In Bitter Chill – Praise and Reviews

In Bitter Chill deserves to be one of the stand out debuts of 2015. A tense, page-turning mystery that grips readers from the first. I’m looking forward to more from Sarah Ward.’ William Ryan

‘The most engaging debut I have come across in a long time. In Bitter Chill gives the Scandi authors a run for their money.’ Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

‘In Bitter Chill is an elegant and thoughtful novel, as well as a compassionate investigation into the dark heart of family relationships and the lurking power of long buried secrets. This is a fine debut, and Sarah Ward is a writer to watch.’ Chris Ewan

‘A twisted, skilful and entirely intriguing mystery.’ Quentin Bates

‘Relentless, compelling, and meticulously suspenseful. Fans of Ian Rankin and Elizabeth George will rejoice at this atmospheric and authentic debut, expertly told, where modern-day police struggle to untangle disturbing secrets of the past. Terrific.’ Hank Phillippi Ryan

 ‘A very assured first novel, with compellingly good story-telling and a deep humanity.’  Alison Joseph

‘This remarkable debut is an intricate and thoroughly intriguing crime thriller. A masterclass in plotting and character, it is realistically set and compellingly told. I struggled to put it down.’ Zoë Sharp

‘A beautifully woven mystery which, like a peak district winter, chilled this reader to the bone.’ Steven Dunne

‘ A fine debut, with well conceived characters and an engaging story.’ Paul Johnston


‘A promising debut’ Laura Wilson, Guardian 

‘A tense, well-told story of loss and family secrets.’ Carla McKay, Daily Mail

‘The title suggests that this debut novel ought to be yet another example of Nordic Noir and, although it is set in rural Derbyshire, it does have a Scandinavian sensibility exerting its grip through strength of characterisation.’ Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express magazine

‘A great debut’ Sunday Mirror

In Bitter Chill features a compelling, complex plot, loaded with emotive issues, fascinating psychological insights, a pervasive sense of unease and gripping police procedural. Ward’s cast of outstanding characters, from the police officers and the victims to a local community with a shared history, are powerfully portrayed. Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post

‘A top-class, page-turning debut.’ Woman and Home.

‘a clever and twisty tale, effortlessly interweaving two time frames while gripping the reader until the very end’. Stylist.

‘There’s a host of novels out now featuring feisty female detectives – our pick is In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward’ – Good Housekeeping.

‘a debut that hits ground running, showing that the author has the measure of the exigencies of the police procedural and (more importantly) the conflicted psychology of her characters.’ Barry Forshaw, Crime Time

‘Atmospheric and wintery, and plotted with laser-like precision, a novel that never puts a foot wrong and, in sober fashion, offers all the thrills of a rigorous detection, together with psychological insights into loss and memory.’ Maxim Jakubowski, Love Reading

‘ demonstrates an understanding of human frailty, but also a good deal of compassion’ Martin Edwards, Do you write under your own name?

‘Enthralling, intelligent, and profoundly moving’ Andy Lawrence, Eurodrama.

‘I absolutely loved IN BITTER CHILL. Within a few pages I felt comfortable and knew I was in for a five star read.’ Eurocrime

‘a remarkable debut. A multi-layered mystery with strong characters and a dark heart.’  In Search of the Classic Mystery

In Bitter Chill is a haunting debut. Beautifully written, with a complex and compelling mystery at its heart, it pulls you deep into the secretive community of Bampton from the first page to the last. Crime Thriller Girl

‘a sophisticated and unsettling read’ Northern Crime

‘this book is subtle, beautifully written, and a genuinely difficult-to-work-out Whodunnit’ Orenda Books

‘enhanced by the strong characterisation throughout, and an intriguing plot with its shifting time-line, In Bitter Chill, proves itself a solid and intriguing debut’. Raven Crime Reads

‘Some really terrific writing, great use of language and a truly captivating story makes “In Bitter Chill” one of the standout debut’s that I’ve read so far this year.’ Liz Loves Books

‘In Bitter Chill is a gripping and polished debut’ Mrs Peabody Investigates

‘An intelligent and fast-paced debut that is both chilling and compelling in equal measure, In Bitter Chill is a tale of loss and of long-hidden secrets that will enthral its reader until the final page. The Unlikely Bookworm

‘A fine read indeed.’ Thriller Books Journal

‘a quintessentially English police procedural’ Novel Heights

‘In Bitter Chill is an unsettling examination of why people keep secrets, how the secret affects others, what people do to keep them buried, and what happens when they come out.’ Vicky Newham, Writer

‘this book is hard to put down’. Trish’s Blog

‘a novel that wears its intelligence lightly’. Cafe Thinking.

‘Easy reading for a hot summer’s day.’ Harriet Devine’s blog.

‘An amazing debut, atmospheric and cleverly plotted’. Lizzie Hayes, Mystery Magazine.

3 thoughts on “In Bitter Chill – Praise and Reviews

  1. Pingback: In Bitter Chill – Launch, Publication Day and a big Thank You | crimepieces

  2. Pingback: Review: In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward | The Game's Afoot

  3. Pingback: In Bitter Chill, by Sarah Ward | Out of Shadows

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