Serpents in the Cold

By Thomas O'Malley, Douglas Graham Purdy (Hardcover Book, 2015)
A serial killer stalks the streets of 1950s Boston--and two friends take it upon themselves to bring him down.

Post-war Boston is down on its luck and looking for change. A year after the Great Brink's Robbery--the largest robbery in the history of the United States--Boston is known more for its seedy underbelly than for its rich, historical past. The winter of 1951 is the worst in recent memory, and the Bruins are suffering another losing season.

Like Boston itself, lifelong residents Cal O'Brien and Dante Cooper are struggling to find their identities after World War II. Cal has built a mildly promising life for himself as an employee of a company providing private security, whether to an honorable businessman who needs a night watchman or to an Irish mafioso who needs to have someone's legs broken. Dante is everything Cal is not. A heroin addict trying and failing to stay clean, Dante feels the call to do good after he discovers that his sister-in-law was the latest victim of a serial killer targeting disadvantaged women.

Woefully unqualified, but determined to help, Cal and Dante take it upon themselves to track the killer--but their daunting quest takes on dangerous consequences when the trail leads them to the highest ranks of city government. There are a few well-placed men who don't want Cal and Dante to solve this case.

An absorbing mixture of history and suspense, told with a meticulous eye for detail and character, Serpents in the Cold is a moving exploration about two men battling for second chances.
  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Hardcover Book

    • Price: $26.00 US/$29.00 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316323505

    • On Sale Date: 01/20/2015

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    • Imprint: Mulholland Books

    Formats Available: Hardcover Book, Electronic Book, Audiobook

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A serial killer stalks the streets of 1950s Boston--and two friends take it upon themselves to bring him down.

Post-war Boston is down on its luck and looking for change. A year after the Great Brink's Robbery--the largest robbery in the history of the United States--Boston is known more for its seedy underbelly than for its rich, historical past. The winter of 1951 is the worst in recent memory, and the Bruins are suffering another losing season.

Like Boston itself, lifelong residents Cal O'Brien and Dante Cooper are struggling to find their identities after World War II. Cal has built a mildly promising life for himself as an employee of a company providing private security, whether to an honorable businessman who needs a night watchman or to an Irish mafioso who needs to have someone's legs broken. Dante is everything Cal is not. A heroin addict trying and failing to stay clean, Dante feels the call to do good after he discovers that his sister-in-law was the latest victim of a serial killer targeting disadvantaged women.

Woefully unqualified, but determined to help, Cal and Dante take it upon themselves to track the killer--but their daunting quest takes on dangerous consequences when the trail leads them to the highest ranks of city government. There are a few well-placed men who don't want Cal and Dante to solve this case.

An absorbing mixture of history and suspense, told with a meticulous eye for detail and character, Serpents in the Cold is a moving exploration about two men battling for second chances.

Thomas O'Malley was raised in Ireland and England. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and currently teaches on the faculty of creative writing at Dartmouth College. He is the author of the novels In the Province of Saints and This Magnificent Desolation. He lives in the Boston area.

Douglas Graham Purdy grew up in the Boston area. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Boston and currently works in Film & Media Studies at MIT. This is his first novel.
  • "Like Sara Gran's Dope, Serpents in the Cold lovingly revisits the hardboiled noir.  From the dives of Dorchester to the Locke-Ober CafĂ©, John Garfield and Richard Widmark would feel right at home in O'Malley and Purdy's bygone, fallen Boston." (author of West of Sunset).

  • "Serpents in the Cold is a great addition to the canon of gritty Boston street fiction, a no-punches-pulled look at a bygone era.  Noir is how we like our crime, and "no-'R'" is how we pronounce it."  (author of The Town).

  • "Melancholy as a lonesome train whistle, beautifully written, as well as thrilling, Serpents In The Cold is a tight little gem of characterization and suspense. You need this." (author of The Thicket).

  • "Serpents in the Cold is a startling work of art, a beautifully rendered, atmospheric tale of crime and punishment set in mid-twentieth century Boston. The crimes perpetrated are as much of the heart and soul as of the system and the worst punishments, as always, self-inflicted." (award-winning of Robert B. Parker's Blind Spot).

  • "The murder of an innocent young woman turns into murder of an entirely different sort in this hair-raising tale of two wounded men squeezed by changing times. Purdy and O'Malley resurrect the neighborhoods of 1950s Boston in faithful, brutal detail -- and in language so lush and gorgeous that you'll fall in love with reading it all over again." (author of North of Boston).

Formats

Product Details

Serpents in the Cold
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $26.00 US/$29.00 CAN
  • Pages: 400
  • Physical Dimensions: 6" x 9-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316323505
  • On Sale Date: 01/20/2015
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