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Deep Winter

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3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  321 ratings  ·  91 reviews
For fans of Alice Sebold and Scott Smith, a dark, gripping debut novel of literary suspense about a devastating murder in an isolated town that appears to be the work of a man with the mind of a child—but could the truth be hidden in the swirling snow?

In the small town of Wyalusing in eastern Pennsylvania, a woman is found brutally murdered one winter night. Next to the bo
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 20th 2014 by Blue Rider Press
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  • Deep Winter by Samuel W. Gailey
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    Release date: Feb 24, 2015
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    James Thane
    This is an atmospheric novel set in the middle of winter in a tiny town in eastern Pennsylvania named Wyalusing. At the center of the story is Danny Bedford, a giant of a man who was left severely challenged mentally in an accident in which both of his parents died while Danny was still a young boy.

    Since that time, Danny's life has been a stern trial. He was raised by a bitter hard-drinking uncle and after the death of the uncle supports himself by tending to a laundromat. He lives in a tiny roo
    ...more
    Joseph
    Deep Winter: A Novel by Samuel W. Gailey is a small town murder story. Gailey is from rural Pennsylvania and earned his Bachelor's degree in English Literature. His previous work was the indie comic book Sanctum. He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angles.

    Rural Pennsylvania in the 1980s has always had some secrets; now it has a murder. Wyalusing is like many small towns. Everyone knows everyone and no one really changes. The story centers around Danny. Danny nearly drowned as a
    ...more
    Raven
    Set deep in the heart of rural Pennsylvania, Deep Winter hits you with the toxic blast of Frank Bill, combined with the raw emotional intensity of Daniel Woodrell. Focusing on the confusion wrought in the aftermath of a brutal murder in a small town community, with a cast of characters ranging from the good to the exceedingly bad, this is a book that has more than a shock or two in store for the unsuspecting reader…

    The defining characteristic of Gailey’s writing is his incredibly natural and flu
    ...more
    Liz Wilkins
    Coming 20th February 2014 from Penguin Group Blue Rider Press.

    Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy via netgalley.

    A devastating murder in an isolated small town sets off an unstoppable chain of events made more complicated—and more dangerous—by the town’s dark secrets.

    A clever and compelling character driven novel about the events leading up to and the aftermath of a brutal murder. Told from several points of view over a short period of time, this was a fascinating old school
    ...more
    Julie Ehlers
    I always had trouble watching the U.S. version of The Office, because I would sit there trying to figure out if anyone on the show genuinely seemed like they were from Scranton (the verdict: maybe Dwight, no one else). There's really no such thing as a "generic" part of the country populated with "just folks"--every area has its own traits and quirks, and if you're creating art you dismiss that fact at your own peril.

    As it happens, 2014 was a big year for fiction set in northeastern PA--there we
    ...more
    Sandy Hall
    I received this book as an early read via NetGalley. This was very well written as far as character description, dialogue, speed at which the story rolled along - but I'm not convinced there was a plot. With the exception of the owners of the laundromat, none of the characters - including the protagonist - had any especially redeeming qualities, they either seemed outright, and often over the top, horrible or utterly forgettable wastes of space. This whole novel was basically a vignette of an un ...more
    Ayn Carrillo Gailey
    I got to read an advanced copy of this book "Deep Winter" when it was acquired by Blue Rider Press/Penguin USA. If you liked Heather Gudenkamp's "Weight of Silence," "Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold, or "Simple Plan" by Scott Smith, then you will like this book. It is a page turner, alternating pov's between interesting characters that you want to root for or that drive you mad (as they are supposed to). In the end, this story has all the mystery and action one wants from a thriller, but also has ...more
    Snotchocheez

    Clunky. but compulsively readable, Deep Winter, set in an indeterminate time (probably late 1970s-early 80s) in Wyalusing, PA (a town of less than 500 known for little more than hosting an annual fair to celebrate the origin of the American standard "Camptown Races"), recounts the hours before and after a gruesome murder of a local waitress.

