Cover Image: Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter

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Member Reviews

Krista and Kiernan joined a tour group, heading to the Blackstone Alpine Lodge so deep in the Rocky Mountains, only mother, nature has plans of her own a snowstorm that affects all of the tour group. After their tour bus. Is stuck behind a fallen tree. The snow begins to fall with no signs of it letting up anytime soon.

Now the group of strangers find shelter in a small cabin in the valley, exhausted cold, and hungry. Can the group survive the weather and each other.. one by one, the members of the group are being targeted, and a very dark and macabre way. Is there a serial killer among them? It would be a mistake to believe too much in anyone’s innocence. 

WoW this is my first read by Darcy Coates, and she doesn’t disappoint. As the tension slowly builds, I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The intensity is so palpable at times my heart was beating so fast. The author did an excellent job at keeping the plot twist coming without giving anything away which keep me interested right up to the satisfying ending.. 

A special thanks to Poisoned, Pen Press, and Netgalley for a copy of the arc, and exchange for an honest review.
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This was my first Darcy Coates book and it will not be my last! It was gripping from literally the first page. The story truly hit the ground running and any time I thought I had a handle of it, it took a turn. The main character was so good. Well developed and instantly likable, she was not the typical dumb main of a horror story. The visuals were really unsettling and you never knew what terrible thing was next. Not being able to trust anyone or predict what's next kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed this one. Horror done really well and I can't wait to dive into another book by this author.

Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this ARC!
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Imagine yourself stranded with a group of strangers in the dead of winter in a cabin in the woods, in the middle of a massive snowstorm. Imagine that someone among you is single handedly picking you each off in a gruesome and terrible manner. You have to figure out who and you have to do it quick before you are the next victim. The Dead of Winter keeps you guessing right up until the end. Definitely a little more gruesome of a mystery than I am used to reading, but a page turner for sure!
Thank you for an ARC of Dead of Winter in exchange for my honest review.
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I really wanted to love this story the premise was great and I was looking forward to reading a scary thriller set in an isolated place. On the positive side, the setting was great, an abandoned cabin in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm! Stuck in said cabin with a group of strangers and a possible killer! Unfortunately though this just wasn’t for me,  it just didn’t hook me, I found the side characters to be poorly fleshed out and I didn’t really care about them. I found the main character very frustrating and quite contrary. This is certainly grisly and gory but I didn’t find myself scared or even apprehensive. However I think that this book would hit the right note for many readers so if it sounds like your cup of tea- go for it!
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this advanced copy
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Oh. My. God. This propulsive, claustrophobic thriller had me up until 1am because I could NOT stop reading. 

The writing was extremely faced paced but descriptive and wonderful. I was overwhelmed by all the characters at once, but they quickly became real to me and differentiating them was no longer an issue. When I say this book was propulsive, I mean I actually feel like I had been shot out of a cannon and was free falling through the air, breathless and filled with dread. It was incredible. The scenes in the lodge at the end reminded me of The Shining on a visceral level, but in a paying-homage way, not copy cat at all. 

I did predict who the butcher was maybe 75-80% of the way through? But it didn’t bother me at all, I actually loved how the twists went down. I wish there was slightly more of a conclusion as far as how things fared at the cabin at the end ( staying vague so no spoilers) but it was ok leaving it up in the air. 

It must be mentioned that this is gruesome. There are some gory descriptions, some of which I had to gloss over a bit or I never would’ve fallen asleep haha. 

5/5 massive stars. WILD ride. Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the e-arc in exchange for my honest review.
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Overall I enjoyed this read. It is fast paced and I loved the setting. However, I did find some details hard to believe/a little too convenient to the plot. I would definitely read from this author again.
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Thank you NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for my free-ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

I recently read Dead of Winter, a gripping novel that takes place during a snowstorm. It has a horror element that makes it both disturbing and tragic. The two main characters are lost, and I felt just as disoriented as they did. However, once I became immersed in the story, I found it to be an intense and suspenseful read. 

Christa, the protagonist, is not necessarily likable, but I appreciate her resilience in challenging situations. The other characters have their own stories, and the author does a great job revealing their backgrounds as the plot unfolds. This adds depth to the supporting characters.

The book's isolated setting, combined with the harsh winter weather and the presence of a killer on the loose, makes for a thrilling challenge for the characters. The descriptions of the deaths are graphic and hard to shake from your mind. 

