I had to wrestle this one away from the good lady!
I haven’t read any of the original Frost works by RD Wingfield so can’t compare this to them. In fact, my only comparison can be with a couple of TV episodes of A Touch Of Frost starring David Jason that I’ve seen. However, this book does, to my mind, compare favourably.
Generally, I prefer to read and create the characters and scenes in my mind rather than see someone else’s interpretation of them. This was a little problematical here as my mind was already heavily influenced by David Jason’s representation of the character. The only thing that really spoiled the image of Frost for me was the hint that his personal hygiene wasn’t quite up to scratch. Jason’s version always seemed such a dapper little man.
This book is set a few years before the TV series, but Jack is as spiky as ever, and still fighting his corner and battling with “Hornrim Harry” Mullet.
The story plays out over one week and involves a murdered female ex convict; a murdered prostitute; the theft of yellow line road paint from the local council and the theft of some money left in a Bejam bag inside a cement mixer. Mix in some very realistic support characters and the plot runs like a Swiss watch. Then, just to add in some extra tension into the plot, Jack’s sidekick is getting married at the end of the week and Jack is his best man. What could possibly go wrong?
Jack is his usual disorganised self; still has an eye for the ladies; but manages to temper it all with a finely honed mind that solves crimes. His sense of outrage and fair play shine through: he’s the copper that we no longer see, the one that has common sense and enough of a disregard of the rules to use it.
This really was a most enjoyable book. It was so easy going and easy to get on with. The story is well written and the sub plots skilfully interwoven. Despite my earlier comment, the thing that made it for me was that the author appears to have based this story fully around the character created by David Jason. The voice is just right and you feel that you have David Jason’s Frost in the room talking to you in the voice of Frost.
I’d like to think that as with Morse, at some stage we might see a young version of Frost on our TV screens based on the works of this author.
I’m going to rate this book at 41/2 stars, it really is a perfect summer holiday read.