||Jan 1 2001
Louis Kincaid heads north, seeking to escape the horrors of his past. Instead, he finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation.
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In the quaint town of Loon Lake, Michigan, a killer is takinghis vengeance, One by the one, the bodies are found, each brutally executed, with mysteriously coded death cards placed beside each corpse--the grueseome signature of a psychopath.
The gun was cold; he could feel it against his thigh through the thin cotton of his pajamas as he crept down the hall. Outside the kids’ room, he paused. The baby had colic and it occurred to him that it might have been just his restless thump that he had heard. He strained his ears in the darkness. Nothing.
Downstairs in the foyer, the white tile floor shimmered with a kaleidoscope of color, created by the Christmas lights outside, refracted through the leaded-glass panel of the front door. He stopped. No sound. Had the truck left? He looked out the small window in the door but couldn’t see it.
He let out a breath of relief and turned away from the door.
A soft tap. Someone knocking. He drew back the small curtain and looked out at the face in the shadows outside.
A sharp, snapping sound.
His heart slammed up against his sternum, then froze.
It was a sound he had heard before. Too many times before.
The pump of a shot gun.
Dear God Almighty...
Glass exploded over, around and into him. He was hurled back against the staircase. His fingers groped for the spindles but he could not move. He couldn’t feel his legs. He couldn’t feel anything. Except, except....except a horrible pumping. His blood pumping out the black hole in his chest.
Oh Jesus, help me. Stephanie...
Then he felt nothing.
The colored lights danced over the white tile, turning the shards of glass into gaudy jewels. Snowflakes swirled in through the gaping hole in the glass window of the door, dying as they hit the warm blood. A Christmas wreath lay across his legs, its sound-activated battery pack sending out a tinny rendition of Silent Night.
A scream came from upstairs.
The man holding the shotgun looked up the staircase and then reached into his jacket and withdrew a blue-backed playing card. With a flick of his wrist, he tossed it through the hole in the glass. It spun to the floor, settling on the white tile near the body.
"Merry fucking Christmas, Officer Pryce," he said.
Full of intrigue and edge of the seat suspense. But best of all is the character at its center: Louis Kincaid. Dogged and noble, carrying his history close to his heart, Kincaid is a welcome addition to the literary landscape of crime fiction.
-- Michael Connelly, best-selling author of A Darkness More Than Night
"Glued to the Last Page...
Dead of Winter is an exceptional police procedural focusing on the chain of command and the departmental relationships as much as the murder investigation, until the two become so interdependent that they are the plot. One of the things I enjoyed is the way the author depicts Kincaid's work relationships. Part of any mystery is the trickery the author uses to steer us away and towards the real killer. In Dead of Winter, it's this same trickery that is used as Kincaid makes his way through learning his new job and getting to know his coworkers while feeling the pressure of the investigation. To me, this demonstrates an extraordinary writing skill. To build good characters is one thing; to play with these characters on an emotional level is quite another. But to then build a plot around this interplay, that is what had me glued until the last page.
-- reviewer for MostlyFiction.com
Snow falls and so do the sinister hints. Things loom but they're never what they seem -- especially not for a black man in a mostly white town. Unfamiliar with Loon Lake, Kincaid nevertheless manages to work out who's killing his fellow police officers and why. Along the way, he makes some discoveries about his own prejudices and burdens. Dead of Winter moves briskly, pulling the reader along for an invigorating ride.
-- Baltimore Sun
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