Detective Inspector Jack Frost is a walking nightmare in a politically-correct world. Caustic, chain- smoking and unkempt, Frost does not suffer fools gladly-- least of all his boss, the nit-picking Superintendent Mullet. Yet Frost still manages to command our respect and sympathy. The award-winning success of the Touch of Frost series on TV, starring David Jason, is testimony to how much this character is loved.
In Winter Frost, the fifth novel to date in the Frost series, a serial killer surfaces in Denton and seems to be a two-headed monster, killing both prostitutes and abducting small girls. Frost has an army of suspects rising from every gutter, from the simpering Charlie Weaver, who loves his mother so much, to the sex- obsessed local dentist and the foul-mouthed taxi driver. As Frost chases up a succession of blind alleys, his own position on the Force hangs in the balance. Will he be able to find the killer before he loses his own job? And will Frost's own cock-eyed attitude towards women--not to mention his tolerance of a plainly intolerable colleague- -mean that he'll miss a vital clue?
Wingfield's quick- fire style must owe something to the years that he worked as a writer for the Carry On films. He's one of the few crime writers who can employ a humour that takes none of the impact from his stunning set pieces of horror. -- Elizabeth McGregor