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The Dark Winter (DS Aector McAvoy #1)

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,160 ratings  ·  290 reviews
Hull, East Yorkshire. Two weeks before Christmas. Three bodies in the morgue. The victims - each a sole survivor of a past tragedy - killed in the manner they once cheated death. Somebody is playing God. And it falls to DS Aector McAvoy to stop their deadly game.
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Quercus (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,991)
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James Thane
Christmas is approaching in the middle of a bleak, depressing winter. Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy works in Hull, a bleak, depressing town in East Yorkshire. While braving the outdoors with his young son one afternoon, Aector hears screams coming from the town's cathedral. He races to the church doors only to be bowled over by an assassin wielding a machete. Aector, though a large man himself, is momentarily incapacitated and the assassin escapes, leaving behind in the cathedral the body of ...more
Three bodies are in the morgue in Hull, East Yorkshire; each of them a sole survivor of a past tragedy. Someone is playing God, targeting the people who have once cheated death. It is up to Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy to try and stop them. In the depths of The Dark Winter, driven by need for justice will he find himself on the wrong side of the killer’s blade?

Aector McAvoy is an unlikely hero; he is more of an office worker than an investigator and you get the feeling he would more comforta
Nancy Oakes
not quite 4 stars -- like 3.5, but only because I felt the epilogue in this novel was so not necessary. The rest of the novel, for the most part, was very well done, considering that this book is the author's first foray into the world of novel writing. I've done a longer review elsewhere if you're interested, but here's the gist:

The more crime fiction I read the more I think I'm starting to see it all, but that's not at all the case in The Dark Winter, by David Mark. Sure, you'll find some of
There's a new cop in the English city of Hull. No sooner does he start his job than he views a 15 year old Somalian adopted girl being slash down in their central church. He has even seen the hooded slasher. But is he a serial killer? Seems that survivors of fatal incidents are being murdered. Thus starts this gruesome murder mystery with a unique plot for a murderer.

Perhaps some of the best parts are the development of the characters. Aector McAvoy is definitely an experienced cop, and rumors a
Received from Goodreads First Reads. Let me state by way of context that I am a fussy crime reader, it’s a genre I enjoy but find I can often be disappointed by what I pick up.

Having read a couple of let-down crime novels recently I gave myself a bit of a breather before reading this, as I wanted to approach it with a properly open mind. I am glad I did because it is a really good read. David Mark has an excellent writing style and has crafted his characters with a lot of enjoyment and empathy,
David Marks debut novel about a series of seemingly unrelated murders that are being investigated by, among others, Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy, is a a winning police/detective novel in the tradition of Ed Mcbain, but set in Hull, England. Like many a police procedural, Marks has the police follow the clues to the killer by old fashioned police work and intuition. Reading the flyleaf may clue us into the plot of the story, but the detectives must follow the actual clues to find the murderer ...more
This is a cop procedural set in Hull in East Riding of Yorkshire. The main character is DS Aector McAvoy a huge man with some insecurity issues.

This is a first book (I think) but it is well written and doesn't feel like a first book. It is set in a run down town in a time of recession. This resonated with me as the locations were ones I knew and were similar to many in which I have been brought up. The author describes the run down buildings, the unemployment and the depression, very well. His d
Terri Lynn
I wasn't fond of this book. Set in the port city of Hull, England, Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy is a whiz on computers and though he is huge and looks intimidating, I found him to rather wimpy and boring. This dull officer is married to Roison and they have a 4 year old named Fin and a baby on the way. What was the author high on when he named these people? McAvoy's boss is a woman named Pharoah.

The book is written in the most annoying "present tense" manner which seems awkward and way to
Darren Sant
David Mark brings Hull screaming and kicking to violent life in his debut novel The Dark Winter. A police procedural novel that is drawn with vivid characters and stark deacriptions.

