Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hard Cold Winter (Van Shaw, #2)” as Want to Read:
Hard Cold Winter (Van Shaw, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hard Cold Winter

(Van Shaw #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  436 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Former Army Ranger and thief Van Shaw is thrust into danger as lethal and unpredictable as the war he left behind in this emotionally powerful and gritty follow up to the acclaimed Past Crimes.

When an old crony of Van Shaw’s late grandfather calls in a favor, the recently-discharged Ranger embarks on a dangerous journey to the Olympic Mountains, in search of a missing girl
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by William Morrow
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hard Cold Winter, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Alicia I won March 4 and have not gotten it either. I messaged them about it and did not get a reply.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  436 ratings  ·  96 reviews

Sort order
Liz Barnsley
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the second Van Shaw novel – I love these, intelligent and atmospheric thrillers with enticing plots and some great characters, having been a fan of Past Crimes I was very pleased to see Van Shaw returning.

Hard Cold Winter is a fast paced, addictive read that leans towards some dark themes and has the benefit of being entirely engaging throughout – it has a gorgeous past/present vibe of the type that I love and a brilliant sense of place when it comes to Seattle so you get a real feel for
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This second book of the Van Shaw series starts with a crony of Van's father asking him for a favor. His daughter is missing, but he can give Van directions.

Van goes to the remote cabin, and finds a gruesome murder scene. As the daughter was a friend of his from childhood, Van starts poking around. He finds a whole lot of crime and violence.

Great stuff, very hard boiled.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hard Cold Winter was an extremely solid four stars. The comparisons between Glen Erik Hamilton's Van Shaw and Lee Child's Jack Reacher are pretty obvious. Both are ex servicemen who work outside the law when it suits them, for instance. However Hamilton can write while Child cannot, and that makes all the difference. This was an exciting fast paced book and I look forward to hunting down more of Hamilton's work.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another high-energy, tension-ridden story of Van Shaw as he comes to grips with his past and how he is going to make it in the real world of Seattle with all its memories.
This is the second book in the series and I find them very satisfying.
Fred Forbes
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Notice in this series, as in the ones by Nick Petrie how the protagonist gets compared on the jacket blurbs to the Lee Child character Jack Reacher? Sometimes, even by Child himself. At any rate, the "white knight" veteran springing to the rescue seems to be a popular theme. Seems to me, however that one of the major undercurrents in these type of books is the fact that so many suffer from PTSD which keeps them from settling down in "normal society". Of course as one of the characters in this st ...more
Sandy Pipp
This book was a attention grabber and it had a really good mystery to it. It kept you going
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
What happens to you when you finish a ten-year career as an Army Ranger, but can't return to your previous life as a thief? Van Shaw is caught in limbo in Glen Erik Hamilton's second crime novel, Hard Cold Winter.

Van is hoping to find a job in which he can use his skills, but, while he waits, he agrees to help one of his grandfather's old friends. He finds Willard running a moving card game with a bar, young men with money, and thugs, including members of the Russian mob. But, Willard's concern
Gail Cooke
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Last year’s debut thriller by Glen Erik Hamilton showed without a doubt that an amazing new talent had arrived. Past Crimes (2015) was a runaway bestseller and nominated for an Edgar Award. Now Hard Cold Winter makes it plain that Hamilton isn’t any one-hit wonder. With Van Shaw he presented a tough, likable character that has readers pulling for him from start to finish. Shaw is a far from perfect disillusioned Army Sergeant who is simply trying to get by.

Giving me special pleasure in Shaw’s
Schuyler Wallace
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Glen Erik Hamilton is a busy guy who handles writing like a business. He writes tremendous stuff then sells it. Some authors who produce exemplary works simply hunker down and write some more, not enthusiastic about doing the leg work necessary to get their product read and talked about. Take a look at his website. He’s everywhere; reading, talking, socializing.

