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Dark Winter Paperback – 3 Jan 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 533 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: riverrun (3 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857389211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857389213
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (533 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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

'[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. (Euro Crime)

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

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

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

Book Description

The Sunday Times bestselling first instalment in the Hull-Based DS Aector McAvoy series.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Raven TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Mar. 2012
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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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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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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By Aspen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 July 2013
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Mark is clearly an excellent writer and in DS Aector McAvoy he has a character that hopefully will develop into a believable cop around whom a series of books can evolve.
However in this debut novel we have too much back-story and confusion that like his boss Pharoah says "People don't know what to make of you.....They can't read you." He is a complex character but I think more was said than was needed to draw a basic picture of him. Can't get the marital "love" - stinking of a women's perfume yet his wife knows he would cheat on her. Yet through his eyes all the female characters are seen as fanciable in some way. Loved Fin and feel plenty to build on in future books just overloaded in the first one. Perhaps this book was so long in the writing it all gushed out.
Amid all this over-writing of McAvoy's providence overlays a plot that doesn't hold together. The crime team seem clueless and all pulling in different directions. Suspects are arrested on a whim without answering to anyone, to the point where physically he could not have been the perpetrator fighting McAvoy the eyewitness whose statement appears to be ignored. The like a a motive and a link between the crimes takes for ever to drop and once it is seen, a confession is sought rather than seeking information from him as he must know the real killer.
Liked the book but overdrawn character and the complicated, not hanging together plot, spoil the actual enjoyment of the read. The warped thinking of the killer could sustain the novel if it was revealed differently in my opinion so I am a little disappointed as I recognise this could have been a terrific thriller of a crime mystery.
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