The Dead of Winter by Jean Rabe

This was the first time I’ve read a digital copy of a book off a device, as opposed to holding the physical book in my hands. It felt… weird, but I did see advantages and gained insight into why Kindles and E-readers are so popular. I’ll still always prefer to hold the actual paper or hardback, though. I guess it just feels more natural and traditional to me, and I’m a little bit old school when it comes to technology and to me reading is an escapism from screens and devices.

This book was emailed to me from a company promoting the author’s blog tour on Instagram. The 4th book in the Piper Blackwell series came out on July 15th 2020, but I always like to start a series at the beginning so they sent me the 1st book, which is The Dead of Winter.

I resonated with the new young female sheriff character and found her character to have a lot of promise for the series going forward. I would like to see how she develops and takes command of the Sheriff department and it’s officers as in this book it was clearly portrayed to be a rocky start for her. Coming across adversity and discrimination was a strong theme, but not overpowering which was good, as the repetition could have got a bit much to deal with. As her experience grows I think the stories will improve too and be able to showcase more of her talents and past skills.

The plot was well thought out and suitably creepy with good twists and turns, although I thought the ending was a little rushed and abrupt. The detail and settings were described well and for someone who doesn’t live in, nor have I visited America, I was able to visualise the scenery and layouts with a good amount of resemblance. I liked the pace and thought the author’s writing style was easy to read but with just the right amount of technical language and police procedure.

Overall, I enjoyed the storyline and would go on to read the others in the series. I liked that the main character was in the Sheriff’s department, not a cop or detective or FBI agent, so the different law enforcement angle was refreshing and I’d like to learn more about the distinguishing roles, as we don’t have Sheriffs in the UK. A great, creepy Christmas thriller. – GJ

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