an article by Thomas O’Malley and Douglas Purdy in Strand Magazine
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Publication Date: January 2016, Mulholland Books, Little Brown/Hodder & Stoughton, (US and UK release)
It’s early summer but already the city is in the grips of a heat wave, which doesn’t help tensions any as the fractures within Boston’s underworld are finding their way to the streets in payback shoot-outs between various mob factions and the police. When a body is discovered at the Charlestown locks, tarred and feathered and shot through the head, it appears to be a gangland killing, and almost immediately dismissed. However, Cal’s cousin, BPD detective, Owen Lackey, realizes that with this murder there may be much more at stake than his superiors realize. Urgent to uncover those who are responsible, he reaches out to Cal and Dante from the old neighborhood to help search the Irish-American enclaves of Dudley Square, Dorchester and South Boston for some sign of the killers. It is a journey that will take them into the shadowy, unspoken parts of Boston, a world of packed dance halls, Irish wakes and funeral parlors, of down-and-out immigrant rooming houses, bars, and secret meeting halls, and, ultimately, to the discovery of a terrorist plot that will shake the city to its core and bring them head-to-head not only with Cal’s past but with the IRA Army Council itself.
“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
“SerpentsintheCold is a startling work of art, a beautifully rendered, atmospheric tale of crime and punishment set in…
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Ruth Tross at Mulholland Books/Hodder & Stoughton has acquired SERPENTS IN THE COLD by Thomas O’Malley and Douglas Graham Purdy.
O’Malley is the author of Province of the Saints and This Magnificent Desolation, while his co-author Purdy works in film studies and is a horror writer. Their collaboration takes them to Boston in 1951, the coldest winter on record, where a serial killer is stalking the streets.
Tross commented: “Serpents in the Cold tells the story of two damaged men struggling to find redemption by solving a crime; it is also the story of a city attempting to reinvent itself and the creation of a new America. It’s both gripping and heart-breaking, and perfect for fans of Dennis Lehane and James Ellroy.”