A Lethal Frost is the latest in the Frost prequel series, which has become rather popular because it involves a younger and just as uncouth Detective Inspector Jack Frost. RD Wingfield’s great creation has been brought back to life by award-winning thriller writer Danny Miller.

Denton, 1984, the big hair, the bright colours, mini metros and being able to smoke in pubs, work and anywhere else you like. Jack Frost was young, just as cynical and his wife had not been dead too long. Living above a Chinese restaurant and having accidentally released the owner’s parrot, he is not too popular and is in need of a place to live.

Denton is changing. There was a time when a bookie could go to the races, take his satchel of money home and no body would bat an eyelid. But bookmaker George Price is on his way home when he is shot and robbed. With a long list of enemies, the investigation is not going to be easy, and it may take some time.

At the same time, a DI appears from London, talking about counterfeit goods and carrying out an investigation in Denton, as well as briefing the local police. But there is more than meets the eye to DI Eve Hayward, and Jack Frost has a strange feeling about her, although he cannot quite put his finger on what it is. Working together shows that Frost really can learn from someone younger.

Danny Miller has managed to keep all the rough edges of Jack Frost, his love of takeout food, while he has a cigarette continually on the go. With all the characters that people got to know over the years, just younger, Miller has managed to capture the essence of what the mid-80s was all about and all the attitudes, while at the same time allowing Frost to crack the case.

For a police procedural thriller, this has the right pace. It is a pleasure to read and reminds people that not all thrillers have to be dark as dark can be.

Paul Diggett 5/5

A Lethal Frost by Danny Miller
Bantam Press 9780593080023 hbk Aug 2018