The Dead of Winter
- Lee Collins
Publisher: Angry Robot
E-Arc Courtesy of Netgalley & Angry Robot
Cora and her husband hunt things - things that shouldn't exist. When the marshal of Leadville, Colorado, comes across a pair of mysterious deaths, he turns to Cora to find the creature responsible, but if Cora is to overcome the unnatural tide threatening to consume the small town, she must first confront her own tragic past as well as her present
Cora is a gun-slinging Buffy-esque character. She and her husband, Ben roam the Wild West taking care of monsters, beasts and vampires who are terrorising towns. Ben is more the book type while Cora is happy to shoot first and ask questions second – if at all. I really like Cora’s brash no-nonsense manner and her hard drinking, gambling ways. She was a hard woman with a short temper. It would be easy to dislike her but her relationships with the priest and her husband showed she has heart and some softness to her underneath all the bluster.
A lot of the town could be seen a stereotypes – the deputy in love with one of the local call girls, the weary aged sheriff, the smug book learned British snob, and while they all felt familiar, there was a spark in each of them that made me feel like they were real. However, this is a book less focussed on character and all about the action. It feels very much like this could be the start of a series and even reads like a two-parter complete with a distinct finish half way through that has enough threads wrapped up that you’d happy, but some elements which drive the second, more personal part. I loved some of the tense scenes with the walk through the mines or the fight in the town with the creatures – it was very visual and exciting.
An exciting action-packed adventure which adds vampires and creatures to the Wild West and let’s rip! The Magnificent Seven crossed with Buffy, this is very a much read for those who want more action and less angst in their Vampire and Monster Slaying. It really makes me wonder why no-one has tried mixing up the genres like this before...or if they have, I’ve missed it. I really hope there is another book featuring Cora as there is some real potential – plus the Western genre has not appealed to me up to now!
Recommended for fans of Matthew Reilly and Jim Butcher. 8 out of 10