The Ice House by Minette Walters



The Ice House The Ice HouseMinette Walters; St. Martin’s Paperbacks 1993WorldCat

Phoebe Maybury has lived in her home for the past ten years with two steadfast friends, Ann Cattrell and Diane Goode, and their children. Ten years earlier her husband walked out and Phoebe was suspected of killing him. Inspector Walsh of the local police was sure the lady of the local manor was guilty of murder, but could never prove it. The effects of the police investigation was devastating on the remaining Maybury family.

Now a body has been found in the ice house on the property. It hadn’t been there six years earlier when they had stored bricks in it. Fred, the handyman, found it when he went to get some of the bricks. Now Inspector Walsh has a reason to return to Streech Grange and reopen the missing persons/suspected murder of David Maybury. The body is sure to be that of the missing man. His co-investigator is Inspector McLoughlin. McLoughlin also doesn’t trust the women, reputed in the village to be lesbians or witches. He also finds he disagrees with Walsh. There is a missing man from a neighboring village as well. Perhaps the body in the ice house is him.

This was Walters’ first novel. It is an intriguing study, full of plot turns and twists. The novel plays with the psyche as the reader tries to pull the threads and discover the truth of Streech Grange and the women who live there. Just as one string is pulled out and tied off, another becomes more tangled. The relationships keep flowing and adjusting. By the time we are done, all the original perceptions are skewed over 180 degrees. I recommend this one.

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