“Hard Cold Winter” is worth talking about. It’s clever, timely, well written, and definitely an attention grabber. It hasn’t been extens
Donna Gough
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. Just so you have my yardstick in advance, I look for well-drawn characters who are engaging and whose actions are believable (even when they’re making choices they shouldn’t), great pacing that keeps me turning the pages, a good sense of place, and a writing style that is engaging and makes the story easy to follow. I found all of these in Cold Hard Winter.

Donovan “Van” Shaw is a terrific protagonist, a former Army Ranger with a criminal past who has returned home to Se
This is a cracking thriller written by an accomplished writer. This is the first book I have read in the series and it works well as a standalone. It has Van doing a favour for a mate of his grandfather to find Elena, his granddaughter. She is missing at a cabin in the Olympic Mountains.

When Van arrives there, he finds two bodies that have been gruesomely murdered, one of which is Elena. A shocked Van sets out to discover exactly what has happened. This is a courageous act as Van is still suffer
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Ex-Ranger and...... thief Van Shaw is asked by his Grandfather's friend , Will Williad to check on his granddaughter , Elana and her boyfriend , Kend. They had gone off to a cabin in the mountains near Seattle. When Shaw gets there he finds both dead! And Kend's body is being eaten by a bear. Elana is dead in the cabin , the result of 2 bullets.
I expect this story to get better but it is hard to cheer for a thief ! It is a slow beginning with a lot of confusing characters ...and it takes some t
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So pleased I have found this author and right from the start of a series too, so there is always a new book to look forward to.
When Van Shaw is asked to look for a missing girl, who also happens to be a childhood friend of his, his search takes him to the remote forest of Olympic Mountains. There he discovers a brutal murder scene, and he is soon caught between vicious gangsters and a billionaire businessman. In order to survive and figure out what is going on he has to keep himself alive long e
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
After Hamilton's first in this series, I was looking forward to the second. But, alas, there will be no third. The plot is just too convoluted and about 2/3rds into it, I realized that I just didn't care at all. On the up side, his books take place in Seattle and he's very good at keeping the store geographically placed. It was fun and interesting to know exactly where everyone was. He took two characters to one of my very favorite (and not very well known) restaurants and he described it perfec ...more
Sharon Huether
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I won this book through Goodreads First reads. This was a murder mystery. Nothing was clear in the story. It became boring. I did finish the book.
Jennifer Collins
This was such a fast read, and in some ways, it absolutely lived up to the first book in the series, which I adored. In some other ways, I was hoping for more, I admit.

Hamilton created such a great character in Van Shaw--he drew me into the first book from page 1, and kept me hooked. Although he was part of what kept me involved with this second installment, though, I guess I wanted more development, and instead he felt pretty unchanged. I don't want to say he was flat, because he felt real and
Julie Hobus
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A solid second book in this series

The Van Shaw series is a delight to find. Reviewers often describe Shaw as a "Jack Reacher type", and while there are surface similarities, I find Shaw the more complex and rewarding character. While Reacher roams the country, never able to stay in one place, Van Shaw has returned to Seattle determined to make it home even though his prior life there was anything but ideal.