While I was able to predict who the killer was early on, the mystery of the motive kept me engaged. It was enjoyable to piece together the clues and solve the puzzle. 

The story revolves around revenge, and the characters are not necessarily likable due to their past actions that led them to be hunted down. 

The book's ending felt rushed, which was disappointing after a long cat-and-mouse chase. However, this did not take the enjoyment out of reading this book. Ultimately, Dead of Winter still rendered the chills and thrills on every page.
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This is my first Darcy Coates book I've read, after many people have recommended her to me. The twists to this book did not disappoint! I did feel like the middle of the book became a bit slow, but I still enjoyed the book. It follows a  woman named Christa, who is about to go on vacation with her boyfriend. They are supposed to go to a remote lodge in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, and of course a storm hits and they are unable to make it. I LOVE a good storm in the mountains story, and this did not let me down. I think I wanted some more character development in able to care a little about the characters more, but overall the book was enjoyable. I would recommend! Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I stayed up way past my bedtime because I needed to finish it and know what happened. 

Brief Synopsis: Eight strangers. One killer. Nowhere left to run. 

What you can expect: 
🪓 Isolation
🪓 Short Chapters
🪓 Plot Twists
🪓 Whodunnit Murder Mystery 
🪓 Heart Thumping Ending
🪓 Horror/Thriller 

Dead of Winter is gripping, chilling and tense beyond measure. There are so many twists and turns. The ending will keep you on the edge of your seat. I could nearly feel my heart pounding out of my chest. Non-stop action. 

The book takes place in a remote town in the Rocky Mountains during a snowstorm, and you can feel the cold through the pages. 

If you like these books, I think you’ll like Dead of Winter: 
And Then There Were None - By Agatha Christie
Daisy Darker - By Alice Feeney

Note: I will also share my review on Instagram @whatjordynnreads
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Christa joins her boyfriend on a week long getaway in a remote lodge, when they get stranded by a snowstorm and have to take shelter in a tiny cabin with a few other strangers... Things go horribly wrong and Christa soon learns she might not be able to trust her fellow cabin mates. 

This tale was chilling, eerie, and suspenseful. I think it is equal parts a thriller, a mystery, and a horror novel. It felt like a thriller to me in that I was reading it so fast so I could figure out what happened. The twists were really well done and it kept me guessing. However, I will say from the first few chapters I had totally guessed who but Darcy Coates manages to keep you on uneven ground. I was second-guessing everything I was reading because it felt like I was one of the people in the cabin. I kept thinking I knew who it would be and why but it wasn't until the last third of the novel that the pieces started falling into place. 

Overall, Darcy Coates is the Queen of horror and I really enjoyed this one!!

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press and Netgalley for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my review in any way.
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Thank you NetGalley and Poisoned Pen for the chance to read this advanced reader's edition. Dary Coates has become an author that I have read when I learn a new book is out or about to be released. The book started out by giving me the creeps, which I have learned is why I love reading this author's books! There were so many trips and turns, I will not ruin things for anyone, but there were always a couple things at the back of my mind that explained themselves very well when the time came. 

I did not want to put this book down at all, but sleep and life happen, so sometimes you need a holiday weekend to knock it out of the park.
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Things go horribly wrong on the way to a Rocky Mountain retreat when a group of strangers seek shelter in an abandoned cabin.  If I could speak to the characters in this story, I would say, "Trust no one.  Sleep with one eye open."

Combine Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and throw in a dash of Stephen King's The Shining, and BAM!  You have a can't-put-it-down thriller mystery that'll keep you reading through the night.  

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a pleasant departure from the other books by this author I've read. Dead of Winter seems to be a move in a more complex direction, and I think the plot points are handled deftly. There were certain scenes and images that were unique and memorable despite how familiar I am with the genre. I also enjoyed the "whodunnit" aspect of the story and its conclusion. 

However, the story's pacing took a major hit about half way through. Some of the journeys and threats are repeated to the point that they are no longer memorable. How many times did they go to the shed? How many nights were interrupted when the "watch" failed? They all kind of run together. Because this is a first-person account, it's understandable that the main character spends so much time pondering who is picking off the others. However, the continual processing and reprocessing of the evidence she has had me skimming and waiting for something new to happen.
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You are really thrown into the story from the start, which I really loved. It gave you the perfect eerie winter setting, making you tense and waiting for more.

