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The Dead of Winter

It was in River of Darkness, a New York Times Notable Book, nominated for an Edgar Award, that Rennie Airth first introduced John Madden to the reading public. Now, in The Dead of Winter, he brings this much loved detective back for the third time in a murder mystery set in London in the closing months of World War II. On a freezing night, Rosa Novak, a young Polish refugee, is brutally murdered during the blackout. The police are ready to write off the crime as a random act of violence until Madden, who had been the girl's employer, intervenes. Feeling a moral obligation towards the young Jewish woman, whose family have perished in the Holocaust, he pushes the investigation forward until he and his old colleagues at Scotland yard stumble on Rosa's connection to a murdered Parisian furrier and a stolen cache of diamonds. Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows, his identity a mystery, a ruthless killer waits to strike again.

"Move over, Inspectors Alleyn, Dalgleish and Morse, and make room for John Madden in the pantheon of great, civilized English sleuths."

--Jane Kramer.