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The Coldest Blood (Philip Dryden #4)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
A man lies hidden in an abandoned boat. Stifling his own screams, he draws a knife across his arm, letting the blood flow free. Soon he'll be dead - and life can begin again.

Three decades later, small-town newspaper reporter Philip Dryden is experiencing a cold, bitter Christmas on the Fens. Dryden's wife, Laura, is emerging from years in a coma, unsure if she wants to go
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published 2006)
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P.J. Coldren
Aug 18, 2008 P.J. Coldren rated it liked it
It’s bloody cold in Ely this year. People are freezing to death, two in particular. Philip Dryden, as part of a series on the cold, looks into the deaths of Declan McIlroy and Jim Smith. One froze to death in an armchair on an apartment balcony, the other fell through some ice and never made it back inside his house.

McIlroy and Smith have some ties that aren’t apparent at first glance. Both spent some time at The Catholic Orphanage of St Vincent de Barfleur; there is an ongoing investigation in
May 04, 2010 Maddy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2006-reads

We've all heard of the tragedies that occur in cold weather, of people dying in their own homes due to lack of heat. But what about someone who commits suicide by opening all the windows in their flat in the most frigid weather of the year in the unforgiving cold of the Fens? From the first, the death of Declan McIlroy bothers Philip Dryden, local reporter. And when Joe Petulengo, a close friend of McIlroy's, also succumbs after falling into water and being locked out of his home, he
THE COLDEST BLOOD (Unl. Invest-Philip Dryden-England-Cont) – G
Kelly, Jim – 4th in series
Michael Joseph, 2006, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 0718147537

First Sentence: The dagger lay on his naked thigh, its blade as cold as a rock-pool pebble.

Journalist Philip Dryden is researching two stories. A Catholic boy’s orphanage is being investigated for severely beating those who were in its care. England is experiencing its coldest winter since 1947 and many are dying of hypothermia. One elderly man’s is found f
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 Catherine Woodman rated it liked it
Kelly's well-written if convoluted fourth outing for Cambridgeshire journalist Philip Dryden (after 2005's The Moon Tunnel) opens with a gruesome scene at the Dolphin Holiday Camp in August 1974, then shifts to a record-breaking cold snap 31 years later and a terminally ill man's murder. Dryden gets embroiled in the mystery by reporting on another death, that of landscape painter Declan McIlroy, ostensibly due to the cold. But the two corpses share a common past, and the search for the truth put ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Cat. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This mystery series is so fascinating: the main character, Phillip Dryden, is a reporter in Ely. His wife has been in a coma for the whole series, though she is now awake, sort of.

Anyway, this story revolves around a cold snap, people freezing to death as a result of the weather (or not), years of abuse in a local Catholic orphanage, and Dryden's childhood trip to the seaside. Yes, they are all related. Oddly. The cold business, after this winter, kind of made me roll my eyes. Below zero (celsiu
May 31, 2013 Monica rated it liked it
Another good book by Jim Kelly. The Philip Dryden series takes place in the Fens in England. And the weather is cold and miserable. Kelly writes books with great atmosphere. You can feel the cold seeping through you as you read. In this book a small portion of Dryden’s own past comes back to play a major role in a series of murders. The plot is intricate, the mystery keeps you guessing, the end of the book is believable. As I’ve mentioned in another review about a Philip Dryden book, it’s refres ...more
Jul 23, 2012 Alistair rated it really liked it
I have persevered with Jim Kelly.

Personally, I have found his gore not to my taste and one of his books “Fire Baby” was quite frankly depressing. The thought of me giving him 4 stars was, until this book, impossible.

The signs were not good at the start of the book, with opening pages of gloom and gore.

HOWEVER, once past that this book really picked up!

Kelly’s fondness for time jumping is still there, but nowhere as intrusive and did not impair the clever plot which had a good twist at the end.

Puddle Jumper
Mar 29, 2016 Puddle Jumper rated it really liked it
Read this over a year ago so can't remember details... but I already was a fan of the Philip Dryden series and enjoyed this one so much I kept it!

2: England
Jan 27, 2016 Steve rated it liked it
A good read kept me guessing to the end ,lots of characters to keep track of
Dec 08, 2008 WR rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gayle Flannelly
Jul 21, 2013 Gayle Flannelly rated it really liked it
I love Kelly's Philip Dryden series and this book was no exception. It loses one star because of a few irritating inconsistencies, but they're small and most readers probably wouldn't even notice them (I'm pretty sure my OCD is to blame). Dryden is a beautifully drawn character, the Fens of northern England are a wonderful atmospheric setting, and Kelly's plot is intricate and ingenious.
Sep 19, 2009 Carol rated it really liked it
If I had to give this a numerical review after the first 25% of the book, the number would have been between 2 and 3 but there was something that kept me reading. The twists and turns toward the end more than made up for its slower start. My final rating was a 4 and I would definitely try another book by this author.
Ishmael Seaward
Dec 31, 2012 Ishmael Seaward rated it liked it
Probably the best in the series. Also the final, I suspect. What I like about it is the surprising connections that keep popping up. I also found it helpful to look up the medical terms; it definitely adds depth to the story. It also helps to use Google maps.
Andy Plonka
Oct 21, 2013 Andy Plonka rated it really liked it
Shelves: src
It was good to reconnect with this series. Kelly has quite a likable though flawed hero in Phillip Dryden. This entry gives some of the childhood background of Dryden. I'm going to have to get current with the series
Jan 05, 2014 MaryAnn rated it really liked it
This is perhaps the best book I've read in this series so far. Lots of twists and turns, and I still just like the way Jim Kelly writes!
Feb 05, 2016 Barbpie rated it really liked it
very clever plot with further exploration of Dryden's relationships with Humph and Laura, which I relished. Love this series.
Mar 18, 2010 Rodillagrande rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people in Ely
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 12, 2011 Janet rated it really liked it
Bleak setting, complicated plot, explosive conclusion. Loved it.
Lynne - The Book Squirrel
Apr 01, 2009 Lynne - The Book Squirrel rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
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Jim Kelly is a journalist and education correspondent for the Financial Times. He lives in Ely with the biographer Midge Gilles and their young daughter. The Water Clock, his first novel, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Award for best first crime novel of 2002.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
More about Jim Kelly...

Other Books in the Series

Philip Dryden (7 books)
  • The Water Clock (Philip Dryden, #1)
  • The Fire Baby (Philip Dryden, #2)
  • The Moon Tunnel (Philip Dryden, #3)
  • The Skeleton Man (Philip Dryden, #5)
  • Nightrise (Philip Dryden, #6)
  • The Funeral Owl (Philip Dryden, #7)

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