Book Reviews

Grab Your Scarf and Gloves: A Winter Grave by Peter May @authorpetermay @soph_ransompr

Happy Thrilling Thursday! I have a wonderful book to talk about today!

It is the year 2051. Warnings of climate catastrophe have been ignored, and vast areas of the planet are under water, or uninhabitably hot. A quarter of the world’s population has been displaced by hunger and flooding, and immigration wars are breaking out around the globe as refugees pour into neighboring countries.

By contrast, melting ice sheets have brought the Gulf Stream to a halt and northern latitudes, including Scotland, are being hit by snow and ice storms. It is against this backdrop that Addie, a young meteorologist checking a mountain top weather station, discovers the body of a man entombed in ice.

The dead man is investigative reporter, George Younger, missing for three months after vanishing during what he claimed was a hill-walking holiday. But Younger was no hill walker, and his discovery on a mountain-top near the Highland village of Kinlochleven, is inexplicable.

Cameron Brodie, a veteran Glasgow detective, volunteers to be flown north to investigate Younger’s death, but he has more than a murder enquiry on his agenda. He has just been given a devastating medical prognosis by his doctor and knows the time has come to face his estranged daughter who has made her home in the remote Highland village.

Arriving during an ice storm, Brodie and pathologist Dr. Sita Roy, find themselves the sole guests at the inappropriately named International Hotel, where Younger’s body has been kept refrigerated in a cake cabinet. But evidence uncovered during his autopsy places the lives of both Brodie and Roy in extreme jeopardy.

As another storm closes off communications and the possibility of escape, Brodie must face up not only to the ghosts of his past, but to a killer determined to bury forever the chilling secret that George Younger’s investigations had threatened to expose.

A Winter Grave is Peter May at his page-turning, passionate and provocative best.

➡️ Did I like the book?

I can only answer this question with a warm and loud yes. Peter May’s outstanding ability to blend societal issues with excellent crime plots and the most amazing characterization will always blow my mind.

➡️ What did I feel?

Cold! Very very cold and worried, swamped by the realism of May’s picture of our future. With just the right amount of details, you realize the world map has changed. Half the world is burning, the other half is freezing, and most of Scotland is under water and storms. Although very concerned with climate change, I was not sure how this would fit in within a crime fiction novel. You know what? It fits in seamlessly. The writing’s steady pace allowed me to take in the new normal along with new characters. The climate simply enhances the sense of danger and time running out, and creates many chilling moments.

The investigation itself is brilliant. It reminded me of a spider’s web, showing threads here and there, knots taking you on dead-ends, before revealing some very ugly truth (no, I am not a fan of spiders!)

A Winter Grave is built as if it were a layered cake. A dead reporter on a snow-covered hill, a cop with a deadline, a father and daughter relationship so broken the shards hurt just brushing them, untold truths, a few soupspoons of disaster, shots of adrenaline and cold blood, and you get my favorite book Peter May novel to date!

I am on the “don’t give away too much” side of the review teams (I just realized I didn’t even name a single character, this is a skill, haha!) but I need to highlight once again how the author’s characters bring the story to life. I need to care for at least one protagonist to really get into a novel, and here I found characters to appreciate, love, despise, be wary of… You name it. Those feelings can only arise when the author turns their ink into blood so those people can materialize in front of you as you are reading. It’s magic, and it makes all the difference. They made me want answers, they had me boiling in anger, gasp in horror, turn cold with pain, and stay alert until the very last page.

Cameron Brodie, our detective in this standalone, will stay with me for a long time.

➡️ How would I describe it?

A chilling and expertly-written novel of many crimes.

5 ⭐️

You can grab your copy on Amazon!

Thank you very much to Sophie at Ransom PR for inviting me to be part of this book tour and for providing me with a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.


6 thoughts on “Grab Your Scarf and Gloves: A Winter Grave by Peter May @authorpetermay @soph_ransompr”

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