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Deep Winter: a Novel Hardcover – February 20, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press; First Edition edition (February 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399165967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399165962
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is a harsh, brutal novel, as bleak as its wintertime setting. It’s also so brilliantly done, so artfully underwritten with not a word wasted, that readers may hate themselves for letting this grim narrative trap them in its coils. Danny, a big, slow-witted pudding of a man, comes across the naked body of the only woman who has ever been nice to him. Everyone believes Danny killed her, but we know who did: a mean drunk who is actually the town’s deputy sheriff. We saw it happen, in nine pages of can’t-look-away viciousness. The deputy knows how to play on the townspeople’s gullibility, and he organizes a posse to hunt the simpleton. Interesting turn: one of the trackers is the sheriff, who’s been lazily using the deputy’s cruelty to keep the locals in line. The old man’s guilt, plus his spotting of a detail that shouldn’t be there, begins the exposure of the deception. But not before Wild Turkey has been drunk, shotguns have gone off, and innocents blasted to pieces, all in crystalline prose. --Don Crinklaw

Review

Praise for Deep Winter

“Enthralling and suspenseful, like a Michael Connelly novel, but more elegantly written.” –Esquire

“Beautifully written but deeply disturbing.” –Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“A dark, gripping debut novel of literary suspense.” –The Big Thrill

“A great, fast-paced read. More depth, reality and heart than Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, while maintaining as much suspense.” --Graham (Goodreads)

This is a harsh, brutal novel, as bleak as its wintertime setting. It’s also so brilliantly done, so artfully underwritten with not a word wasted, that readers may hate themselves for letting this grim narrative trap them in its coils.”Booklist

“Set deep in the heart of rural Pennsylvania, Deep Winter hits you with the toxic blast of Frank Bill, combined with the raw emotional intensity of Daniel Woodrell.” –Raven Crime Reads blog

“Gailey writes visually, rendering the characters and action both vivid and alive.” –Kirkus

“Set in rural Pennsylvania, Samuel W. Gailey’s Deep Winter is a beautiful and brutal debut. Put Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men in a blender with Scott Smith’s classic crime novel A Simple Plan, then watch as Gailey hits the switch and everything in this world spins dangerously out of hand. A wonderful fast-paced read.” –Urban Waite, author of The Terror of Living and The Carrion Birds

Deep Winter is a fast-paced thriller tense enough to give you paper cuts from turning the pages so quickly.” –Joe R. Lansdale, author of The Thicket

Deep Winter captures the every bit of the darkness of a Selby Jr, novel and relocates it in rural Pennsylvania …. I will put [it] in the hit category.... [It] is an exciting, fast paced novel with plenty to offer in the way of suspense. Highly recommended for crime novel fans and those who like a darker, real world story.” --Evilcyclist blog

“An atmospheric, highly charged mystery. Readers will be caught up in the story, the characters and the approaching storm that will follow. Highly recommended.” --Rosemary (NetGalley)

“Compelling... A riveting, character driven novel.... impossible to put down... Deep Winter is an impressive first novel.” --Book Reviews and More blog

“A clever and compelling character driven novel about the events leading up to and the aftermath of a brutal murder. Told from several points of view over a short period of time, this was a fascinating old school type read with a wonderful noir feel to it…. Mr. Gailey has created a tense, claustrophobic atmosphere within the tightly woven and fast moving plot – and given us an authentic soundbite of small town life….Unpredictable and astute, I would recommend this for lovers of crime fiction, especially if they like it with a classic feel rather than a more modern one.” --Liz Loves Books blog

“A quietly told, emotionally wrenching tale of the wickedness a single man can perpetrate with his unchecked actions, and the pain that follows when others set out to put things right. Set in the backwoods community of Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, in 1984, and told from the shifting perspectives of its inhabitants, this story will engross you, pulling you deeper into its tiny, raw world, filling your heart with alternating pangs of fear and hope. “ –BookTrib.com

“Mr. Gailey has created a tense, claustrophobic atmosphere within the tightly woven and fast moving plot… Nicely executed…Unpredictable and astute, I would recommend this for lovers of Crime Fiction.” --Liz (Goodreads)

“It's a rare mystery suspense that keeps one on the edge of their seats but also moves one to tears.…the book felt like a classic and was a story of redemption.” --Charlotte (Goodreads)

“The book is affecting…I ended up with a tear in my eye due to a sense of goodness as it ended.” --Sharon (Goodreads)

“Readers looking for fast paced suspense will enjoy Deep Winter.” --Sandra (Goodreads)

More About the Author

Samuel W. Gailey was raised in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania (population 379), which serves as the setting for his debut novel, 'Deep Winter'. Drawn to rural life and the sometimes deceiving atmosphere therein, Gailey's first novel and his works in progress are suspenseful mysteries and intriguing studies of human nature. Before writing novels, he worked in film production and eventually became a screenwriter, writing and developing shows for Showtime and Fox. He has also been published in "Documentary Magazine". He currently resides in Los Angeles with his daughter and wife, author Ayn Carrillo-Gailey.