    Clunky, because it takes an incredible leap of faith to imagine the police being so incredibly stupid (even in the 70s-80s, even in Podunk, PA) not to figur
    ...more
    Alma  Ramos-McDermott
    When Danny was 5 years old, he fell through thin ice and was submerged for more than 10 minutes. His parents drowned trying to rescue him, and he sustained severe brain damage. Read more about this extraordinary book on my blog "Should I read it or not?": http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.c...
    Graham &
    Read an advanced galley of this book after seeing the glowing recommendation by author Urban Waite ('Terror of Living', 'Carrion Birds'), one of my favorite suspense writers. 'Deep Winter' is a great, fast-paced read. More depth, reality and heart than GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, while maintaining as much suspense. Enjoyed the alternating POV as much as I did in WEIGHT OF SILENCE. Looking forward to whatever this author puts out next.
    John Burley
    Samuel W. Gailey grew up in a small Pennsylvania town much like the one depicted in his riveting debut novel. The book follows the town’s inhabitants through the buildup and aftermath of the murder of one of its well-loved residents. It’s a nasty slaying and an ugly cover-up, and the local sheriff and state trooper are in a race against time to capture the assailant before anyone else does. Because in the snow-blanketed woods of Wyalusing, murderers are hunted not just by the law, but by the one ...more
    Catherine
    Picked this book up on a whim from my library and boy, did I like it. Touted as a combination of a Simple Plan by Scott Smith and In the Woods by Tara French, I was intrigued. The book left me feeling many things. Mainly, how can so many things go wrong and yet things turn out so right? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys murder mysteries that are not a mystery and who knows that ordinary life is sometimes much deeper that it first seems. A highly enjoyable read.
    Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    Deep Winter by Samuel W. Gailey is highly recommended debut novel of suspense for those with a taste for noir set in a frozen rural landscape.

    It is the dead of winter and Danny Bedford, a mentally challenged man, is framed by the real killer as the murderer of Mindy Knolls, one of the few people in the small town of Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, who is his friend. As the body count rises, this dark novel is told from the point of view of several different characters.

    Is Deep Winter by Samuel W. Gailey
    ...more
    Leslie Lehr
    Deep Winter is far more than a suspense thriller - even the New York Times describes it as "beautifully written." This is a tour de force exploration of a small town, where each of the well drawn characters leave clear tracks in the snow. The setting is as much of a character as the hero, and the mystery is not about the murder, but whether justice will be served. The characters have such complexity that you root for every honest moment. The violence is uncomfortable, as it should be, and the m ...more
    Kim McGee
    This book will upset you and I believe that was the intention. It will stay with you like a huge plate of greasy chili cheese fries - great going down but the meal lives with you for a while and not in a good way. It will make worry about how you treat people who are different and hope that you are kind and patient. A tragic accident when Danny was young leaves him with brain damage and the mind and demeanor of a young child. He does his best to stay cheerful and out of people's way and can't un ...more
    Luanne Ollivier
    Deep Winter is Samuel W. Gailey's debut novel.

    Gentle giant Danny has lived in Wyalusing, a small town in Northern Pennsylvania, for his entire life. An accident has left Danny with brain injuries, but he has made a small place for himself. And he tries to lead asmall life as he is the target of taunts and bullying and has few friends. But Mindy, the waitress who serves him breakfast every morning is an exception. She has only treated him with kindness. Danny walks to her trailer on her birthday
    ...more
    Cathy Cole
    Deep Winter is a bleak and brutal book that is written in a sparse and beautiful style. I wish I could've enjoyed the story as much as I did the writing style.

    There are only four sympathetic characters in the book: Mindy, the murder victim; the older couple in town who run the laundromat; and Danny Bedford, a young man who suffered a childhood brain trauma that left him disabled. He has a job maintaining the laundromat. He has his own place to live. He's never hurt anyone in his life, but he's
    ...more
    Juli
    Kept me interested until the very end. The story revolves around Danny Bedford, a giant of a man who suffered brain damage as the result of an accident that also killed his parents. He does not have any friends and people aren't particularly nice to him around town. The one person who treats him kindly is Mindy, who happens to be in an off and on relationship with Mike Sokowski, a horrible, unpredictable, violent person who is also the deputy in town. Sokowski has a "friend" named Carl who is pr ...more
    Mrgroove01
    The crime novel genre often revolves around cases so fantastical that it sacrifices believability for the high stakes drama of solving the crime and capturing the culprit. Screenwriter Sam Gailey’s nuanced first novel “A Deep Winter” dismisses the outrageous for the sublime and exposes the quiet desperation that belies the seemingly peaceful solitude of a tiny northeastern Pennsylvania town of Wyalusing where a shocking murder of a local woman occurs. The accused, Danny, a local man with a devel ...more
    Idella
    Thank you to Goodreads, the author and Penguin for a free copy of Deep Winter.

