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Archive for the ‘David Mark’ Category

Fred Stein is on a ship near Iceland, talking to a TV reporter about a shipwreck 40 years ago. He goes on deck for a bit of air and never returns. His body is found several days later in a lifeboat.

Detective Aector McAvoy is sitting in an outdoor square, two weeks before Christmas, with his young son when he hears a scream coming from the church across the square. Running towards the sound, he gets bowled over by a man running from the church. When McAvoy comes to, he finds that fifteen year old Daphne Cotton has been mortally stabbed numerous times.

These two seemingly unrelated deaths form the basis of The Dark Winter by debut British novelist David Mark, who was a journalist for 15 years before¬† becoming turning to mystery writing. McAvoy is a timid giant, having requested the Serious Crimes Unit as a way of disassociating himself with a previous act of catching a serial killer and ratting on a corrupt cop. He’s a man with principles, but a misfit, so he thinks, within the Serious Crimes Unit, as is his boss, Trish Pharoah, promoted into the spot over other senior officers who thought she’d fail. But, neither McAvoy nor Pharoah accept failure.

I’m always interested in a new mystery series, and although I’m typically not a British mystery fan (yes I do like Peter Robinson), The Dark Winter was a grand read.¬† McAvoy and Pharoah are headstrong cops who care about catching the real killer, not just chalking up another closed case. They’re human. They’re intelligent.

The Dark Winter has interesting characters, a believable plot, a fair amount of action. Readers will be drawn to both McAvoy and Pharoah, as well as the rest of the team. It’s nice to see a ‘regular guy’ as a policeman, a man with doubts, desires, principles and a family man in total love with his wife and son.

Not that I need another mystery series to keep up with, but I’d certainly welcome a second McAvoy/Pharoah book. I highly recommend this.

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