgotten author, but THE ICE HOUSE marked a remarkable debut.

From Minette's website:

THE ICE HOUSE was published in 1992 by Macmillan after being rejected by numerous publishing houses. It won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Award for best first novel and was translated into several languages within six months of initial publication. As with her subsequent books, THE ICE HOUSE creates an atmosphere of claustrophobia and tension through Minette’s skilful depiction of a handful of characters whose personalities are neither totally attractive nor totally unattractive.

Publisher's blurb
'When a rotting, unidentifiable corpse is discovered in the grounds of Streech Grange, it marks the beginning of a nightmare murder investigation for the three women living there. But is it the beginning? Or does the body lying in the ice house mean that the police can finally close their file on David Maybury, who vanished from Streech Grange ten years earlier? Inspector Walsh, the investigating officer in charge of the original inquiry, is a man obsessed with uncovering the truth.

His suspicions centre - as they did at the time of her husband's diasappearance - on Phoebe Maybury. She inhabits a strange, isolated world where her only close companions are Anne and Diana, the two women friends who live with her. For many in the local community Streech Grange is as place of evil, and Phoebe herself has become the focus of the villager's dislike and fear. They believe that she murdered not only her husband but her parents as well. And now that some hard evidence has been uncovered the pressure to convict her becomes intense.

As Walsh and his assistant, Detective Segeant McLoughlin, begin to probe into private lives and secret passions they assume that a conviction for murder can only be a formality. But sometimes obsessions can obstruct the truth...


Minette Walters' novels are stand alones, but recent novels have reflected political issues such as the Iraq War, and mercenary soldiers.

The Ice House (1991)
The Sculptress (1993)
The Scold's Bridle (1994)
The Dark Room (1995)
The Echo (1997)
The Breaker (1998)
Acid Row (2001)
The Shape of Snakes (2001)
Fox Evil (2002)
Disordered Minds (2003)
The Devil's Feather (2005)
The Chameleon's Shadow (2007)

13 comments:

Vicki said...

Sounds great. Sadly, it's not available on Kindle... yet.

Sophie Orme said...

Hi Vicki

Just to say The Ice House is available on Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Ice-House-ebook/dp/B0044KLOQG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1307097427&sr=8-2

Its a great book!

djskrimiblog said...

I for one have certainly not forgotten this gem. Though I have read most of her later books and enjoyed them, I still regard this one as her best. The characters are extremely well-drawn and so memorable I remember the three women vividly after several years.

So for me this one is a five-star read. Very strongly recommended.

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - This is a fine, fine book and I'm glad you profiled it. I think Dorte is right that it's one of her best.

pattinase (abbott) said...

A brilliant novel, wasn't it?

John said...

I nearly did mine on THE SCOLD'S BRIDLE this week. I really loved her first five books. I simply can't read her stuff anymore now that she's turned into a social critic. Her debut was brilliant but THE SCULPTRESS and THE SCOLD'S BRIDLE, I think, are even better.

Vicki said...

Thanks, Sophie, but Amazon UK tells me the title isn't available to me and directs me to Amazon.com. Curious that it's on sale in the UK but not the US.

Janet Rudolph said...

Totally forgot that one.. Loved it when it came out. Thanks for the reminder.

Kerrie said...

Try this Vicki. It is available to me in Oz

Vicki said...

Thanks, Kerrie. I had to change my country from US to buy it, but I have it now! :)

Hosted Exchange Email said...

i am also looking for the same book!

Vicki said...

Just finished reading it. Thanks for recommending it, Kerrie, and also Still Life by Louise Penny. Both excellent reads, especially considering I usually prefer more plot-driven mysteries/thrillers. Another character-driven mystery that was recommended to me and you might enjoy was Ice Blue by Emma Jameson. Off to read some Lisa Gardner… :)

Kerrie said...

Thanks for the recommendation Vicki. I've added it to my Kindle wish list

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