Van Shaw is not an idealized Army veteran. He has moral gray areas from his early life, d
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
An ex Army Ranger with a criminal past comes home to Seattle to live in his grandfather's house. The house was left to him when the grandfather died. He is involved with a woman who owns the bar that previously belonged to his grandfather. He gets mixed up looking for the niece of one of his grandfather's friends. He knew her when he was younger.
The story swaps back and forth between the present and a time in the past that describes his association with the girl and a little about some of his cr
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in Seattle after being recently discharged from the Army, former Ranger Van Shaw is trying to decide what to do with his life when a friend of his grandfather asks if he would travel to the Olympic mountains to find his missing niece. Van discovers a murder scene and gets involved with the investigation involving a billionaire businessman and his family, an old Ranger buddy, gangsters, and ties to Van's own criminal past. I enjoyed the flashbacks to Van's former life as a teenage criminal a ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Van Shaw series this is the second of three books) is driven by an interesting main character. Shaw is an ex-Ranger who comes from a criminal family. His skill set from both aspects of his past is useful. At loose ends on leaving the military (honorably), looking for training work (executive survival, police training, etc.), looking to avoid the criminal past, Shaw is prone to get in trouble. In this case a long-term family friend has been killed, together with her well-connected but screwed ...more
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This second book was a follow up to "Past "Crimes". I don't think you have to read them in sequence, but I liked the flow from the first book to this book.
This book kept your attention. I have enjoyed the secondary characters from Addy Proctor, Willard, Luce, Hollis, Det. Guerin to Leo. The author has done a great job of making these guys come alive.
Great series and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I absolutely loved it. With the attention to detail, fast paced, action packed, suspenseful, surprises left and right, and completely realistic characters, this novel is definitely one of the best. Add the amazing storyline and flow, and I felt as if I was right there with the characters. A must read!!!
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Disappointed. Started strong and then disintegrated shortly thereafter.

To compare this to Jack Reacher is exactly that, a reach. Guy was a Ranger and somehow got tasered from behind? What?? Cmon.

There’s no clear motive behind the main character’s need to pursue solving the crime, for people he knew like 30 years prior.

Even the last few pages were hard to read.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this series!

It's hard to be original in a field of many, but in my opinion, Glen Erik Hamilton has managed to accomplish that feat with his Van Shaw series. I find this character fascinating and unique. I'm never quite sure which way the wind will blow with him and that keeps me glued to every page. I'm ready for the next installment!
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-book-club
Hard Cold Winter is a fast-paced book featuring Van Shaw, a former Army Ranger who thrills at taking the law into his own hands.
I will need to go back and read Past Crimes; however, I didn't feel that there were holes in Hard Cold Winter.
Rebecca Burgess
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, thriller
This was a great read. Van Shaw was chasing a murderer, problem was he didn't know who it was. People should know not to mess with family and friends but this one didn't so Van takes matters into his own hands....
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This was the second book in the series and I enjoyed Van Shaw’s search for Elena’s killer. Good twists and solution. The rescue Part was a bit over the top and hard to follow but very exciting.
George Krasilovsky
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Second in series and as attention holding as first.
Sandra Livingston
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book by this author I love his writing style I can not wait to read more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good mystery, once it's given who committed the murder the rest of the book is focused on how to get the murderer and stay alive doing it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Pacific Burn (Jim Brodie #3)
  • Fields Where They Lay (Junior Bender, #6)
  • Dead Red (Raymond Donne Mystery #3)
  • The Nightgown (Carter Ross, 0.5)
  • Shady Place
  • The Broken Hearts Club
  • Murdered Twice
  • LaLa Feels Blah-La (LaLa's World #1)
  • The Dead Assassin: The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Silencer (Thorn, #11)
  • Murder on the Orion Express
  • Noble Chase
  • The Long Count (John Q, #1)
  • Soul of the Fire (Inspector Shan, #8)
  • Murder for the Halibut (A Clueless Cook Mystery, #3)
  • The Searcher (Solomon Creed #1)
  • London Spies (Phyllis Bowden #1)
  • Hook, Line and Murder (Murder, She Wrote, #46)
Glen Erik Hamilton's debut PAST CRIMES won the Anthony, Macavity, and Strand Magazine Critics awards for Best First Novel, and was also nominated for the Edgar, Barry, and Nero awards. Publishers Weekly and Library Journal gave PAST CRIMES starred reviews, and Kirkus called the book "an exciting heir to the classic detective novel". The follow-up in the Van Shaw series, HARD COLD WINTER, was publi ...more

Other books in the series

Van Shaw (4 books)
  • Past Crimes (Van Shaw, #1)
  • Every Day Above Ground (Van Shaw #3)
  • Mercy River (Van Shaw #4)