    This story felt like an intimate study of the dark underbelly of small town America. Mr. Gailey was brilliant in his depiction of the "faces" people put on for the public while being miserable and horrendous creatures to the core. Something about this book kept reminding me of Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men" where the majority of the characters were walking nightmares, people you wouldn't want to meet in bro
    ...more
    Hannah Fullmer
    I would like to thank the publisher through NetGalley for my review copy of Deep Winter by Samuel W. Gailey.
    Deep Winter is one part To Kill a Mockingbird, and one big part a Quentin Tarantino type Kill Bill action thriller.
    Deep Winter is the story of Danny, a grown man with a low IQ, who is ostracized by almost everyone in the small Pennsylvania town in which he has lived all his life. He has one friend, Mindy Knolls, who is a waitress at the local dinner. As the story begins, it is a cold winte
    ...more
    Nancy
    More of a Character Study Than a Murder Mystery

    It's the dead of winter in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Danny, a gentle, mentally challenged man, brings a bird he carved to his friend Mindy for her fortieth birthday. When he enters her trailer, he finds her lying on the floor dead. Being found beside the dead woman, Danny becomes the main suspect. He escapes and a manhunt through the frozen forest ensues setting off a string of progressively more violent incidents.

    I thought the book wo
    ...more
    Sarah
    I love any book that can be described as "atmospheric and brutal," and this far exceeded my expectations. It has elements of "Winter's Bone," "In the Woods," and "Of Mice and Men." I haven't read "A Simple Plan," but I know there are comparisons to this as well. The story is skillfully told from alternating POVs, allowing us to get to know all of these troubled characters from every angle. The story basically centers around a mentally-challenged boy, Danny, who stumbles upon a grisly crime scene ...more
    Charlotte Smythe
    It's a rare mystery suspense that keeps one on the edge of their seats but also moves one to tears. I read this book after reading the glowing review on Booklist and by author Joe R. Lansdale. Lansdale, who wrote 'The Thicket', was absolutely right that DEEP WINTER is a page turner. And, I loved the narrative device of switching voices, which made it reminiscent of WEIGHT OF SILENCE by Heather Gudenkamp and GONE GIRL, two books I also enjoyed. Yes, the book had some violent moments, which I read ...more
    Karen
    I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy, fast paced read. I liked the format it was written in because you get to experience the sequence of events through each characters eyes. It seems like more and more authors are writing from more than one POV but this one has several POVs and it is really insightful. Even though the killer is revealed within the first couple chapters, you aren't sure how everyone is going to end up at the end and that makes it a great page turner. I could see this as a ...more
    Jennifer
    ***I received an ARC of this novel from a Goodreads Giveaway***

    I greatly enjoyed this novel! The story line focused on the murder of a local woman and the subsequent violence that erupted as a consequence of this act. A gentle man with a traumatic brain injury was wrongly named as the perpetrator (it was made evident early on in the novel, who actually committed the murder). Each chapter in the novel alternates between the different characters, and sheds light on each of their weaknesses/motivat
    ...more
    Stephanie Franco
    Danny Bedford is a man with limited abilities. He takes care of the Wash ‘N Dry Laundromat, eats his breakfast at the Friedenshutten, and keeps to himself. Everyone in town knows him, but avoids him altogether. He has no friends, except for Mindy. She’s the only one, aside from the Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, the laundromat owners, who are nice to Danny. On Mindy’s birthday, Danny walks to her home to bear her a gift, but when he knocks on the door the local Sheriff appears from within and informs him ...more
    Jayne
    This was a page by page difficult read that seemed more like a myth than a novel. But, once the horror was over and my mind synthesized the details and I reflected on the whole effect, I decided to let myself contemplate the nature of being human. Too say the plot is disturbing and raw and unrelentingly so is an understatement. Readers should fortify themselves. The other possibility is that the reader will throw her arms up in despair and abandon the read because it is just too much of the same ...more
    Yvonne
    An interesting read set in small-town America. I enjoyed how the story is told from the perspectives of the different characters. As I read this I kept commenting how great this would be as a movie.

    I received a digital advanced readers copy of this title from NetGalley through First Flights The Penguin Debut Authors Program http://penguindebutauthors.earlyword.com
    Cat
    Gailey's Deep Winter provokes thought and introspection. And, it reminds us that even in a somewhat cruel world, there is still hope. His characterizations seem spot-on in most cases. And his small-town views are very plausible.

    The changing POV (from victim to antagonist to hero) kept me interested to the very last page. And, while not a typical "who done it" (you know from the first chapters the identity of the killer), the action kept me riveted.

    I'm looking forward to Gailey's next title!

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    Samuel W. Gailey's debut novel, Deep Winter, is described by The New York Times as being "Beautifully written..." Esquire Magazine calls it "Enthralling and suspenseful..." Gailey was raised in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania (population 379), which serves as the setting for his debut novel, 'Deep Winter'. Drawn to rural life and the sometimes deceiving atmosphere therein, Gailey’s first no ...more
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