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A serial killer is terrorizing the senior citizens of Denton, and the local police are succumbing to a flu epidemic. Tired and demoralized, the force has to contend with a seemingly perfect young couple suffering arson attacks and death threats, a suspicious suicide, burglaries, pornographic videos, poison-pen letters...
In uncertain charge of the investigations is Detective Inspector Jack Frost, crumpled, slapdash and foul-mouthed as ever. He tries to cope despite inadequate back-up, but there is never enough time; the unsolved crimes pile up and the vicious killings go on. So Frost has to cut corners and take risks, knowing that his Divisional Commander will throw him to the wolves if anything goes wrong. And for Frost, things always go wrong...
A young boy is found dead in a rubbish heap, suffocated and with one finger cut off. Another boy is missing. A psychopath is stabbing babies as they lie sleeping in their cots. A fifteen-year-old has been abducted, then found naked by the roadside. The corpse of a petty criminal is discovered, with the tops of three fingers chopped off. The small children of a carpet fitter are murdered; his wife's body is found on the railway line. A supermarket MD is sent a ransom demand for the missing boy, accompanied by one of the child's fingers...
Jack Frost, scruffy and insubordinate, foul-mouthed and fearless, staggers from crisis to crisis, his bumbling modus operandi disguising his extraordinary powers of detection.
On a rainy night in Denton, Detective Inspector Jack Frost is called to the site of a macabre discovery in the woods - that of a human foot. Meanwhile a multiple rapist is on the loose, the local supermarket reports poisoned stock and a man claims to have cut his wife up into little pieces, yet can't recall where he hid them. But it is when two young girls are reported missing in quick succession that the Denton crime wave reaches terrifying heights.
As the exhausted Frost staggers from case to case, pressured from all sides and haunted by memories of his wife, something nasty arrives at the station in the form of Detective Chief Inspector Skinner. The scheming, slippery Skinner clearly has his eye on the Superintendent's office, but his first job is to manipulate the transfer of the unorthodox D.I. Jack Frost to another division. Will Frost find the missing girls before his new nemesis forces him away from Denton once and for all?
Detective Inspector Jack Frost, offically on duty, is nevertheless determined to sneak off to a colleague's leaving party. But first the corpse of a well-known local junkie is found blocking the drain of a Denton public lavatory - and then, when Frost attempts to join the revels later on, the nubile daughter of a wealthy businessman is reported missing.
Sleepy Denton has never known anything like the crime wave which now threatens to submerge it. A robbery occurs at the town's notorious strip joint, the pampered son of a local MP is suspected of a hit-and-run offence and, to top it all, a multiple rapist is on the loose. Frost is reeling under the strain, his paperwork is still in arrears and now, more than ever, his self-righteous colleagues would love to see him sacked. But the manic Frost manages to assure his superior that all is under control. Now he has only to convince himself...
'Forst is a splendid creation, a cross between Rumpole and Columbo' The Times
Denton is having more than its fair share of crime. A serial killer is murdering local prostitutes; a man demolishing his garden shed uncovers a long-buried skeleton; there is an armed robbery at a local minimart and a ram raid at a jewellers.
But Detective Inspector Jack Frost's main concern is for the safety of a missing eight-year-old, and soon after another girl is reported missing, her body is found . . . raped and strangled.
Then Frost's prime suspect hangs himself in his cell, leaving a note blaming Frost for driving him to suicide.
Coarse, insubordinate and fearless, DI Jack Frost is in serious trouble.
Ten days to Christmas and Tracey Uphill, aged eight, hasn't come home from Sunday school. Her mother, a pretty young prostitute, is desperate. Enter Detective Inspector Jack Frost, sloppy, scruffy and insubordinate. To help him investigate the case of the missing child, Frost has been assigned a new sidekick, the Chief Constable's nephew. Fresh to provincial Denton in an oversmart suit, Detective Constable Clive Barnard is an easy target for Frost's withering satire.
Assisted and annoyed by Barnard, Frost, complete with a store of tasteless anecdotes to fit every occasion, proceeds with the investigation in typically unorthodox style. After he's consulted a local witch, Dead Man's Hollow yields up a skeleton. Frost finds himself drawn into an unsolved crime from the past and risks not only his career, but also his life...