The Dark Winter (Detective Sergeant McAvoy Series #1)

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A series of suspicious deaths has rocked Hull, a port city in England as old and mysterious as its bordering sea. In the middle of a Christmas service, a teenage girl adopted from Sierra Leone is chopped down with a machete in front of the entire congregation. A retired trawlerman is found dead at the scene of a tragedy he escaped, the only survivor, forty years ago. An ugly fire rages in a working-class neighborhood, and when the flames die away, a body is discovered, ...

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The Dark Winter (Detective Sergeant McAvoy Series #1)

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Overview

A series of suspicious deaths has rocked Hull, a port city in England as old and mysterious as its bordering sea. In the middle of a Christmas service, a teenage girl adopted from Sierra Leone is chopped down with a machete in front of the entire congregation. A retired trawlerman is found dead at the scene of a tragedy he escaped, the only survivor, forty years ago. An ugly fire rages in a working-class neighborhood, and when the flames die away, a body is discovered, burned beyond recognition.
            Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy is sure there is a connection between these crimes, but his fellow officers are not convinced—they would rather get a quick arrest than bother themselves with finding the true killer. Torn between his police duties and his aching desire to spend more time with his pregnant wife and young son, McAvoy is an unlikely hero: a family man more obsessed with being a decent cop, a physically imposing man far more comfortable exploring databases that being gung-ho with his muscle. Compelled by his keen sense of justice, McAvoy decides to strike out alone—but in the depths of the dark winter, on the hunt for a murderer, it’s difficult to forget what happened the last time he found himself on the wrong side of a killer’s blade…

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British crime reporter Mark's outstanding first novel, a suspenseful whodunit, introduces Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy, who is struggling professionally after a tumultuous year that included his weeding out a pack of corrupt cops. While enjoying a treat at a Hull coffee shop with his four-year-old son, McAvoy hears frantic cries from the church across the square. He races into the church, where McAvoy is bowled over by the man who has just fatally stabbed 15-year-old Daphne Cotton on the altar steps. But soon another matter draws him away from the Cotton case: Fred Stein, the sole survivor of a 1968 collision at sea that claimed the lives of his fellow crew members, has apparently committed suicide after agreeing to assist a documentary filmmaker revisiting the naval tragedy. Readers will want to see more of the complicated McAvoy, who well serves a sophisticated and disturbing plot. Agent: Oliver Munson, Blake Friedmann Literary. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399158643
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press
  • Publication date: 10/25/2012
  • Series: Detective Sergeant McAvoy Series , #1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

David Mark has been a journalist for 15 years. He is the author of the DS Aector McAvoy series. He lives in Yorkshire.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Fabulous Debut

    David Mark's first fiction novel is full of interesting characters. Sergeant McAvoy is down right endearing, principled and smart. Though he has had to earn respect in his new position, he has done so without compromising his integrity. The novel itself is a novel, complex story with many unexpected twists and turns - right up to the end. The reader will NOT figure out the ending ahead of time. I can hardly wait for Mark's next book about this thoughtful Sergeant. (Someone, please, PLEASE tell me another book is in process!) Don't pass up this great crime novel set in England.

    16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The book opens with a prologue describing the making of a docume

    The book opens with a prologue describing the making of a documentary about a tragedy in the late ‘70’s when a ferocious storm off the coast of Norway caused the loss of a brand new super-trawler which sank, killing all crew members save one, Fred Stein, who is now re-living the incident for the benefit of the cameras. En route to the spot where the ship sank, and seventy miles off the Icelandic coast, Stein vanishes.

    In an impressive debut novel, David Mark introduces Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy, a Scotsman working out of the Humberside Police CID Serious and Organized Crime Unit in Hull, in the East Riding area of Yorkshire. A dedicated policeman in his ‘30’s, and a shy man who [surprisingly] blushes easily, McAvoy thinks of himself as one of the ones who still gives a damn about the rules. His adored wife, the one who ‘keeps his heart safe for him,’ is heavily pregnant with their second child. As he sits with their four-year-old son in a café across the square from Holy Trinity Church, the city’s biggest and most historic church, two weeks before Christmas, a horrific scene unfolds before him: a fifteen-year-old black girl is stabbed to death on the altar steps. McAvoy momentarily has the perpetrator in his clutches before he escapes. It is discovered that the girl was the lone survivor of a massacre in Sierra Leone in which her entire family was murdered, hacked to death with a machete during the genocide which prevailed at that time.

    There are other murders, with similarities which are overlooked by most the cops working the cases, but McAvoy does what he does best: follows his instincts, despite the problems that causes him with his superiors. The story swings back and forth between the various lines of investigation, and everything is tied up neatly by the end, with an unexpected and riveting denouement.

    Notwithstanding the dark nature of the story, I was completely charmed by the writing. Driving along a roadway on a rainy day, McAvoy “fancies that a rabbit is streaking across the wet gravel to his rear, a moment of fur and exclamation mark of tail, glimpsed in the foggy glass.” A woman is described as having “short bobbed hair [which] looks as though it is drawn in pencil.”

    Mr. Mark has created an intriguing protagonist, and I look forward to the sequel.

    Recommended.

    11 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    I have not read it yet, but in the review section the reviews do

    I have not read it yet, but in the review section the reviews do no require a complete book report.  If I had read the 4-6 paragraphs of one review I would not need to buy the book.  Keep it short

    4 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2013

    An interesting story premise, the murders of persons who have na

    An interesting story premise, the murders of persons who have narrowly escaped as sole survivors of a previous disaster in their lives. The protagonist, Sergeant McAvoy, seems a bit too deferential and unsure of himself to my taste, and a bit dense as a detective as well only being pointed in the right direction by another character and only belatedly recognizing that he himself fits the killer's victim profile. Still, a well-written tale and I'll be generous with my rating.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2013

    Wonderful British police procedural

    Lovely engaging characters. Skillful plotting. Masterful drama. I look forward to reading more in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    I was thoroughly pleased with the book and look forward to more

    I was thoroughly pleased with the book and look forward to more in this series. As another reviewer has mentioned, the ending comes as a surprise and for once I hadn't an inkling who the culprit might turn out to be. There are plenty of loose ends in the story to be explored in future entries, but enough resolution to make for a very satisfying read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    good characters, enough action to keep me interested, not gory,

    good characters, enough action to keep me interested, not gory, story kept moving.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    Loved this book

    I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and held my interest to the very end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    Good

    I enjoyed this book, although a little less of MacAvoy's feelings would have improved it. A little insight into the protagonist's emotions enhances the development, but in places this felt too much like wallowing.

    Nonetheless, I would certainly buy another book in this series. The plot is interesting and at times exciting, and the writing is stellar.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    Mmm

    I do love a good British mystery/thriller.

    This is a delightful addition. Looking forward to more of Aector McAvoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Silentkit

    She sighed and curled up in a nest.

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    Not bad....

    Good book but did not like the ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Hello

    Poppy

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Good

    Good one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    ?

    ?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    LE<_>AVE SIL<_>VERSTR<_>EAM ALO<_>NE!!!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    Excellent!

    Well written and intriguing English police mystery.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Tumblekit

    Im hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews

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