Detective Sergeant McAvoy is a troubled character. The author eludes to past events that have left McAvoy out in the cold and untrusted by colleagues. Events that led to the dismissal of a senior officer. The air of mystery suurounding McAvoy is one of the most endearing things about the novel and Mark uses it to go
Mallory Heart Reviews
May 17, 2012 Mallory Heart Reviews rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mallory Heart by: Great Minds Think Aloud
Shelves: may-2012-reads
What do an elderly man who survived a trawler accident in 1968, an adolescent girl adopted from war-torn Sierra Leone, and an alcoholic former arsonist have in common? The police don’t know-yet; but someone has decided that since these individuals didn’t die when they should have, they will die now-each in the way that they had each earlier survived. So the old man dies of exposure off Iceland; the young girl is murdered in church, in front of the congregation, priests, and acolytes, by machete; ...more
Matt Dalton
I am not usually a big fan of crime mystery / thrillers but, as you may have noticed, I am working my way through the books available for 20 pence via Amazon’s Kindle store and this was one of the options available to me. To say that I downloaded several other books and read them first after acquiring this probably tells you all you need to know about my relationship with the genre…

It will, therefore, come as somewhat of a surprise when I reveal that I absolutely loved the book from start to fin
This is one of the best debut crime novels I've seen in many years, with excellent characterisation and enough twists and turns to keep even the most impatient of readers interested from beginning to end.

The author's background as a journalist shines through in the descriptions of Hull and of events, which are shockingly graphic at times, as well as in the fast pace of the story. The plot is imaginative and the theme of the murders is original enough for Dark Winter to stand out from the crowd.

Rebecca Bradley
I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Winter by David Mark. I think I went into it with pre-conceived idea's on what to expect, but Mark very quickly turned all that on its head. I was expecting dark and hard-boiled. Some stereotypical traits. What I got was a DS who was real and human and had a warmth about him. A warmth in contrast with a cold hard environment. I loved how this worked. The sense of place is incredibly well drawn and you can feel the cold and the emptiness of a low economic climate area, w ...more
First Sentence: The old man looks up, and for a moment it feels as though he is staring through the wrong end of a telescope.

An old man is telling a journalist the story of how he survived the sinking of a trawler thirty years ago. They take a break and he disappears only to be found dead later in a lifeboat off the coast of Finland. Det. Sgt. McAvoy is sitting at an outdoor café with his son when they hear panicked screaming from the church across the way. As he arrives, he barely being struck
Carey Combe
I enjoyed this debut novel a lot more than I thought I would. Great, reasonably realistic characters, ludicrous but enjoyable plot (well I suppose the killer was loopy) and well maintained suspense.
[Gerecenseerd voor]

Op basis van zijn manuscript voor 'Dark Winter', Nederlandse titel 'De mazen van het net', en de opzet voor een reeks hadden meerdere uitgevers belangstelling voor David Mark (01-01-1977). Hij verkeerde in de luxepositie te kunnen kiezen en ging voor Quercus, de uitgeverij die het best leek te begrijpen wat hem voor ogen stond.
De auteur woont in de buurt van Hull, officieel Kingston upon Hull, in Zuidoost-Engeland, een gebied dat hij kent als zijn broekzak. De re
Sergeant Aector (Hector) McAvoy is a mass of contradictions. He is a large muscled cop with the capacity both for great gentleness and (in this case) physical intimidation. He is an honest cop who cares too much about justice (in the eyes of his colleagues, who resent his having taken down a crooked superintendent the year before). He stays idealistic, though treated badly by his superiors. And then comes a case in which all of his strengths and weaknesses come into play. It is actually several ...more
Christine Blachford
This was really quite a good thriller, a debut novel done very well. I had a few problems with it along the way, but overall it was definitely worth reading, almost a page-turner, with some intriguing characters.

The present tense prose is unusual, and sometimes it would flow well, but sometimes it would feel just a little jarring. The characters were well drawn, although sometimes I felt, quite unsually, that there was a little bit too much of the inner angst from our main protagonist McAvoy.

I q
The unexpected events in The Dark Winter had me enthralled through most of this book, and best of all, I didn't understand who the killer was until the very end.

Aector McAvoy is a Detective Sargent in England. He is attacked by the perpetrator of a heinous murder as he tries to capture the man. It seems Aector has been in scrapes before while trying to catch criminals. There's some secret that the police force has burried, and Aector has basically been at his desk shuffling data, after almost be
THE DARK WINTER by David Mark is a mystery, the first book in a projected series with Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy as the main character. He's a big man on the outside with a little man on the inside. Mark says so.

