"It was on that first day of the hunt, an hour after dawn, that the old man found the body of the boy." This classic novel of crime and punishment in deer-hunting country opens on the first day of buck season in remote Hemlock County, Pennsylvania. Long-retired hunter and reclusive hermit W.T. Halvorsen discovers the victim of what at first seems like a hunting accident. After the funeral, the victim's ...
"It was on that first day of the hunt, an hour after dawn, that the old man found the body of the boy." This classic novel of crime and punishment in deer-hunting country opens on the first day of buck season in remote Hemlock County, Pennsylvania. Long-retired hunter and reclusive hermit W.T. Halvorsen discovers the victim of what at first seems like a hunting accident. After the funeral, the victim's father, Dr.Paul Michelson, begins a search for the killer who shot his son, then walked away, letting him bleed to death in the snow. When Michelson too vanishes, his lover Teresa Del Rosario follows him to Hemlock County, fighting her growing fear he has murder in mind.
Then hunter after hunter begins to die. As terror stalks the deep woods, Halvorsen pits his tracking and shooting skills against those of his human quarry and enemy in a deadly cat-and-mouse game deep in the Kinningmahontawany Wild Area.
An epic tale of justice, survival, and two utterly determined men hunting each other through the snow-shrouded hills and ravines in the greatest blizzard in twenty years.
Hemlock County is Poyer's fictional re-creation and evocation of the country and people where he grew up. There are four books in the series. They were first published in this order: The Dead of Winter, Winter in the Heart, As the Wolf Loves Winter, and then Thunder on the Moutain. Thunder on the Mountain, however, takes place during Halvorsen's youth, in 1936, long before the generic present settings of the first three books. Each book stands by itself nonetheless.
"Poyer is a storyteller of penetrating psychological depth, using language of naturalistic beauty and striking, sometimes startling images. Like John O'Hara and William Faulkner, Poyer writes in rich, generous, poetic prose that covers both the full range of human emotion and the most consequential contemporary social issues as they affect America's people...."
"Poyer's Pennsylvania novels resonate as a quest for morality and ethics as he details the need for industry and commerce in a blighted area vs. concerns for the environment. Sometimes there is a clear delineation between right and wrong, but just as often there are situations that entail two good choices. And sometimes, all options seem to be equally distasteful."
"All of the novels center around the character of oil worker and hunter, W.T. ("Racks" or "Red") Halvorsen...He lives deep in the woods in a basement, the remnant of the house he once shared with his wife before it was destroyed by fire...In each novel, he is lured out of his seclusion to right some perceived wrong. In "The Dead of Winter," a young man is shot and killed during the first day of deer season. The boy's father begins stalking and killing hunters in retaliation...."
DAVID POYER grew up in Western Pennsylvania. Millions of copies of his thirty-plus books are in print, including THE MED, THE GULF, THE CIRCLE, THE PASSAGE, TOMAHAWK, CHINA SEA, BLACK STORM, THE COMMAND, THE THREAT, KOREA STRAIT, THE WEAPON, THE CRISIS, and THE TOWERS, USA Today best-selling novels of the modern Navy; and FIRE ON THE WATERS, A COUNTRY OF OUR OWN, and THAT ANVIL OF OUR SOULS, historical fiction set during the Civil War. His work has been translated into Japanese, Dutch, and Italian, and rights have been sold for films and audiobooks.
Poyer’s least-known body of work, however, may be his Hemlock County series, set in a Faulknerian imaginary county in rural Western Pennsylvania. The first was THE DEAD OF WINTER (Tor Books); the second, WINTER IN THE HEART (Forge Books, 1993). AS THE WOLF LOVES WINTER was published in April 1996; it was an alternate selection of The Literary Guild and the Doubleday Book Club. THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN, a historical novel set in Depression-era Pennsylvania, was released in March 1999 by Forge Books/St Martin’s Press, and received starred reviews from all three major reviewing agencies.
Poyer holds a master's degree from George Washington University and has taught or lectured at Annapolis, Flagler College, University of Pittsburgh, Old Dominion University, Armed Forces Staff College, University of North Florida, The New College, and other institutions. He has been a writer in residence at Flagler and Annapolis, and a guest on PBS's "Writer to Writer" series and on Voice of America. His fiction has been required reading in the U.S. Naval Academy’s “Literature of the Sea” course, along with that of Joseph Conrad and Herman Melville. He was a founding editor of the New Virginia Review and is currently a consulting editor for other literary magazines. He teaches in the Creative Writing program at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA.