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Publisher's Summary

You can't bury the truth forever....

Derbyshire, January 1978. Two girls go missing: Rachel Jones returns, Sophie Jenkins is never found.

Thirty years later, Sophie Jenkins' mother commits suicide. Rachel Jones has tried to put the past behind her. But news of the suicide reopens old wounds, and Rachel realises that the only way she can have a future is to finally discover what really happened all those years ago.

This is a story about loss and family secrets and how often the very darkest secrets are those that are closest to you.

©2015 Sarah Ward (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Deserves to be one of the standout debuts of 2015." (William Ryan)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MRS V L HALL
  • 18-03-2016

The Secrets That Won't Stay Buried - Gripping!

What made the experience of listening to In Bitter Chill the most enjoyable?

Firstly, the storyline was very well constructed and involved a cold case review of the disappearance of two schoolchildren in 1978. Exceptional plotting, numerous twists and characters who are believable. This is the kind of incident that could happen in any village or town and is sensitively portrayed and well paced.

Secondly the narrator did a superb job and must be given credit. She gave an impassioned delivery of the novel and I really did get the feeling she was involved and interested. The narrator brought the village and characters of Bampton alive! From the elderly folk in the village to the police team, she found the perfect voice and her distinction between characters was excellent.

Who was your favorite character and why?

DI Francis Sadler headed up the cold case review for the police as is a fascinating character who I long to see reappear in future novels. Slightly reticent and staid, he is a thoughtful man who commands his team well and the undercurrent of tension with DC Connie Childs is authentic. I would love to see this police team return in future novels.

Which character – as performed by Juanita McMahon – was your favourite?

Juanita McMahon did a thoroughly superb job with all of the characters, but DI Sadler came across as a good man who cared about the girl who was returned and his understanding of her fragility was well conveyed.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

In Bitter Chill was very thought provoking as this is a scenario which is plausible and could happen to any of us, anywhere in the country. At the time it would have been harrowing for Rachel Jones and never totally unravelled it has remained with all of the locals.

Any additional comments?

The narration and the gripping storyline make this an involving listen and I will look out for Juanita McMahon again.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 04-10-2016

Very good

This was very good, there were a lot of twists and turns, and every time the police found something new, I tried to guess what the end would be, and I was always wrong. Well written, and very good listening

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan L.
  • 12-09-2016

A good listen

This book has a good story line and holds your interest throughout. Very well narrated. This was a new author for me and has defiantly sparked my interest to listen to more of her books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Jonas
  • 29-06-2016

Good plot, but.....

Initially this annoyed me with esther thumping historical references which felt a bit heavy handed. I did get drawn into the story and enjoyed unpicking it, and it kept everything believable right through to the end. The 'but' I'd that I found the characters a bit lack lustre, and the way they were tired up at the end was all a bit smultzy for me. A good read but the writing was a bit pedestrian and so not a great read - but the narration is pretty good!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Maryb
  • 28-06-2016

Lots of twists and turns - most enjoyable.

This story starts with a hook to pull the listener in. The narrator was very good with her skill at several accents. I will probably listen to more of this author's work. Very good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • highmyope1955
  • 24-05-2016

A good book on the whole

What made the experience of listening to In Bitter Chill the most enjoyable?

I liked the characterisation and the irony of the plot. Little clues were to be found all through the book. The ending was sad but happy as well; life was moving on and old issues were resolved.

What was one of the most memorable moments of In Bitter Chill?

When Rachel discovered that her family history was not quite what she thought it was.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, it did, but I was disappointed with the mistakes that keep happening in audio books. It is not GeneOlogy, it is GeneAlogy. And it is NOT renumeration it is remuneration, from the Latin verb munire, to reward.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I really don't know; the story is a little complex to tag.

Any additional comments?

I would listen to another of this author's books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. Angela Mclaren
  • 29-05-2018

fab book well written <br />

really enjoyed this book it really gripped at times and you couldn't wait for more of the story unfold
also fab narrator made listening exciting and good character change

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cecily Foxglove
  • 18-04-2017

Fantastic gripping story

I cannot recommend this book highly enough just read or listen to it. It is superb

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 14-05-2016

Ok story some of the narration let it down

Overall the story was ok but not very gripping and I feel it could have been about 2 hours shorter

The narration was good until it came to the welsh accents which morphed from welsh to Pakistani every time which was really irritating and detracted from the story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cabaspre
  • 12-05-2016

Well narrated but too confusing.

Any additional comments?

My first comment would be that for a book that is about family trees and a researcher of such one would assume that the editor or proof readers would know that the study of such is geneAlogy - not geneOlogy. Ooooh! How it made me grit my teeth every time I heard it. Again, as the book was based around family trees, there were too many names to remember and it could be confusing. Nevertheless the story was a good one .

3 of 4 people found this review helpful