The Frozen River

Books on Tape. Dec. 2023. 15:06 hrs. ISBN 9780593748992. $95. M
Maine, 1789: The Kennebec River has frozen, leaving a dead man trapped beneath the ice. When midwife Martha Ballard is called to examine the body, she finds evidence that points to murder. Martha suspects that the dead man might be one of the gang who raped the wife of the town’s minister four months earlier. When she’s undermined by the local physician, Martha undertakes an investigation of her own. Drawing upon information shared with her in her position as a healer, she uncovers a shocking truth, even as suspicion is cast on her own family. Lawhon’s (Code Name Hélène) latest is inspired by the real-life Martha Ballard, drawn from the diary entries and notes she left behind. Narrator Jane Oppenheimer gives a stunning performance as Martha, a determined woman who manages to chart her own course despite the era’s limits on women’s independence. Oppenheimer captures the mood and ambiance of the novel, skillfully giving voice to Martha and the men who try to hide the truth of what happened. Author Lawhon narrates the endnote, adding depth and gravitas as she explains the history behind the novel.
VERDICT This layered, atmospheric listen captivates. A must-have for any historical mystery collection.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing