Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Dark Winter by David Mark

I'm always happy to stumble across a police procedural series in which the officer's family life is included. My all-time favorite example of this is Dorothy Simpson's Luke Thanet series, set in Kent, England. David Mark introduces Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy inThe Dark Winter. Because this book came out in 2012, I'm happy that I can immediately pick up the second in the series. McAvoy is an unusual police detective, and his family is the heart of his life.

The Dark Winter begins with a sixty-three-year-old man on a trawler off Iceland. He's there reliving a terrible memory for a film crew. He was the only survivor of a ship that sank there twenty years earlier. But, Fred won't survive to tell the rest of his story.

In Hull, England, Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy, has the day off with his family. The member of the Serious and Organized Crime Unit is a 6'5" Scot, who chose to remain in Hull after a recent terrible incident in the CID. He needs the time with his pregnant wife and young son. But, when screams come from Holy Trinity Church, he's the first one heading to the scene until he runs right into a hooded man in a balaclava, a man with a machete.

In the course of the investigation, McAvoy will encounter victims, a young girl hacked to death in church, a survivor of one brutal rape and attack who is attacked again. And, he starts to find an unusual connection between cases that appear to have no links.

McAvoy is an uncomfortable fit with Detective Superintendent Trish Pharaoh's team. He's not a good team player, and he fails to inform his boss, although Pharaoh is willing to give him some leeway. She sees McAvoy as a real policeman, who is determined to do more than just put in his time and close a case.

Who is McAvoy? That's part of the meat of this book. "There's a gentleness about his movements, his gestures, that suggest he is afraid of his own size." He's "an educated, well-spoken, physically imposing emblem." There's a sadness about him. He's a computer geek who is careful to be politically correct. He likes the process and orderliness of detection. But, he has flashes of insight that cause him to go off without telling anyone, flashes that often prove to link to the investigation. And, perhaps most important, he accepts that if he's hunting evil, he must be on the side of good. McAvoy is determined to have justice. He doesn't want any answer. He wants the truth.

David Mark's debut mystery, debut police procedural, was everything I ask for with an intriguing police detective and an intriguing case. I can't wait to pick up the second in the series, Original Skin.

David Mark's website is http://www.davidmarkwriter.co.uk

The Dark Winter by David Mark. Blue Rider Press, 2012. ISBN 9780399158643 (hardcover), 292p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I bought a copy of the book.


Jeff Meyerson said...

So glad you reviewed this one, Lesa. George Easter has reviewed the series favorably for years in his Deadly Pleasures magazine, and I had this same book out from the library a couple of months ago, only to have to return it because I had too many others to read at the time. I will get it again soon.

Lesa said...

I think you should, Jeff, when you get a chance. I've already picked up the second from the library.

Jeff Meyerson said...

OK, it's on hold. I need to finish the Anne Hillerman and read the new Peter Robinson books, and by then maybe it will arrive.

Lesa said...

I'll be interested to read your comments, Jeff, when you get around to it. Who knows? It might not even be this checkout. Could be too many other library books.

Netteanne said...

Thank you for the review, I read this about 5 years ago and loved it. I never got to book two, it happens to be in my library so I will pick it up today.

McAvoy, as I remember is a very interesting character and does not always follow policy.

Lesa said...

You're right. He is an interesting character, Netteanne. I'm looking forward to the second book, too. Right now, I'm reading one Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' Bill Slider books.

Sandie Herron said...

Sounds intriguing. I'll have to check it out on audio ... when I'm through with Julie Hyzy's White House chef series.

Lesa said...

My sister and I read the entire White House chef series, Sandie. A couple weak titles, but, overall, very satisfying.

Diane said...

Yea!! Added it to my library list yesterday when you did your library talk. Another series to add to my collection! I am pretty much caught up with the others.
Thanks for the recommendation of Reading in Bed. I love his essays! When he wrote about series books I laughed and thought Me Exactly. I actually do read them in bed before sleep and if I wake during the night.
I don't always agree with him. He wrote about not finishing a book and I have to admit it took me a long time before I said Life is too short to finish an unappealing book (although I do tune to the last chapter to see what happened.) But when he said he did not finish Sophie's Choice I was surprised. That is a book I will always remember and it haunts me to this day. Maybe that is a women thing?
Keep up your good work. You are my go-to lady for all things about books. And thanks to many of your posters who also recommend books. Have found many winners in the comments section.

Lesa said...

Oh, Diane! You just made my day saying you added this book, and enjoyed Reading in Bed. I didn't agree with everything he said, but with most of it, so I loved the book.

And, then you said my readers and I help you find winners. Thank you. You made this librarian/blogger's day.

Gram said...

Elizabeth Linington under all her names wrote police procedurals in which the family was prominent. I loved those, but they are probably hard to fin now and should be read in order.

Lesa said...

Oh, I read those, Gram. I liked the series she wrote about Mendoza.