The Frozen River - Ariel Lawhon
From the bestselling author of Code Name Hélène comes a gripping historical mystery inspired by the life and diary of Martha Ballard, a renowned 18th-century midwife who investigates a shocking murder that unhinges her small community.
Maine, 1789: When a man is found entombed in the frozen Kennebec River, Martha Ballard is summoned to examine the body and determine cause of death.
As the local midwife and healer, Martha is good at keeping secrets. Her diary is a record of every birth, death and debacle that unfolds in the town of Hallowell. In that diary she has also documented the details of an alleged rape committed by one of the town’s most esteemed gentlemen – the same man who has now been found dead in the ice.
While certain townspeople are eager to put both matters to rest, Martha suspects that the two crimes are linked, and that there is more to both cases than meets the eye. Over the course of one long, hard winter, whispers and prejudices mount, and Martha’s diary lands at the centre of the scandal, threatening to tear both her family and her community apart.
The Frozen River is a thrilling, tense and tender story of an unsung heroine who refused to accept anything less than justice on behalf of those no one else would protect.
'The Frozen River is so vivid, so textured and multi-layered that I felt I'd opened a door and entered post-revolutionary America ... This novel was unlike anything I'd read before, and it left me awe-struck.'
Lauren Belfer, New York Times bestselling author