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The Dark Winter: A Novel (Detective Sergeant McAvoy) Paperback – March 26, 2013
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"David Mark’s British police procedurals are a wholesome corrective to cop novels starring prima donna detectives who single-handedly solve major murder cases. Sgt. Aector McAvoy, the “gentle, humble, shy giant of a man”… is clearly the hero of this brawny series set in the north of England... But Mark surrounds his Scottish detective with fellow officers who make vital contributions to the case and are interesting in their own right.”—The New York Times Sunday Book Review
“British crime reporter Mark’s outstanding first novel, a suspenseful whodunit, introduces Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy…Readers will want to see more of the complicated McAvoy, who well deserves a sophisticated and disturbing plot.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred)
“[A]n impressive debut. John Harvey readers should take note.”—Booklist (starred)
“With a poetic intensity in its prose, an unpredictable plot and a Scottish detective, Mark’s novel gripped me from its opening pages.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“It will not be long until new voices in the genre are hailed as the ‘next David Mark.’”—Bookpage.com
“Fast moving and tightly plotted, with strong characterization and a likeable protagonist, this is an extremely promising debut.”—The Guardian
“The Dark Winter is a promising debut by David Mark… certainly provides a trip to Hull and back.”—The Telegraph
"Dark Winter is a fantastic debut of a police procedural series that takes place in northern England. Just as Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy seems to be able to put himself in the mind of a killer, David Mark has developed his characters so completely that the reader can almost put himself in the mind of McAvoy as he is connecting dots that no one else even sees. McAvoy may be a gentle giant of a man but he is also determined to get at the truth even if his job is in jeopardy. Luckily, he finds a believer in his boss, another dedicated officer who also is fighting to keep her job."—Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction
“The Dark Winter is an exceptional debut from an exciting new talent. David Mark is an original and captivating new voice.”—Val McDermid
About the Author
David Mark has been a journalist for fifteen years, including seven years as crime reporter. The Dark Winter, the first in the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy series, was his fiction debut. He lives in Great Britain.
Top customer reviews
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An old man is telling a journalist the story of how he survived the sinking of a trawler thirty years ago. They take a break and he disappears only to be found dead later in a lifeboat off the coast of Finland. Det. Sgt. McAvoy is sitting at an outdoor café with his son when they hear panicked screaming from the church across the way. As he arrives, he barely being struck by a blade carried by a man all in black. What he does find is a young woman, hacked to death.
It’s always a bit sad to be introduced to a character one likes only to have him be the first victim. We then segue to our protagonist is peacefully sitting in the town square only to have total chaos.
McAvoy is an interesting character whose personality belies his physical appearance. He has a past with the force, resulting in some bitterness. He’s a wonderfully complex character. He’s a cop who really cares about his job… “…And he knows that the reason he has to catch the right man…It’s because somebody has to give a damn about the rules. Idealistic? Perhaps; but it makes him an interesting character.
Mark provides some wonderfully evocative descriptions which provide a strong sense of place. “There are still proud homeowners here and there. Amid the black teeth and rotted gums of the burned-out and vandalized houses stands the occasional white-painted molar.”
The story had an excellent plot. As the pieces started fitting together, the pace increased and uncovering the villain and the motive keep the pace moving forward at a fast pace, but not without some introspection.
“The Dark Water” is a very credible debut book and a character interesting enough to what to know more.
THE DARK WINTER (Pol Proc-Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy-Hull, England-Contemp) – VG+
Mark, David – 1st in series
A Plume Book, 2012
The underlying mystery in the novel is born from a coincidental collection of individuals who had survived an otherwise deadly encounter only to find themselves reliving the past as victims once again. The story unfolds as a seemingly unconnected series of events sewn together by a single elusive thread; with who and the why to be solved by the steadfast resolve of Aector McAvoy.
Mark draws an unusual character in McAvoy, one divergent from the standard stock of detective material. This characterization seems somewhat alien to the general nature of police detectives as measured by the take most writers harbor and while seeming to make a somewhat endearing character, may have gone a bit over the top; you will have to be the judge. Otherwise, the novel is generally well written, though long on many colloquial expressions that is sure to befuddle the western reader some. The story line moves right along and keeps the reader involved through the developments. There are a couple of good twists in the plot, although an astute mystery reader will find them lurking in the background and have guessed them.
All and all the novel is a pleasant read, engaging enough to keep the reader's attention and steeped in enough mystery to pique one's curiosity.
If you are a detective mystery lover, I would rate this novel "pleasurable - though not memorable" and would recommend it for your reading list.
Most recent customer reviews
Dark Winter is a book that has been sitting waiting on my Kindle for what seems like an...Read more