McAvoy strives to be politically correct and proper. He is also timid. But intuition is his gift. He intuitively connects murder cases even though no one case has anything to do with another. He intuitively knows that the third and fourth murder attempts will occur and in what ord
I really enjoyed this debut crime novel and think that David Mark could do for Hull what John Harvey does for Nottingham and Chris Simms does for Manchester. I thought the novel painted an incredibly realistic picture of Hull as a city on the slide and you got a real sense of the atmosphere of the city in all its grim reality. I thought that McAvoy was a good grounded character without the cliched baggage that crime writers are so fond of shoe-horning into their books and that alone would encour ...more
I really, really enjoyed this! What a refreshing change it is to have a detective in this genre who isn't the stereotypical flawed maverick with an idiosyncratic style and a drinking problem. I found McAvoy a likeable but rounded character, and the premise of a murderer wiping out lucky survivors of tragedies was fascinating. Mark avoided falling into the "grittiness" trap, which must have been tempting when dealing with towns like Hull and Grimsby, yet still presented a realistic picture of the ...more
One of the best books I've picked up in a long time -- and a first outing for author David Mark. Detective Aector McAvoy is a smart guy who likes to stick to the rules, but the politics that surround him inevitably cause him to do things his own way. Lots of compelling mysteries are drawn together about halfway through as McAvoy and his few confederates realize what the bad guy is trying to do with wildly disparate killings. However, I was never quite sure how the punchy climax would come about. ...more
Nancy McFarlane
Dark Winter is a fantastic debut of a police procedural series that takes place in northern England. Just as Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy seems to be able to put himself in the mind of a killer, David Mark has developed his characters so completely that the reader can almost put himself in the mind of McAvoy as he is connecting dots that no one else even sees. McAvoy may be a gentle giant of a man but he is also determined to get at the truth even if his job is in jeopardy. Luckily, he finds ...more
Picked up an ARC of this on NetGalley and I was pleasantly surprised. Dark Winter was my introduction to the author and I enjoyed his style (present tense, not too wordy - and yet descriptive enough to bring the characters and situations alive easily).

I'm not sure if David Mark has written another book with the main character in it; there are several references to a past event that makes me wonder if there was a first book, but I can't find anything. Perhaps it was just backstory.

At any rate, t
The first in a new detective series and very promising it is too!
From a disillusioned detective who has had his card's marked for causing descension with the upper echelons of the force for his "honest, by the book" demeanor. We find McAvoy stumbling onto what could turn out to be a interwoven crime that has eluded his colleagues. With the support form his new Super he goes onto realise the mesh of people and circumstances that draw them together.
Wonderful televisual characters with a very mode
Not a bad debut novel from David Mark. Aector McAvoy is a Detective Sergeant with a past. He is trying to settle in to a new job in Hull. Two weeks before Christmas a teenage girl is stabbed to death and McAvoy tangles with the killer getting slightly hurt in the process. During the same time frame there are two other deaths. McAvoy realises the 3 are connected.

I still haven't quite made up my mind about this one. Some elements are excellent. I liked how McAvoy's past is slowly revealed while st
This detective is hard to put down. So much so, when I finished the third in the triolgy-to-date, I went out and picked up this first one (and have now, likewise, finished and am working on the second).

Admittedly, the author is working a formula: People die, or get maimed or blowed up. Other people, likewise. There seems no connection (here, one of the deaths occurred in another country and had already been ruled either accidental or suicide), but McAvoy (and, until near the end, only McAvoy) se
Max Read
“A mild mannered detective mystery “

David Mark writes an intriguing murder mystery novel taking place in the region of Yorkshire, an historic county of Northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Mark was a journalist for some 15 years and had accumulated several tries at novels before producing his debut “The Dark Winter”. In this work Mark creates his mild mannered sleuth, one detective sergeant Aector (Hector) McAvoy, a giant, timid, humble Highlander, living and working on an eli
Michael Martz
I really liked 'The Dark Winter', at least the first 90% or so of it. Well-written, an intricate plot, an interesting location, good character development, and the good guys win- literally, all the things I look for when experiencing a new author for the first time. David Mark is definitely a writer I want to see more from in the future.

The main characters, especially McAvoy (especially) and Pharoah were very well done. Good rapport between them, plus a smattering of sexual tension helped move t
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David spent more than 15 years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with The Yorkshire Post - walking the Hull streets that would later become the setting for the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy novels.

His writing is heavily influenced by the court cases he covered: the defeatist and jaded police officers; the incompetent investigators; the inertia of the justice system and
More about David Mark...

Other Books in the Series

DS Aector McAvoy (4 books)
  • Original Skin (Aector McAvoy, #2)
  • Sorrow Bound (Aector McAvoy, #3)
  • Taking Pity (Aector McAvoy, #4)
Original Skin (Aector McAvoy, #2) Sorrow Bound (Aector McAvoy, #3) Taking Pity (Aector McAvoy, #4)

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