Bloody Winter has two protagonists, and each tells his story in alternating chapters. The first narrator is the series’ Detective Inspector Pyke, who travels from London to rural Wales to assist with a child kidnapping case. The second is a young Irish constable in Tipperary who is charged with quickly disposing the case of a murdered vagrant.
This creatively told and very emotionally compelling mystery is set in Wales and Ireland in the late 1840s and intimately acquaints us with the Irish famine, Welsh poverty, worker unrest and violence and most importantly, the indiscriminate greed of the wealthy landowners. There is nothing even remotely appealing about this setting, and Pepper has chosen it for just that reason.
This outstanding mystery surpasses the traditional ones on many levels. Although we quickly come to know the two narrators, we continually wonder how these two independent stories will come together. The startling truth is revealed at the end, but the story’s true meaning will stay with you much longer.