Fifty Grand. Death Note. Caroline Mitchell. Odd Man Out. The Cruelest Cut. Close Your Eyes. Michael Robotham. Dead of Winter. Sam Millar. The Dark Place.
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Dead of Winter: A Karl Kane Novel by Sam Millar, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
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Hunting Shadows : An obsession for him. Life and death for her.
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No, cancel Yes, report it Thanks! They should set the van ablaze, causing an excellent diversion and hopefully some chaos once the petrol tank explodes. Lit them. Pulled on his mask. They planned to do more than just huff and puff at the little piggy bank on the corner. Three customers to be served. Two long minutes to go. One great occasion coming up. Man City versus Man U, live on Sky, and the entire house to himself.
Margaret, the wife, would be going out with a few friends to darts, and the fridge was well stocked with bottles of his favourite beer, Harp. Stragglers were the worse. Always flustered and out of breath, always with lengthy, boring tales about why they almost missed the bank before it closed. Just as he could almost taste the Harp on his parched tongue, his biggest nightmare stood before him. Actually, it sat, in the form of a wheelchair-bound customer, trying to squeeze through the revolving door by slamming against it.
God, why tonight, of all nights?
Andy squinted, looking out at the customer, but the black rain beating against the opaque glass and the bad street-lighting made visibility practically zero. The wheelchair continued slamming relentlessly against the door, like some sort of medieval battering ram. Bloody hell! Andy quickly held his hand up.
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Say it. The accessible doors closed without a sound. The wheelchair was instantly folded up, and stashed behind a desk. Andy quickly complied. Jim cuffed both wrists with plastic security cables, then dragged Andy across the polished-marble floor, parking his body behind a large table, out of sight of any nosey passer-by. Get behind that table, and down on the ground! The customers eagerly scurried behind the shelter of the table, stone-dropping onto the floor. Closing their eyes, they became instant statues.
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They had seen enough movies to know what could happen in situations like this — especially in cheap movies where everyone ends up shot to pieces. While Charlie kept watch on the customers, Brian ran to the nearby office. He also suspects, though the weather should make it unlikely, he is being stalked by a pack of wolves.
Only a fortuitously open gate at a manor house lets him escape the cold and his hunters. Despite the monstrous wolves and a seemingly sorcerous snowstorm, the story is structured like a country house mystery.
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A servant is torn to pieces by something in the woods. I see him!
Out of the storm he comes for us all! When Kane awakens, inside the warm and seemingly safe manor, he meets Baron Troylin, his family, and his retinue. His beautiful young daugher is named Breenanin and she is drawn to the red-haired stranger. He fears Kane. First, because he feels threatened by anything that he perceives as disrupting his place in the household, and second, because he has his suspicions about who Kane really is.
Evingolis knows more about Kane and his murderous past than Kane would like. Wagner builds a sense of claustrophobia and suspicion that begins on the very first page and never lets up until it explodes in death and entrails. There are short bits of history that explain why Kane and Troylin are where they are. And it moves, it moves like water crashing through a broken dam, roaring down the valley, picking up speed, then crushing everything.
And yet I found myself nitpicking the story for the first time. Instead I saw the seams and joints. Kane also seems a little dumber than I expect from an immortal sorcerer when he tries to deduce who the secret villain is. Kane has been tracked to a near-empty oasis town by a knight bent on vanquishing any and all forces of evil in the world. The knight, Gaethaa the Crusader, is accompanied by a band of soldiers, only one of whom is a true believer in his mission. The rest are there for the money or revenge against Kane. One soldier saw his family butchered before Kane chopped his hand off.
Kane sacrificed the sisters of another for a dark ritual. Then there was the rival bandit leader whom Kane overthrew and staked out in the desert to die.
Once it was a wealthy trading center in a green oasis in the middle of a desert. Then a plague came and killed nearly everyone.
Karl Kane Series
Those who remain are too worn down to care about anything, let alone Kane or those hunting him. Much of the story is an exciting hunt through the empty city, as Gaethaa, his men, and Kane stalk each other through dead streets and crumbling buildings. A figure approached him along the wall, striding through the mist as ominously as the angel of death.
Only a second did he waste on amazed confoundment. Kane rushed upon the Waldann, his sword hissing through the fog. Wagner gives us just sufficient insight into the motives of both men to keep us satisfied. Gaethaa, disgusted with the soft, indulgent lives of the nobility to which he was born, forged himself into a weapon by which to destroy evil wherever it inflicted itself on humanity.
Kane, following one more series of failed undertakings, has chanced upon Sebbei and now hopes to find peace there. He even meets a girl. Yeah, the girl.