Tuesday, April 23, 2019
The Dark Winter by David Mark
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.