Series: Cora Oglesby #1
Genre: Horror, Western
Published on October 30, 2012
Published by Angry Robot
Format: eBook, 384 pages
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First sentence: The smell of blood was thick in the crisp morning air as Marshal Mart Duggan dismounted, his boots finding solid earth a few inches beneath the snow.
Cora and her husband Ben are bounty hunters on paranormal creatures. In The Dead of Winter, they are solving a couple of cases in a small American frontier town.
One of the things I liked when I read the summary for The Dead of Winter book was that it will be about the married couple. This was a refreshing change from solo bounty hunters and assassins. I was hoping for something different and was disappointed when Cora and her husband behaved more like business partners or platonic friends. But in retrospective, (now when I know everything) I understand the reasons for that.
So, the main focus of The Dead of Winter is not a couple – only Cora Oglesby. All important character development is related to her. Everybody else, even her husband Ben, are neglected.
Maybe this would not be such a big deal to me if I liked Cora as a character, but I didn’t. I like female kick-ass sassy heroines with a bit of dry humor, but I can only describe Cora as bitchy and grumpy. And her irrational desire to start a fight with everything (even a tree branch!) was irritating.
To make my reading of The Dead of Winter even more painful, the plot development in the first half is very slow. I was contemplating marking this book as DNF, when at about 65% there was a big twist & discovery that finally got me intrigued and interested. I finished the rest in one sitting, literally glued to the pages.
So how to rate a book that is 60% 2 and 40% 4-5 star read? I settled on 3.5.
I am adding She Returns From War, the next part of the series, to my TBR list because although the case is resolved and there is no cliffhanger, I am interested to read how Cora’s character will develop in the future.
I recommend this book to lovers of western novels with a dash of horror. If you are not a lover of western novels, better skip this book because it has all the elements: sheriffs, deputies, saloon, whores, miners, trains, etc.