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Dark Winter [Paperback]

David Mark
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (479 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

3 Jan 2013

DS Aector McAvoy is a man with a troubled past. His unwavering belief in justice has made him an outsider in the police force he serves. When three seemingly unconnected people are brutally murdered in the weeks before Christmas, the police must work quickly to stop more deaths. It is only McAvoy who can see the connection between the victims. A killer is playing God - and McAvoy must find a way to stop the deadly game.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857389211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857389213
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (479 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David spent more than 15 years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with The Yorkshire Post - walking the Hull streets that would later become the setting for the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy novels.

His writing is heavily influenced by the court cases he covered: the defeatist and jaded police officers; the incompetent investigators; the inertia of the justice system and the sheer raw grief of those touched by savagery and tragedy.

Dark Winter is his first novel, and has been followed by his newly released ORIGINAL SKIN out now in all good book shops.

He lives in Lincolnshire and is now a full-time novelist.

Product Description

Review

'The Dark Winter is an exceptional debut from an exciting new talent. David Mark is an original and captivating new voice' Val McDermid.

'Fast-moving and tightly plotted, with strong characterisation and a likeable protagonist, this is an extremely promising debut' Guardian.

'[David Mark] brings alive the remoteness of Hull from the rest of Yorkshire and the financial decay of the area. Highly recommended. I look forward to the next book' Euro Crime.

'An unusual and accomplished debut with tight plotting and intelligent writing' Daily Mail.

'David Mark has the potential to be one of the stars of British crime writing' Shots.

From the Inside Flap

Hull, East Yorkshire. Two weeks before Christmas, an elderly man - the only survivor of a fishing trawler tragedy 40 years before - is found murdered at sea. In a church, a young girl - the last surviving member of a family slaughtered during the conflict in Sierra Leone - is hacked to death with a machete. A junkie, who fled the burning house where he had set his family alight, is found incinerated on a rundown council estate. Someone is killing sole survivors in the manner they had escaped death. And it falls to Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy of Humberside CID to find out whom. McAvoy, despite being a six-foot-five, man mountain of a police officer, is not your typical bullish detective. A shy, gentle giant, he is a family man obsessed with being a good and decent cop; more dab hand with a database than gung-ho with a gun - traits that have seen him become increasingly isolated from his colleagues in the force. Desperate to prove his worth, McAvoy knows he must establish the motive behind the killings if he is to have any chance of pinning the perpetrator. And he must do so quickly, as this twisted yet ingenious killer appears to have an appetite for murder.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sound debut... 31 Mar 2012
By Raven TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I really enjoyed this debut crime novel and think that David Mark could do for Hull what John Harvey does for Nottingham and Chris Simms does for Manchester. I thought the novel painted an incredibly realistic picture of Hull as a city on the slide and you got a real sense of the atmosphere of the city in all its grim reality. I thought that McAvoy was a good grounded character without the cliched baggage that crime writers are so fond of shoe-horning into their books and that alone would encourage me to read the next in the series. I also liked the character of 'Pharaoh' the female boss who whilst slightly lacking the acidity of DI Steel in the Stuart MacBride books was feisty enough to give her character credibility. The central plot was quite clever with a particularly twisted killer targeting those poor unfortunates who had previously escaped death and there was a nicely balanced gore factor. Not a bad read at all...
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex and gripping 30 Mar 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not a huge fan of crime fiction generally, because the genre can tend to be a bit one-dimensional and formulaic, so I was really pleasantly surprised by the depth and complexity of this story. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

I can give no higher praise than to say that I woke up at 4 this morning, couldn't get back to sleep so I reached for the nearest book, figuring that a couple of pages would see me back snoring. 20 chapters later the book was done, light peeping round the curtains and my mind still racing from the concluding action.

The use of location and environment to give a huge dose of gritty reality, the refreshingly different main character, and just sheer storytelling ability lead to a really gripping tale. I'm reminded of the non-SF work of Iain Banks in a number of ways - although whether or not the author would be pleased to be dubbed 'Hull's answer to Iain Banks' is another matter!

I look forward to seeing the next instalment in what will hopefully be a long series, and am already hoping for a future TV adaptation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not exceptional 4 Jun 2013
By D. Foot
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not a bad read but I felt I'd read so many similar novels before.

The misunderstood detective with a tragic past considered by his colleagues as ready to put out to grass.

A tired plot where the reader can see the connection between events early on, but the clever detectives (and our hero) seem unable to draw obvious conclusions.

