The Dead of Winter
Author: by Lee Collins
Publisher: Angry Robot books:
Release date: 1 Nov 2012
Page Count: 416pp
Reviewer: Phil Andorra (International Man of Mystery)
Lee Collins grew up and lives within sight of the Rocky Mountains but prefers, so his publicity tells us, to spend most of his time indoors reading or playing video games? A bit like the story of the Irishman who didn’t like Guinness, this is guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows. However, he successfully introduces local knowledge and history of his environment into his first novel.
The reader is introduced to Cora Oglesby and her husband Ben following the discovery of the remains of two hunters by the local sheriff. But why did the hunter’s trusty wolfhounds flee the scene without any attempt to protect their masters? The Marshall of Leadville, a rootin- tootin wild-West mining town has never seen anything like it, and neither has Cora when she first encounters the culprit. Fortunately she has friends back East who can help her. But will she receive the weapons needed to defeat her adversary before it turns its attention to the residents of Leadville?
I visualise Cora as somewhere between Annie Oakley and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the lilt of agent Starling from Silence of the Lambs. She is one of many intriguing characters in this novel and the struggle initiated by the arrival of the creature expounds their hopes and fears. The suspense created when our hero faces the creature is a page turner but the real interest for me is the relationship between Cora and Ben. What dark and desperate secret led the couple into this wandering life of constant battle against evil?
I would recommend this book if you like a bit more from vampire stories than pouting teenagers. There is a sequel: She Returns From War, arrives in 2013.