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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sound debut...
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...
Published on 31 Mar 2012 by Raven

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not exceptional
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...
Published 15 months ago by D. Foot


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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sound debut..., 31 Mar 2012
By 
Raven (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Dark Winter (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
By 
M. Mcnally (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dark Winter (Hardcover)
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 (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Winter (Kindle Edition)
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
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This review is from: The Dark Winter (Hardcover)
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
This review is from: Dark Winter (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
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This review is from: Dark Winter (Kindle Edition)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 12 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Dark Winter (Kindle Edition)
It was a reasonable read, but felt that it lacked atmosphere and the characters were not really believable! You did ask!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good travel read,, 18 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Dark Winter (Kindle Edition)
Enjoyed the plot. I predicted the ending earlier than I wanted to.Would buy the next. Took a while to connect with the characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story line, 14 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Dark Winter (Kindle Edition)
An interesting story line which followed the events leading up to the deaths of survivors who had previously cheated death. Excellent twists to the tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 10 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Dark Winter (Kindle Edition)
This is a good story and is well written. One annoying thing for me was the portrayal of Mcavoy,s wife. You are being told far too often about her beauty and delicate figure. This became very boring. Also how on earth could a detective dealing with such serious crimes possibly be an emotional wimp as we are led to believe. This just did not seem credible to me. However apart from those small criticisms and the end being too drawn out this is well worth reading and I look forward to the author,s next book.
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Dark Winter by David Mark
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