What Ian Rankin is to Edinburgh, David Mark is to Hull, the northern England port as old and mysterious as its bordering sea. There, a series of suspicious deaths have captured the attention of Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy, whose keen intelligence leads him to notice a pattern missed by others: All of the victims were at one time the sole survivors of tragedies large and small. As McAvoy strives to connect the cases to a single culprit, he is continually torn between his duties and his aching desire to spend more time with his wife and child - both of whom he adores. In McAvoy, Mark has created an unforgettable hero: a family guy obsessed with being a decent cop, a physically imposing man far more comfortable exploring databases than being gung-ho with his muscle.
The Dark Winter is the start of a police series that will rank among the classics of our time.
"Starred Review. Outstanding...Readers will want to see more of the complicated McAvoy, who well deserves a sophisticated and disturbing plot." - Publisher's Weekly
"Starred Review. Mark's years as a Hull journalist, his descriptions of a blighted city "on the bones of its arse," and winter weather that ranges from merely dismal to brutal burnish an impressive debut. John Harvey readers should take note." - Booklist
"Fast moving and tightly plotted, with strong characterization and a likeable protagonist, this is an extremely promising debut." - The Guardian (UK)
"The Dark Winter is a promising debut by David Mark certainly provides a trip to Hull and back." - The Telegraph (UK)
"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." - Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction
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Rated of 5
Dark Winter - Murders in the North of England
First time novelist David Mark hits a bull’s eye with his first effort, the intriguing police procedural, The Dark Winter, which introduces readers to Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy. The action takes place in and around Hull in the north of England.
McAvoy is a gentle giant who loves his family, is not always taken seriously enough by his peers because he is more of an analyst than an action hero, but has an empathetic ability to put pieces of a complex puzzle together and get into the mind of a ruthless killer. What appear to be random murders of individuals with no discernible connection – an elderly man returning to the scene of a long ago sea disaster and a young girl at a church – become links to a greater plot of curious retribution involving sole survivors of tragic events.
This book is a quick read, well plotted, and kept me guessing until the very end. I loved the character development and will certainly look forward to the next installment in what promises to be a new series. This is the type of novel one sits down to read and just keeps on reading to see what transpires next. I would give it 4 ½ special dark chocolate kisses!
David Mark has been a journalist for 15 years, including 7 years as crime reporter with Yorkshire Post in their Hull office. Original Skin is the second novel in the DS Aector McAvoy series. The first, The Dark Winter, was the author's fiction debut.
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