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Hard Frost by R. D. Wingfield

Hard Frost (1995)

by R. D. Wingfield

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Rereading this book I found I was asking myself why I and many others enjoyed reading of murders. Can you call it escapism? And what about all Frost’s sleazy jokes intermingled with the violent crimes, not to mention behaviour that today would get him dismissed on the spot, whether for the way he speaks to Mullett or his habit of targeting anyone’s bottom if they’re bending over?

I guess my answer is that at the heart of the novel is Frost’s heart, what the reader recognises as his altruistic approach, not holding grudges against people like Cassidy, the selfish counterpart to Frost who is humble in an unsanctimonious way.

When I read Frost books, I do picture David Jason but of course Wingfield said this was not his Frost and I think that I can see why. Why Jason captures Frost’s humanity, he’s probably older than Wingfield’s protagonist who is also much cruder and closer to the bone in what he says.

This novel’s has a lot of strands to it, all, as expected, neatly tied up at the end which begs the question: with Frost unerringly always ending up successful, why does his station commander have such a low opinion of him? And of course that’s not a fair question as you only read these books if you’re prepared to suspend your credulity for the duration. ( )
  evening | Jan 1, 2016 |
For a town with so much crime, they certainly have a hard time staffing their police force. This time around, Denton is subject to some gruesome occurrences. Detectives are trying to track down a missing child believed to be the bait in a blackmail scam while elsewhere, infants are being stabbed in the comfort of their own cribs. If that wasn’t bad enough, a deranged mother has murdered her three children and then leaped to her death in front of an oncoming train.

Just like in previous Inspector Frost novels, Wingfield has Frost doing the work of many. This could be due to the fact that the Denton Police Department is so wretchedly understaffed or it could be that Frost simply has nothing better to do. For a man that seems to hate most of the people he works with, he can rarely be found doing anything else. The brief amount of time he does designate to himself are mainly just to sleep and even when he’s done that, he’s right back at his desk.

In the first three books, Frost was insufferable to say the least. He disliked most of his co-workers and worked hard to make life miserable for his boss, Chief Superintendent Mullett. This time around, he not only annoys all of those around him but he also succeeded in irritating me.

I understand that Frost is written in such a way to come across as abrasive and short with both those he works with and those he investigates but I’m starting to wonder why Mullet even keeps him around. Sure, he eventually gets the job done but is the aggravation worth it in the end? I’ve got to think it isn’t. In today’s day and age, Frost probably couldn’t get away with half of his comments or even a portion of his actions. He’d have so many sexual harassment lawsuits thrown his way he wouldn’t know what to do with himself.

I don’t want it to seem like I suddenly have an issue with the character. Frankly, he’s always been crass. I just can’t understand why Wingfield decided to turn him up to eleven this time around. Hopefully in the next 3 books he isn’t so ridiculous and returns to his drier, more subtle style of humour that originally brought out his charm.

Cross posted on Every Read Thing ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
Another winner in the series about the scruffy, scandalous yet extremely smart D.I. Frost. As usual, the police are overworked and understaffed as they deal with some extreme cases. A psychopath is breaking into houses and stabbing young children, a teenage girl was abducted and found naked wandering the streets, a corpse with missing fingers has turned up, three children in one family have been murdered and another young boy is missing.

These are serious crimes and yet this book still manages to be hilarious as we follow along in the wake of an apparent bumbling, foul-mouthed Frost who manages to upset his superiors every step of the way with his rule bending, yet successful methods.

A great series of books that always manage to make me laugh but I would caution against reading these books too closely together as they are quite similar in their plots. I find one a year is just about right. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Aug 21, 2010 |
Detective Inspector Frost.
"It's a high price to pay for a pack of smokes when Frost interrupts his vacation to filch some of Commander Mullett's cigarettes and finds himself pressed into emergency duty. Denton Division is shorthanded after a car crash involving several tipsy high-ranking cops, and on Guy Fawkes night there's more mischief abroad than just a few children making the rounds. Frost must deal with a blackmailer, a shifty businessman, a not-so-grieving widow, a sexual pervert or two, a crazed housewife, and a cold-blooded kidnapper." - Bantam jacket notes.
A good police procedural, likeable detective - a good series. ( )
  tripleblessings | Feb 2, 2007 |
Jack Frost, Detective Inspector in the town of Denton, as usual breaks all the rules of police procedure while solving the difficult cases and seeing justice done. As usual, several things are going on at once, from multiple crimes to petty maneuvering in the police station for everything from better shifts to promotion. Frost is enjoyably irreverant and not a little vulgar, but strives to do right. ( )
  monado | Jun 20, 2006 |
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The man crouching by the window at the back of the house gritted his teeth as he forced the blade of the screwdriver between the wooden frames.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0552144096, Mass Market Paperback)

Detective Inspector Jack Frost, Denton Division,  is not beloved by his superiors. In fact, he's  something of a pain in the brass: unkempt and unruly,  with a taste for crude humor and a tendency to cut  corners. They'd like nothing better than to bounce  him from the department. The only problem is,  Frost's the one D.I. who, by hook  or by crook, always seems to find a way to get the  job done. It's a high price to pay for a pak of  smokes when Frost interrupts his vacation to filch  some of Commander Mullett's cigarettes and finds  himself pressed into emergency duty. Denton Division  is shorthanded after a car crash involving several  tipsy high-ranking cops, and on Guy Fawkes night  there's more mischief abroad than just a few  children making the rounds begging for pennies and  lighting firecrackers. In the next few days, Frost will  deal with a parade of miscreants, including a  blackmailer, a shifty businessman, a not-so-greiving  widow, a sexual pervert or two, a crazed housewife,  and a cold-blooded kidnapper. The clock is  ticking, and Frost is perilously short of clues...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:42 -0400)

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Frost is called in to cover another detective's cases and finds himself busy with a blackmailer, a corpse in the woods and a kidnapped schoolgirl.

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