Monday, April 01, 2013

Book review: Murder on Ice

Backwoods Canada, depths of January, and the townspeople of Murphy's Harbour are getting ready for their Winter Carnival. One of the events is a beauty pageant, which turns sour when the out-of-town winner is snatched by kidnappers, just as she is about to receive her crown.

At first it looks as if it's a publicity stunt by a Women's Liberation group, but when local cop Reid Bennett and his police dog Sam find the strangled body of one of the feminists in a nearby motel it's obvious there's more to the crime than first suspected.

Bennett sets off to rescue the snatched beauty queen but his efforts are hampered by the interference of other group members, who seem not to understand that their scheme has been hijacked by vicious thugs with a murderous agenda of their own.

Corpses turn up in unlikely places and Bennett battles both the killers and the weather in his efforts to bring all the gang to justice.

It has to be remembered that the book was written in 1984, so some of its attitudes need to be forgiven. The world has matured since then. Much of the phraseology about feminism and homosexuality can be explained as being correct for the characters, but the book also gives the impression that author Ted Wood might have had a few issues of his own.

Murder on Ice, Ted Wood, 1984.

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