Besides the first 30-40 pages and the plot on general, there wasn’t much else I really liked about the book. I thought the characters where very bland, and the narrators „voice“ just really got on my nerves. She tried analyzing all the other characters, but in a way that didn’t really make you see her point. Also there were a few things that I think would’ve happened differently, if you’re stuck in a situation like this, but I don’t want to Spoiler anything now… Sadly I also had a feeling about the big reveals / twists, so that didn’t come as a shock. 

I think if this story would’ve had a quicker pace, and few better characters that you actually connect with, this could’ve been the perfect thriller!
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What a story.  Type of book I couldn't put down.  Friends travelling together and 1 by 1 they are ended up dead.  Is there a murderer among them and who can it be.  A page turner for sure.
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This didn't work for me, the pacing was super slow to build anticipation and suspense, but it was very clear who the killer was from early on, and it just frustated me that the main character couldn't figure it out.
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Wow! I’ve heard Darcy Coates’ books described as “cozy horror,” but NOT THIS ONE. Dead of Winter is a truly troubling, anything-but-cozy horror. And I think I loved it?

A bus-load of travelers and their tour guide-slash-bus driver get stranded in a winter storm on their way to a mountain lodge. Shortly after their trip is derailed and they take cover in a tiny (abandoned?) cabin, members of the party start dying in horrific ways. Suspicions erupt, and really, all they need is Hercule Poirot to rein everyone in and pinpoint the murderer. Alas, there is no mustachioed detective, and as the blizzard rages on, so does the butcher.

It takes a few chapters to get rolling, but once it does, it’s clear something is terribly wrong and the suspense is palpable. Coates knows how to end a chapter on a mini-cliffhanger and get me furiously reading on! This is definitely a JUST ONE MORE CHAPTER book!

As others have mentioned in their reviews, I also “figured it out” fairly early on, but I had so much fun doing so. Also, the author definitely worked in several twists and turns that made me question my theory. I had tantrums when it seemed it was wrong and then did a victory dance when it turned out I was right. In other words, I was FULLY ENGAGED. My favorite kind of reading experience. Others might not enjoy having figured it out, but as for me, I felt like a smarty pants. 🤓

I haven’t fully thought this through, so don’t come after me with a pitchfork, BUT I kind of think Darcy Coates is for the adults who loved Fear Street as teens. (Me. They’re for me.) Are the books perfect? Nah. (Plot holes, improbabilities, over-the-topness everywhere!) Are they fast-paced and creepy and pageturny? Hell, yeah. Do I want to read them all? Yeah, I think I do!

Full review posted on Goodreads on 5/29/23:
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This was one where you should read it in a cabin with a blizzard raging outside. 
Definitely thought this was more gory than what I’m used to seeing from this author but it’s not so bad that you can’t make it through.
I guessed the ending pretty early on but still enjoyed the read.
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Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Christa is excited about her new adventure. When the weather turns bad, she does not know who she can trust. This book kept me guessing.
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Prior to this book I had only read two other Darcy Coates books.  Both were similar in plot, atmospheric, and entertaining.  But this one was definitely a bit more gory and I loved every second of my reading experience with Dead of Winter.
In this story we follow the main character Christa as she and her boyfriend embark on a week-long group tour to a scenic snowy lodge nestled in the Rocky Mountains.  While en route to the lodge a fallen tree in the road blocks the group tour access forcing them to shelter in a small cabin to wait out the storm.  While forced together in close quarters, without power and cell phone service, tension starts to build and the group soon finds themselves fighting for their life not only from the dangerous snowstorm but one of them just might be a crazed killer.
Wow, the suspense starts from the first page and it never lets up.  Coates masterfully blends a lock room style mystery with slasher elements that I quite enjoyed. I felt like this was a mix of the horror movies "30 Days of Night" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer".  This was a visceral reading experience; I could feel the cold air, the claustrophobia of being stuck in small quarters with a bunch of people, the yearning for a tall glass of water.  The panic that sets in when you are in a situation that you feel completely helpless with no resources to get yourself out of that situation.  Such an engaging reading experience.
As far as the horror elements, they were definitely effective.  Not the most disturbing or gory, but certainly a lot more than I have seen from the books of hers that I have read.  While I would have to say that I knew who the killer was pretty early on, that didn't take away  my enjoyment I was still  gripped enough to want to know the how's and why's.  And the twist was pretty satisfying.
I would definitely recommend this book.  It read so fast and will be the perfect read when craving a story set in the winter, I especially think fans of No Exit will especially enjoy this book. Thank you so much to netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an arc copy in exchange for my honest review.
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