In Bitter Chill

Sarah Ward ( has followed the oft heard advice for budding authors which is to ‘write what you know’. She has set her debut novel in the Derbyshire Peak District where she lives.

The summary is as follows. The scene is a small town in the idyllic English countryside of Derbyshire in 1978. Local people have been traumatized by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls, Rachel Jones and Sophie Jenkins. Within hours, Rachel is found wandering alone near the roadside, unharmed yet unable to remember anything, except that her abductor was a woman. No trace of Sophie is ever discovered. Thirty years later, Sophie’s mother commits suicide. Detective Inspector Francis Sadler and Detective Constable Connie Childs are assigned to look at the kidnapping again to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, has managed to recover from the kidnapping and is now a family genealogist. She wants nothing more than to continue living quietly, but the discovery of the strangled body of one of her former teachers days after the suicide brings the national media back to her doorstep. Desperate to stop a modern killer from striking again, Rachel and the police must unpick the clues to uncover what really happened all those years ago as the past threatens to engulf the present.

Perhaps a grisly crime novel could be set in the highly atmospheric surrounds of New Lanark or Carluke. Perhaps you could be that author? To read this novel, and get the hang of it, enquire at your local library or consult for full bibliographic details. You could join a local writers’ group for advice and moral support. If there’s a book in you, it strains to be given birth. It would be criminal not to.


368 pages in Faber & Faber

First published 2 July 2015

ISBN 978-0571320981


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Sarah Ward

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