The Dark Winter (Detective Sergeant McAvoy Series #1)
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The Dark Winter (Detective Sergeant McAvoy Series #1)

4.0 29
by David Mark
     
 

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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

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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.)
From the Publisher
Praise for THE DARK WINTER by David Mark:

“British crime reporter Mark’s outstanding first novel, a suspenseful whodunit, introduces Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy…Readers will want to see more of the complicated McAvoy, who well deserves a sophisticated and disturbing plot.”

Publisher’s Weekly (Starred)
“[A]n impressive debut. John Harvey readers should take note.”
Booklist (starred)

“With a poetic intensity in its prose, an unpredictable plot and a Scottish detective, Mark’s novel gripped me from its opening pages.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

“It will not be long until new voices in the genre are hailed as the ‘next David Mark.’”
—Bookpage.com

“Fast moving and tightly plotted, with strong characterization and a likeable protagonist, this is an extremely promising debut.”

The Guardian

 

The Dark Winter is a promising debut by David Mark… certainly provides a trip to Hull and back.”

The Telegraph

 

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 even if his job is in jeopardy. Luckily, he finds a believer in his boss, another dedicated officer who also is fighting to keep her job.

—Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction

 

The Dark Winter is an exceptional debut from an exciting new talent. David Mark is an original and captivating new voice.”

—Val McDermid

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101599891
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/25/2012
Series:
Detective Sergeant McAvoy Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
168,752
File size:
566 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for THE DARK WINTER by David Mark:

“British crime reporter Mark’s outstanding first novel, a suspenseful whodunit, introduces Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy…Readers will want to see more of the complicated McAvoy, who well deserves a sophisticated and disturbing plot.”
Publisher’s Weekly (Starred)

“[A]n impressive debut. John Harvey readers should take note.”
Booklist (starred)

“With a poetic intensity in its prose, an unpredictable plot and a Scottish detective, Mark’s novel gripped me from its opening pages.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“It will not be long until new voices in the genre are hailed as the ‘next David Mark.’”
—Bookpage.com

“Fast moving and tightly plotted, with strong characterization and a likeable protagonist, this is an extremely promising debut.”
The Guardian

The Dark Winter is a promising debut by David Mark… certainly provides a trip to Hull and back.”
The Telegraph

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 even if his job is in jeopardy. Luckily, he finds a believer in his boss, another dedicated officer who also is fighting to keep her job.
—Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction

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

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Meet the Author

David Mark has been a journalist for fifteen years, including seven years as crime reporter. The Dark Winter, the first in the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy series, is his fiction debut. He lives in Great Britain.

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The Dark Winter 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
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.
byter67 More than 1 year ago
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.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
There's a new cop in the English city of Hull.  No sooner does he start his job than he views a 15 year old Somalian adopted girl being slash down in their central church.  He has even seen the hooded slasher.  But is he a serial killer?  Seems that survivors of fatal incidents are being murdered.  Thus starts this gruesome murder mystery with a unique plot for a murderer. Perhaps some of the best parts are the development of the characters.  Aector McAvoy is definitely an experienced cop, and rumors  abound about his past with a dirty cop and a paid killer.  Now he's supposed to be relegated to computer work because of his unique talents in finding information from a desk.  His female supervisor tries to untangle his skills through his quiet personality.  Aector is profoundly in love with his beautiful wife and young son.  Through all this is the description of a dank and wet city of Hull. This was a great start for a continuing mystery series.  Aector is not reminiscent of any policeman that I've previously read about.  I also appreciated the twisted motive that was also unique to this story.  Definitely will read more from this author.  Listened to this on Audible and really appreciated the dramatic affect, especially Aector's Scottish accent amongst the English.
iPodReader More than 1 year ago
Lovely engaging characters. Skillful plotting. Masterful drama. I look forward to reading more in this series.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Love this series when is the next one
BrandieC More than 1 year ago
The Dark Winter is the first book in the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy series and is the weakest of the four I have read to date. In it, we are introduced to McAvoy, a "gentle giant" figure who is devoted to his wife and children but is being treated as a pariah by many of his colleagues because he outed the senior members of his team for police corruption. For his first case with the new Serious and Organized Crime Unit headed by Detective Superintendent Trish Pharaoh, McAvoy must solve a series of murders which are connected only in the mind of the killer. I had two major complaints with The Dark Winter. First the killer was obvious the minute he was mentioned (as was his endgame, which McAvoy inexplicably did not see coming). This is not always a fatal flaw for me in a police procedural, particularly if the characters themselves are well-developed, which leads me to my second complaint: none of Mark's characters have more than two dimensions. I realize that we are just getting to know McAvoy in this book, but I didn't find out enough about him to care about him. Mark has made a fundamental error by not giving us more information about McAvoy's background, especially with respect to his role in the corruption scandal; without such grounding, McAvoy's strained interpersonal relationships with his co-workers simply don't ring true and do not arouse the reader's sympathy. Along the same lines, I was dismayed at the hints of a sexual or romantic attraction between McAvoy and Pharaoh, which clashed uncomfortably with McAvoy's otherwise consistent (almost to the point of boredom) portrayal as a strong moral figure. What redeemed the series for me was Mark's decision not to go with the easy and expected resolution. This flash of the unexpected (not to mention my having already agreed to review books 3 and 4) means that I will be turning my attention next to Original Skin, the second McAvoy installment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and held my interest to the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do love a good British mystery/thriller. This is a delightful addition. Looking forward to more of Aector McAvoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carfir More than 1 year ago
Good book but did not like the ending.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good one
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and intriguing English police mystery.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good characters, enough action to keep me interested, not gory, story kept moving.