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Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery Paperback – January 30, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"....as shocking and sinister as it is plausible."  -Joe Pelletier, Hockey Book Reviews

"Leake skillfully and exhaustively takes a complex story and makes it eminently readable." -The Regina Leader-Post

"What a compelling read! I love this book." -John Gormley host of John Gormley Live

"Besides research and writing skills, John Leake brought some crucial assets to the project--fluency in German and a knowledge of the region, its politics, and economics."  -Linden MacIntyre, host of the fifth estate

"Cold a Long Time is written with great clarity....an emotional, compelling book."  -Mark Pulham, Crime Magazine

About the Author

John Leake went to Vienna, Austria on a graduate school scholarship and ended up living in the city for over a decade, working as a freelance writer and translator. His first book, Entering Hades, was a New York Times Sunday Book Review “Editors’ Choice,” a Men's Vogue "Best Book of 2007," and the inspiration of The Infernal Comedy, starring John Malkovich. For more information about Leake, please visit coldalongtime.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467975915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467975919
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Dallas, Texas, John Leake went to Vienna, Austria on a graduate school scholarship and ended up living in the city for over a decade, working as a freelance writer and translator. His first book, Entering Hades, was a New York Times Sunday Book Review "Editors' Choice," a Men's Vogue "Best Book of 2007," and the inspiration of The Infernal Comedy, starring John Malkovich.



Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was attending college in Duncan MacPherson's hometown of Saskatoon, Canada when he disappeared. I remember well the almost daily stories in the local and national news for several months afterwards. The day this book was released on Kindle I downloaded it to my tablet and read it cover to cover in one sitting. I was riveted. Mostly, though, I was in a state of disbelief as I read the account of his parents and their decades long struggle to uncover the truth. Masterfully researched and written, this is the true story of a family's sorrow and their struggle against a foreign government and culture hell-bent on protecting the image of a region of Austria. Even if you're unfamiliar with the story of Duncan MacPherson this book will open your eyes!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Cold A Long Time: An Alpine Mystery by John Leake. This may be the most unbelievable thing I've ever read. The story is amazing and my God, Lynda MacPherson is my hero. A warrior in every sense of the word who stopped at nothing to find out the truth about what happened to her son. As a hockey player, Duncan was a hard-nosed battler on the ice and after reading this book, it's obvious where his work ethic and toughness come from. At times, the political hoops that Lynda and her husband Bob had to jump through will make you forget that this is, unfortunately, a TRUE story! Author John Leake did an incredible job. Even if you are in the middle of a book at the moment, put it down, buy this book and prepare to run through every emotion contained in your body & mind.
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I heard about Cold a Long Time on a sports radio station in Dallas. The talk show had a guest from the NHL media who casually passed along his recommendation to pick up this fascinating story about Duncan McPherson. Based upon this recommendation I purchased the book from Amazon and have been blown away by the depth of the cover-up in Austria. John Leake does a wonderful job of organizing all the facts of the case and presenting a well written narrative about the demise of Duncan and the smokes and mirrors thrown up by the local and regional governments in Austria. Must read. I have passed this along to all my friends who are into mystery, conspiracy and sports as well. Looking forward to John's next project.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Imagine a loved one disappearing from a public venue without a trace one summer afternoon. Now imagine that the very people whose job it was to help him and should be helping you find that person not only neglected to sound the alarm to begin a search for him are now misleading you and giving you false information when you then attempt to conduct your own search. That's the situation a couple from Saskatoon find themselves in when their son disappears from a popular Austrian ski slope.

This is the type of story you might hear on the news about a person who has gone missing somewhere in a Third World country, not something you would think would happen in a western country such as Austria.

The first half of the book is about the circumstances of Duncan MacPherson's disappearance and the attempts his parents, Lynda and Bob, made to determine what actually happened to their son. When the local authorities were unwilling to pursue the case, Duncan's parents continued on their own at great expense both emotionally and financially.

Fourteen years after he vanished, Duncan's body melted out of a crevasse in the middle of a ski slope. Duncan's parents could finally get the answers about his death they've been seeking all those years.

Or could they?

The second half of the book traces the evidence, tracks down forensic experts, and attempts to reconstruct what really happened on that August afternoon in 1989. The results are both disturbing and shocking, and showed that the Austrian officials and the ski resort employees were involved in a huge cover-up in not only Duncan's case, but several others over the years. A conspiracy of silence, misdirection, and a disregard for the victims and their families ran rampant in those who depended on the tourist industry for their livelihood in the Stubai Glacier ski area of Austria. It was the making of a true-life nightmare with fatal consequences.

Highly recommended.
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As a parent, I found this story nightmarish, for the simple and obvious reason that it tells a story that no parent would ever want to experience. Imagine that your child goes missing. That is hard enough to fathom. But then imagine that your search to find the truth is met with evasion, untruths and even apathy by the people who know what happened. And THEN imagine that they continue to mislead you for 20 years. If that was the crux of this book, it would be too depressing to read, and thankfully, it is not. For in spite of the maddeningly odd, inscrutable, and perhaps even criminal officials (who really seem to illustrate the concept of the banality of evil), it is the dogged truth-seekers (the parents, the author, and the non-Austrian scientists who convincingly analyze the evidence) who left the greatest impression on me, and who emerge heroic (and deservedly). There is something deeply satisfying, and necessary, in pursuing and finding the truth, as Leake points out (which is also why reading this book is so satisfying), just as there is something deeply unjust and almost unforgiveable about being deceived. That the Machersons, Leake, and other were finally able to find the truth despite years of subterfuge is thus a huge and profound victory, even in the face of sadness and loss and a certain inevitable loss-of-faith in humanity. Duncan MacPherson was done wrong at the end of his life, and his parents were done wrong for years, as the people they turned to for help and answers simply wished that they would go away. But this reader, who had never heard of Duncan MacPherson before reading this book, will never forget him. He was here. Now I know too.

Like many other reviewers, I found this book hard to put down. It is well-written, well-researched and thoroughly engaging. So don't read it ONLY if you have time sensitive chores. Alas, now I have twice the amount of laundry to do...but it was well worth it.
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