Please visit his blog www.samuelwgailey.com or like him on his facebook page.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Deep Winter is a character-driven crime novel. The crime is secondary to the impact it has on the characters. The story has a Cormac McCarthy feel in its exploration of troubled and isolated lives. Few of the characters feel they have any ability to control their destinies. Events overtake them and they don't cope well. The plot is simple but filled with tension that elevates sharply as the story nears its conclusion. A significant amount of killing takes place, yet the story acts as a reminder of the value of life -- and of living it without judgment, pride, or selfishness.

Now middle-aged, Danny Bedford and Mindy Knolls have known each other since their childhood in Wyalusing, a town they never left. Deep Winter begins with Danny standing in Mindy's trailer looking down at her dead body. The narrative then moves back a few weeks, allowing the reader to follow the events that precede Mindy's death.

Danny suffered brain damage as a child. While the book is written in the third person, the chapters that follow Danny tend to use simple declarative sentences and language when echoing Danny's thoughts. The thoughts of the other small town characters are far from eloquent but the prose becomes more interesting in the chapters that do not focus on Danny.

Some chapters follow Deputy Sheriff Mike Sokowski, a redneck jerk who spends his days belittling Danny, using Mindy, and dealing weed. We meet additional characters in the novel's second half, most involved with law enforcement, who help carry the novel beyond Mindy's death. Whether justice will be done, or whether injustice will prevail, is the question that drives the plot. Yet what constitutes "justice" is often unclear, a point Deep Winter makes with force.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By she treads softly on February 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Deep Winter by Samuel W. Gailey is highly recommended debut novel of suspense for those with a taste for noir set in a frozen rural landscape.

It is the dead of winter and Danny Bedford, a mentally challenged man, is framed by the real killer as the murderer of Mindy Knolls, one of the few people in the small town of Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, who is his friend. As the body count rises, this dark novel is told from the point of view of several different characters.

Is Deep Winter by Samuel W. Gailey good?
Oh, yes - it is very good and had me racing to the end to see what could possibly happen next. Here is the dilemma: it is unrelentingly violent, feels hopeless, and everyone - save a few timid souls- is a nasty piece of business who enjoy bullying a mentally challenged man. There seems to be debauchery and drug use and excessive drinking and guns and murders happening left and right. I read it at a break-neck pace right to the end but I hated almost all the characters and wondered why on earth anyone would want to live someplace where everyone is a jerk with greasy unwashed hair. I felt emotionally drained after I was done reading.

So, Deep Winter held me by the throat and had me frantically reading to the end but I was angry at almost all the characters (and the author, truth be told, until the very end) but I had to keep reading to find out what happened because it couldn't get any worse and then when it did I had to keep reading just to see if....
Hmmm...
I have to guess that my very emotional reaction to Deep Winter was exactly what author Gailey planned. Well played. I'll be looking forward to Gailey's next novel.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Penguin Books via Edelweiss for review purposes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Deep Winter is Samuel W. Gailey's debut novel.

Gentle giant Danny has lived in Wyalusing, a small town in Northern Pennsylvania, for his entire life. An accident has left Danny with brain injuries, but he has made a small place for himself. And he tries to lead asmall life as he is the target of taunts and bullying and has few friends. But Mindy, the waitress who serves him breakfast every morning is an exception. She has only treated him with kindness. Danny walks to her trailer on her birthday to deliver a gift - only to find the local sheriff's deputy, Sokowski already there. And Mindy is dead.

The reader knows early on who has killed Mindy. But the race is on - will the killer be caught? Or will Danny take the fall?

There are few likable characters in the book. Sokowski is one of the nastiest antagonists I've read in a while. Many of the 'good' characters are flawed in some way as well. Gailey's characters were quite vivid I quickly turned pages. The reader cannot help but react to each one.

Indeed the whole town seems dismal, dreary and defeated. "Gailey was raised in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania (population 379), which serves as the setting for his debut novel." The setting definitely had a ring of authenticity. The blizzard that envelopes the town serves to further isolate the town and the drama playing out.

Deep Winter is told from multiple points of view - the killer, Mindy, Danny and more. I found this highly effective as it only heightened the tension. The reader is aware of what's going to happen next - or think we are. Gailey knows just when to end a chapter - ensuring I had to read just one more and then another before turning off the light for the evening.
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