Cora and her husband Ben hunt monsters. They’ve been doing it for over ten years but in the small mining town of Leadville, Colorado they might have finally met their match.

I’m not a fan of anything western, I don’t like country music, and much to my chagrin Daniel Craig’s Cowboys and Aliens was a sub-par movie at best. So why then, I keep asking myself, did I enjoy The Dead of Winter so much?

My conclusion is that The Dead of Winter reads more like an action-adventure novel when compared with anything else. Sure, Cora is an alcoholic, mad woman who enjoys gambling and blasting away at the innumerable horrors that lurk in the shadows, but in truth there is more to this stubborn broad’s story than a simple western tale.

I also enjoyed the contrast between Cora and the English vampire hunter chap. I think they could pair up and make an interesting duo together as their chemistry seems spot on.

I’m going to brag a little here but midway through this book, I had filed away a huge conflicting bit of information that just kept nagging at me the farther I rode into the story. I actually intended on ripping this flaw to shreds until I finished the book and realized that the reason for this was actually the subtle maneuvering by Lee Collins and the plot twist he sneakily throws out there. I just couldn’t put my finger on it but something seemed a tad fishy and luckily in the end it pans out spectacularly. (Good luck reading this story and trying to figure it out, before it smacks into your face like buckshot.)

The book reads ridiculously fast and multiple times I had to physically slow my pace down lest I skipped over any crucial details. I still finished it in about four or five hours of read time over two days.

The story line for The Dead of Winter is compact and solid.  It also severs off most of the loose ends quite nicely at its conclusion. The fact that The Dead of Winter was originally a Nanowrimo piece is also freaking awesome! I’d give this novel 8.5 out of 10 Liams and I’ll definitely be looking into the sequel, She Returns From War.

Thanks again to Angry Robot Publishing and Darren Turpin for the review copy.

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