Excerpt from Dead of Winter by P.J. Parrish, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Dead of Winter

by P.J. Parrish

Dead of Winter
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Jan 2001, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

It was just a dull thud, a sound that drifted down to him as he lay in the deepest fathoms of his sleep. He struggled up to the surface and opened his eyes with a start. Darkness, and then, emerging from the shadows, a bulky form and a glint of light. He let out a breath. Just the oak bureau, and his badge laying on top.

The sound had probably come from his dream, and the thought made him relax back into the pillows. But his ears remained alert for foreign sounds amid all the familiar groans and squeaks of the house.

He glanced over at Stephanie, snoring softly by his side. She always kidded him about his excellent hearing. "Tommy, baby, you can hear the snow falling," she laughed. Hell, sometimes he thought so, too. He pulled the quilt up over his wife’s shoulder and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

He rose, shivering in the cold air, and went to the window. He pulled back the drape. Sure enough, it was snowing. Already covered the yard, leaving pillows of meringue on the kids’ swing set. He gazed at the softly falling snow. First big snowfall of the season. It was beautiful.

His eyes narrowed. There was a truck parked across the street, a few houses down, in front of the McCabe house. The headlights were off but he could see the tail of smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. He squinted, trying to remember if he’d seen it before. It looked to be brown, although it was so dirty he couldn’t really tell. He felt his body tense slightly, that involuntary response to an unknown situation.

It was probably nothing. Maybe someone visiting the McCabes. But except for the Christmas lights around the front door, the McCabe house was dark. He squinted to see who was in the car and thought he picked out two forms. Shoot, it was probably that crazy teenager Lisa, necking with some boy just to make her old man mad.

He glanced back at the clock on the bureau. Three ten. Late for a Sunday night, even for Lisa.

He shivered, and he knew it wasn’t from the cold. It was his body sending out its old signals, that familiar release of adrenalin.

Stephanie gave out a soft moan and he looked back at her. It occurred to him, as he watched her, that he should have told her what was going on. He had never held things back from her before and he shouldn’t have now. But she was so happy in this place and he hadn’t wanted to give her a reason to worry. This isn’t like Flint, he had told her not long after they had arrived, they don’t hurt cops in a place like this.

He hadn’t really wanted to leave his old job, especially to work in this speck of a town in the Michigan woods. But the bullet he had taken in the shoulder by that crack-crazed kid had been the last straw. We’re safe here, baby, he told her, we’re safe here.

He moved silently to the closet. He ran his hand along the top shelf until it found the cold metal of his service weapon, a .357 Colt Python. He checked the cylinder and, with a glance back at Stephanie, tiptoed out of the bedroom.

The gun was cold; he could feel it against his thigh through the thin cotton of his pajamas as he crept down the hall. Outside the kids’ room, he paused. The baby had colic and it occurred to him that it might have been just his restless thump that he had heard. He strained his ears in the darkness. Nothing.

Downstairs in the foyer, the white tile floor shimmered with a kaleidoscope of color, created by the Christmas lights outside, refracted through the leaded-glass panel of the front door. He stopped. No sound. Had the truck left? He looked out the small window in the door but couldn’t see it.

He let out a breath of relief and turned away from the door.

A soft tap. Someone knocking. He drew back the small curtain and looked out at the face in the shadows outside.

A sharp, snapping sound.

Copyright P.J. Parrish 2001. All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the author, PJ Parrish

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood
    Bryn Greenwood's debut, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, is a harsh, raw, and ultimately, truthful...
  • Book Jacket: Hot Milk
    Hot Milk
    by Deborah Levy
    When people reach their early 20s, they often choose to go abroad – they want to get away from...
  • Book Jacket: Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    by Joy Williams
    I have to preface this review by saying that I am not a fan of religious fiction - not even books ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Ashes of Fiery Weather
    by Kathleen Donohoe

    "Admirers of Pete Hamill and Kate Atkinson will appreciate this gripping novel." - Library Journal

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.