Dead of Winter

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Pub Date Jul 11 2023 | Archive Date Jul 12 2023


"The plot is squarely in the tradition of locked-room mysteries...Coates is also a horror author, and there’s a good dollop of that genre woven through this novel of high suspense. Keep a cat or two on your lap when reading this one." —First Clue

When Christa joins a tour group heading deep into the snowy expanse of the Rocky Mountains, she's hopeful this will be her chance to put the ghosts of her past to rest. But when a bitterly cold snowstorm sweeps the region, the small group is forced to take shelter in an abandoned hunting cabin. Despite the uncomfortably claustrophobic quarters and rapidly dropping temperature, Christa believes they'll be safe as they wait out the storm.

She couldn't be more wrong.

Deep in the night, their tour guide goes missing...only to be discovered the following morning, his severed head impaled on a tree outside the cabin. Eight drops to seven and it becomes clear that someone in the group is killing for sport. 

The queen of the haunted house steps outside—no ghosts this time, no slow burn. USA Today bestselling horror author Darcy Coates takes off running through the snow and ice at a thriller’s pace with DEAD OF WINTER.

"The plot is squarely in the tradition of locked-room mysteries...Coates is also a horror author, and there’s a good dollop of that genre woven through this novel of high suspense. Keep a cat or two...

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ISBN 9781728270258
PRICE $15.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 1536 members

Featured Reviews

Heart pounding thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. Definitely one of the best books this year.

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I made the mistake of starting this book when I couldnt sleep one night..... and after I started, there was absolutely no chance I'd be sleeping any time soon. I've read a lot of books about people stranded in a cabin with a killer hut this is easily the best version of the story I've ever read. The twists do not stop coming. The book starts on a high and continues to keep up the pace throughout. And omg, reading this after dark had me terrified someone was about to burst into my bedroom. It is so so creepy! The tension is build steadily throughout, its not gory or relying on shock value, it just taps into those base human fears we all have and has every hair on your body standing on end. The characters were all really original and well written, the behaviours all made sense and weren't people running into danger just so they could be murdered. I was completed sucked in and held my breath more times than I can count. This will easily be one of the best books I've read this year. It's not a light domestic noir, this is one of those books that has you on the edge of your seat and you can't help but read through one more chapter. If you like mystery, thriller, horror, suspense or anything in between.... this is a must read.

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Take And Then There Were None, add a pinch of severe winter weather, and a rather large dash of horror, and you’ll have some idea of what reading Dead of Winter is like.

From the opening paragraphs that make the reader feel as if they’re making their way through the blizzard of the century, to the pulse pounding and white knuckled reading experience, Dead of Winter is one of the most unputdownable books I’ve read in ages. Literally, just when you think you have it all figured out, another bloody monkey wrench is thrown at you. What a wild ride. No wonder Darcy Coates remains one of my favorite authors.

My thanks to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing an ARC of this amazing novel.

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389 pages

4 and 1 / 2 stars

What a high tension thrill ride!

Imagine that you are on a bus on your way to a remote lodge high in the Rocky Mountains in the midst of winter. It is snowing. A tree is down across the road. There is a delay in removing it, so you and your boyfriend take a walk. You get disoriented and separated. It is snowing harder. You eventually wind up in an abandoned cabin with the other riders on your bus.

Things go wrong. People start dying. One of your group is a murderer.

I have read books with a similar premise before, but this is definitely the definitive novel about this topic. I became obsessed with Christa’s journey through her terror-filled incarceration by snow. Just when I thought I had a grasp on the killer, I was proven wrong.

Ms. Coates has written a superlative novel. I believe I like this one the best so far. The characters are so well drawn. The dialogue is great. I felt as though I was there listening to everyone speak. Their emotions and actions were so very real. I would have melted into a puddle on the floor, too afraid to even move or speak up. I was casting about looking for clues along with Christa, hoping to figure out the murderer. Hoping that Christa and the others made it out.

The characters were such a variety: personality types, jobs and so on. It was great. This is a well written and plotted novel. I strongly recommend it to anyone who likes to be scared (by reading), or likes high-tension psychological thrillers.

I want to thank NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for forwarding to me a copy of this great book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

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A murder mystery from my favorite author? Count me in. I was not let down. One of the best "who done it"/slasher books I've read. I thought I knew who the butcher was...then I didn't...then I did and my jaw literally dropped when the identity was revealed. No Way!! I didn't understand Christa's background story then it all came together. This was very well written. Highly recommend!!

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Five amazing, suspenseful, and murderous stars! The suspense does not let up for a single second, and the ending was shockingly brilliant. I seriously cannot say enough wonderful things about this book, and I am sitting here with my mouth still hanging open from how incredibly surprising the ending turned out to be. Darcy Coates is my favorite horror author. Period. But this is the first thriller I have read of hers, and it blew me away! This book is worth every minute spent reading and has definitely made it on my list of absolute favorite books.

The biggest, most sincere thank you to NetGalley, Poisoned Pen Press, and Darcy Coates for providing me with this gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

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HELLL YESS. BEST book of 2023 so far. I loved everything about this book - Who can you trust? Who’s next to die? Everyone is a suspect. This is written with such vivid imagery - I loved the “isolated cabin in the woods” style setting. This book is highly mysterious, leaving the reader guessing the entire time. I could feel the emotional roller coaster Christa was on. The ending is not at all able to be guessed - seriously, this one has a WOW ending that will take your breath away and make you question everything. Someone needs to make this a movie. I NEEEEED to read more by Darcy Coates!

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Dead of Winter is a fantastically thrilling addition to the locked room genre. I did figure out the killer pretty early on, but it’s a testament to Coates that the story didn’t lose any steam after that. I’d recommend to anyone looking for a fast paced, scary, and entertaining read.
The story does get pretty graphic and brutal at times so that should be mentioned.

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