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The Ice House: A Novel Paperback

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312427530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312427535
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By lawyeraau TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 17 2004
Format: Hardcover
Winner of Britain's John Creasey Award for Best First Crime Novel, this splendid debut novel by the author is a tough act to follow. She weaves a marvelous mystery surrounding three women who live together in an English Country manor house, one of whom, Phoebe Maybury, is suspected of having murdered her bounder of a husband ten years ago. More recently, a corpse in found in an old icehouse on their property and rumors begin flying fast and furious about these three women.
Ostracized by the community in which they live, these three women become larger than life in the minds of the local townsfolk. The charming and artistic Diana Goode and the earthy, no nonsense Anne Catrell hunker about their housemate, Phoebe, as the events of the past threaten to crop up again and overwhelm her.
The police, led by Chief Inspector Walsh, a man with his own underlying agenda, seem intent upon putting the screws to these three women, fixating upon Phoebe Maybury. Only Sergeant Detective McLoughlin seems to be genuinely interested in discovering the truth. In order to do so, however, he must confront his own personal demons, as he finds himself drawn into a snare of deceit, good intentions gone awry, loyalty, and a secret that threatens to ruin the lives of three women.
The author cleverly uses the discovery of the corpse as a catalyst for a voyage of self-discovery for some of her characters. Brimming with a cornucopia of subplots and one or two red herrings, the author grips the reader with a literate and compelling narrative. She is a welcome addition to the ever growing list of British mystery novelists. This author's work should appeal to those who enjoy mysteries written by Ruth Rendell.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book introduced me to Minette Walters, and since then I've bought every one of her books as soon as it has been released. The Ice House is a fine mystery, and the writing draws the reader into the time a place, making you feel involved all along the way. Descriptions of the ice house itself are thoroughly fascinating. The solution to the murder mystery was both surprising and a perfect fit! I found myself hoping that Ms. Walters would continue with stories about the main detective.

I have not, however, been disappointed by the fact that every one of her novels since the Ice House has been entirely different and -- from that first one as well as from each other, and none have involved the same characters. She's a master of suspense, and she has developed some of the most interesting characters I have ever met.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a little off the beaten track for me. I usually enjoy the "who dunnit" type of murder mystery that focuses on the puzzel of the murder rather than on the psychology of the individual characters. The Morse mysteries of Dexter are the closest thing I've come to this kind of psychological mystery. This work was presented on the PBS mystery series, and I enjoyed the film so much I decided to read the book. The unusual characters of the three women and the secret that holds them together--in fact imprisons them together--are the major focus of the story. That of the two policemen interacting with them keeps the story moving forward and the reader rivited to the action. The tension among them almost makes one forget that a murder has been committed and an investigation is underway!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a great book! The award-winning THE ICE HOUSE is a thoroughly entertaining novel filled with some of the wittiest prose and sharpest dialogue I've ever read. Minette Walters is a gifted writer; her narrative is lucid as well as literate, and her characters are flawlessly constructed. There's also a fine plot in this book, with quite a few crafty twists and turns; my only complaint is that a few of the plot strands could not be deduced by the reader. In the sense of the Golden Age detective story, then, I suppose Walters "cheated" a bit. Nonetheless, THE ICE HOUSE is such a gloriously savory dish it's quite overlookable. Lovers of P.D. James and Ruth Rendell will undoubtedly enjoy the work of this hot new British author. One down, five to go. Next stop: THE SCULPTRESS...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having seen the Sculptress on TV last year and being an avid reader of whodunnits and mystery novels I ordered a copy of the Ice House. I was really impressed by the characterisation and the story. I became involved with the characters right from the very beginning feeling sympathy for Phoebe and her friends and downright dislike for the policemen. I really enjoyed this book and truly couldn't put it down. I have been looking for a new author for some time as I have been fed up with the formulaic writing of some of the popular mystery authors such as Patricia Cornwall. Finally being an expat englishwomen from Hampshire where the novel is set I found the descriptions of England etc making me very homesick. I thoroughly recommend this novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well, it's undoubtedly one of Walter's best novels. The best, I think, is "The Dark Room." The only drawback I find is that the main female character(s) is quite recognizable and keeps appearing on the pages of the author's every novel: a strong-willed woman maltreated by a wicked man and/or suffering from the unhealed wounds of the past. However, you have no time to think about it for the plot and Walter's brilliant language rapidly lead you through the cobweb woven of human sins and hidden poisonous desires. It'a a plasure to read, indeed. I've read all Walter's novels (published, of course) and can assure you that it is impossible to predict (based on the previous experience) who is the murderer.
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