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The Dead of Winter

Nominated by Mystery Writers of American for Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Mystery Novel

This is a novel of vengeance.  

Three Friday night poker players – Lyons, Basche and Tyler – find that the fourth partner, Reece, fatally beaten, on the floor of his apartment.  Reece was a quiet, unassuming fellow, but he had one outstanding trait:  He had a fabulous memory, the kind of mind that could recall the entire Constitution, down to the last comma, period and signature.  On Friday nights he would remember every card that was played.  A fabulous memory.  Yet his final last words were: "I don't remember."

"I don't remember."

Lyons, Basche and Tyler, shocked by the indifference of the police, form their own tribunal of retribution: to find the people who had used Reece so ruthlessly and who had disposed of him in the same way:  to deal with the assassins with a like kind of justice; and to ferret out the "lost" information that had cost Reece his life.  With a twofold meaning, they want to vindicate Vinnie Reece's memory.

This is the story of three ordinary workaday guys who become chillingly extraordinary.  As their cleverness becomes increasingly more ingenious and their blood lust grows out of proportion, they are confronted with the same menace that killed Reece. 

This is a novel of vengeance - and its consequences.

"The title is perfect . . .  the setting, much of it the half-frozen marshes of Brooklyn's southeastern waterfront, whipped by snow gusts and bitter winds, makes a fitting background . . . The author is expert in the creation of evil atmosphere . . ."  Publishers Weekly

"The Dead of Winter should be a book you will gulp down.  Hallahan has a neat, pared-down style and an ability for sharp characterization."  Newgate Callendar, The New York Times Book Review.

"The original motive is a fascinating one . . . beautiful crash ending . . . Impressive . . ." Lenore Glen Offord, San Francisco Examiner

"[The Dead of Winter] is distinctly breathtaking . . . Quite fascinating and unusual."  Library Journal