** The Ice House by Minette Walters


There are great moments in The Ice House, starting with the startling discovery of a corpse in the eponymous ice house, as well as more plot twists than should be allowed to fit in 300 pages, but it did not work for me. One reason was that the tone never seemed to decide firmly between outrageously campy and factual. The other is that the queer-bashing atmosphere of the village sounded ridiculous and incredible, perhaps a victim of different times (the book dates back to 1992). So the glimmers of Agatha Christie or P.D. James deftness were soon extinguished.

Two stars because I cannot deny that I wanted to know what happened, but under duress.

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