Cover image for The dark winter
Title:
The dark winter
ISBN:
9780399158643
Publication Information:
New York : Blue Rider Press, c2012.
Physical Description:
292 p. ; 24 cm.
Geographic Term:
Summary:
Investigating a series of suspicious deaths and discovering that each victim was the sole survivor of a tragedy, Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy of the northern England port of Hull struggles to balance the demands of the case with the needs of his beloved family.
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Summary

Summary

A series of suspicious deaths has rocked Hull, a port city in England as old and mysterious as its bordering sea. In the middle of a Christmas service, a teenage girl adopted from Sierra Leone is chopped down with a machete in front of the entire congregation. A retired trawlerman is found dead at the scene of a tragedy he escaped, the only survivor, forty years ago. An ugly fire rages in a working-class neighborhood, and when the flames die away, a body is discovered, burned beyond recognition.             Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy is sure there is a connection between these crimes, but his fellow officers are not convinced--they would rather get a quick arrest than bother themselves with finding the true killer. Torn between his police duties and his aching desire to spend more time with his pregnant wife and young son, McAvoy is an unlikely hero: a family man more obsessed with being a decent cop, a physically imposing man far more comfortable exploring databases that being gung-ho with his muscle. Compelled by his keen sense of justice, McAvoy decides to strike out alone--but in the depths of the dark winter, on the hunt for a murderer, it's difficult to forget what happened the last time he found himself on the wrong side of a killer's blade...


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

British crime reporter Mark's outstanding first novel, a suspenseful whodunit, introduces Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy, who is struggling professionally after a tumultuous year that included his weeding out a pack of corrupt cops. While enjoying a treat at a Hull coffee shop with his four-year-old son, McAvoy hears frantic cries from the church across the square. He races into the church, where McAvoy is bowled over by the man who has just fatally stabbed 15-year-old Daphne Cotton on the altar steps. But soon another matter draws him away from the Cotton case: Fred Stein, the sole survivor of a 1968 collision at sea that claimed the lives of his fellow crew members, has apparently committed suicide after agreeing to assist a documentary filmmaker revisiting the naval tragedy. Readers will want to see more of the complicated McAvoy, who well serves a sophisticated and disturbing plot. Agent: Oliver Munson, Blake Friedmann Literary. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Guardian Review

Set in a bleak, wintery Hull, former crime reporter Mark's debut novel introduces DS Aector McAvoy, gentle giant and devoted family man, keeping his head down in a police department riven with internecine warfare. He is dealing with a series of killings in which the victims are all sole survivors of past tragedies, including the sinking of a trawler, a massacre in Sierra Leone and a domestic fire. Using a mixture of straight detective work and intuition - McAvoy has also had a near-death experience - he tracks down an adversary who's after an altogether different sort of justice. Fast-moving and tightly plotted, with strong characterisation and a likeable protagonist, this is an extremely promising debut, albeit with a bit too much striving for effect on show in one-line paragraphs and a tendency towards over-egged dialogue. Laura Wilson's A Capital Crime is published by Quercus. - Laura Wilson Set in a bleak, wintery Hull, former crime reporter Mark's debut novel introduces DS Aector McAvoy, gentle giant and devoted family man, keeping his head down in a police department riven with internecine warfare. - Laura Wilson.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Cops in the economically ravaged northern England city of Hull don't know what to think of the new detective who has joined the force. Aector McAvoy is a veritable giant, and there are vague rumors that he was nearly killed bringing down a rogue cop and a contract killer. But in Hull, he is a shy computer wizard who silently wishes he could spend all his time with his pregnant wife and young son. Then there's his name; Hull cops don't know it's a Scots spelling of Hector. But Aector is on the scene when a teenage girl is savagely murdered in Hull's most historic church, and it is Aector who discovers that the girl and subsequent victims were all survivors of previous fatal tragedies. And it is Aector who must end the murderous rampage. First-novelist Mark shrewdly makes Aector an enigma for readers, too, slowly building the conflicted hero throughout the book. Equally shrewdly, he gives Aector a tough and insightful female supervisor, who, after puckishly remarking he should have come with an owner's manual, ultimately unpacks her complex charge. Mark's years as a Hull journalist, his descriptions of a blighted city on the bones of its arse, and winter weather that ranges from merely dismal to brutal burnish an impressive debut. John Harvey readers should take note.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist