The Ice House
Santrauka: The Ice House (1992) is the first crime novel by English writer Minette Walters. The story was the recipient of a John Creasey award for best debut.Mrs Phoebe Maybury, a widow in her late thirties, lives in Streech Grange with her two companions Diana and Anne. One day her servant Fred finds a rotting corpse in their ice house, a storage room inside a hillock that hasn't been used for years. DCI George Walsh thinks it may be the corpse of Phoebe's husband David, who went missing ten years ago. Back then Walsh suspected her for killing her husband, but this was never proven. Inhabitants of the village believe that the three women are lesbians, and that Phoebe did not only kill her husband but also her parents. They died in a car crash after garage owner KC neglected to check their brakes. One of the villagers, Dily Barnes, has forbidden her children Peter and Emma to play with Phoebe's children Jonathan and Jane. The grounds are searched and the three women and Phoebe's grown-up children are questioned. Jane used to have anorexia nervosa and underwent psychotherapy. DS Andy McLoughlin, whose wife has just left him for another police officer, gets romantically involved with Anne and believes the three women are innocent. Medical examiner Webster says the corpse can only be between two and three months old. A list of missing persons includes the names Keith Chapel and Daniel Thompson. Thompson's wife is interrogated. It turns out he collected money from investors to produce see-through radiators. One of the duped investors was Diana. One night a burglar in Streech Grange smashes Anne's skull. She recovers in hospital, but doesn't remember who attacked her. Wally Ferris, a tramp who was seen in the environment, confesses he's been in the ice house and stole the clothes of a dead man. The dead man is finally identified as Keith Chapel or KC, the former garage owner who went bankrupt. Chapel died from the cold and part of his flesh was eaten by rats after Wally left open the door of the ice house. Daniel Thompson is still alive. He was hiding from the angry investors and wanted to move to France with his wife.