A sound enough novel but hardly challenging.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful prose let down by humdrum plot 11 Jun 2012
By Carmen
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really loved the opening of this book and David Mark set the scene very well. His prose is wonderfully evocative and original and he sketches his backdrop with great skill. Unfortunately, because of Mark's skill, Hull becomes the book's outstanding character and the only one that rings true. The plot is both unbelievable and dull at the same time and guessing the perpetrator was ridiculously easy when we met him, even if his motive is not quite as clear until the denouement.

DS McAvoy (I won't use his first name because it became an unnecessary distraction in the novel) is also quite hard to take as a gentle giant. I know men are supposed to be more in touch with their emotions but a Detective Sergeant in a crime unit of any kind wouldn't survive for five minutes if he was as near to tears as McAvoy often is. At one point he almost faints so overcome with emotion is he. I mean, come on.

The other annoyance is the de rigeur padding of police in-fighting which spoils so many procedurals these days. I find it hard to believe a senior detective would arrest the wrong person just to score points of a fellow officer and even if it is realistic, it has been done to death and feels like filler for the thin plot. Overall a promising debut for a great thriller to come but this isn't it.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so easily pleased. 21 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
This is not a bad read but with a bit more imagination could have ticked a couple more boxes.
The angle of the old boy disappearing off the container ship off the coast of Iceland offered massive intrigue.
However as the story progressed the intrigue diminished. I just found myself wishing that there was a bigger mystery at play. I wanted the container ship thing to be the key to the story. To be wowed. I wasn't it played out rather predictably as you waited to see which person within the novel turned out to be the killer.

The descriptive element of a dreary east coast became tiresome.

As a new detective on the block I am not sure DS Aector McAvoy is going to cut it.

We are drip fed aspects of McAvoys previous troubles which leaves him where he is in the popularity stakes within the police. No Doubt this will be revisited in his next outing Original Skin in April 2013.

I have a long list of books I want to read and sadly DS McAvoy is not going to feature on the list anytime soon.

One final point to the author. Elements of the police procedure are factually incorrect. If you are looking to breakthrough as a longterm crime writer you need to address this as it will annoy people.

PACE 1984 is in print and will help.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What am I missing? 22 July 2013
By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to this on the basis of so many strong reviews. On this occasion, I can't go with the flow at all. I was disappointed by both plot and characters. The plot had potential, a mix of past and present. But from the outset, I struggled with the credibility of the main detective. His language, thoughts, emotional response, his introspection...none of it rang true in a plausible way. His idiosyncrasies, background and current situation don't gel.

It got worse when we were introduced to his immediate boss. A dreadful blend of Juliet Bravo and Helen Mirren. A female senior officer trying to be one of the lads, a mother and a flirty siren. No, no, no. This just does not work. There is no way, in the circumstances, that she would be sitting in a car, gripping the thigh of a junior colleague. The relationship is implausible and unnatural and when you lose credibility of the two main characters, it's an uphill struggle.

The dialogue often seemed contrived, with attempts to introduce humour, intended to be sardonic, failing. Hull felt unremittingly bleak and desolate; somewhere between hope and desolation but no half way house. This is possibly one of the most frustrating reviews I've ever written. I wanted to enjoy the book, but I didn't. I love crime fiction, but this one missed the mark.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a good book with an fascinating protagonist.
First Sentence: The old man looks up, and for a moment it feels as though he is staring through the wrong end of a telescope. Read more
Published 22 hours ago by L. J. Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
A very interesting story line with many unexpected turns and keeps you guessing until the end. A book definitely worth reading!
Published 1 day ago by Kirsten vernalls
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
ok
Published 4 days ago by C. R. Mandall
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not read.
Published 6 days ago by June
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Winter
I started this book hoping for a corker. It started off in an interesting way, mostly telling us of the background of this 'giant'. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dodie Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I enjoyed this book immensely looking forward to next 2 follow up's, would reccomend to friends.
will be excellent trilogy.
Published 1 month ago by PMelia
5.0 out of 5 stars David Mark's second brill book.
The detail of the areas this story is around and the belief that your in Hull itself. He's definitely done his research,and left me wanting to read more.
Published 1 month ago by Shirley Popplewell
5.0 out of 5 stars Hull crime Story.
Because I have lived in this area all my life. The story relates to a lot of places i know.
Enjoyed this crime story. Looking forward to reading some more from this author.
Published 1 month ago by Wendy Salmond
5.0 out of 5 stars Very addictive
Once I started reading just couldn't put this book down .very impressed with it being from a first time author
Published 2 months ago by michelle craig chapples
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark Winter
This was not a bad read, just a bit lumbering in it's efforts to portray the investigations involved to solve the intricate plot. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Barbara Bee
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