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Serpents in the Cold

Serpents in the Cold

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.
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Genre: Fiction / Fiction / Crime

On Sale: January 1st 2015

Price: $1.99 / $2.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 400

ISBN-13: 9780316323499

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"This is a bone-crunching, gut-wrenching novel that captures the atmosphere of a city in decay and its inhabitants. It delivers noir fiction like we always want it to be."—Kirkus Reviews
"O'Malley and Purdy bring postwar Boston to life, making neighborhoods feel as distinct as separate countries. . . . They have delivered a love-letter to Boston that's long gone."—Publishers Weekly
"Like Sara Gran's Dope, Serpents in the Cold lovingly revisits the hardboiled noir. From the dives of Dorchester to the Locke-Ober Café, John Garfield and Richard Widmark would feel right at home in O'Malley and Purdy's bygone, fallen Boston."—Stewart O'Nan, 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."—Chuck Hogan, 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."—Joe Lansdale, author of The Thicket
"There is a classic noir sensibility at work in Serpents in the Cold, complete with its uncannily rendered sense of time and place, but the novel is also suffused with a thoroughly modern understanding of loss, pain, damage and the price of loyalty. It's not often you get to pair gritty with lyrical, but you certainly do here."—Alan Glynn, author of Limitless and Bloodland
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