Post-war 1950s Boston is down on its luck. A year after the Brink’s Robbery—the largest robbery in the history of the United States—Boston is known more for its seedy underbelly than it is for its rich, historical past. The dazzle and glitz of its glorious vaudeville theatres are gone and infamous Scollay Square is being prepared for the wrecking ball. It’s the worst winter in recent memory, the Bruins are suffering another losing season, and Cal O’Brien and Dante Cooper are two men trying to find a serial killer and slowly losing themselves in the process.
“O’Malley and Purdy “excel at the language of their characters” and write with “detail and specificity…Through it all, these descriptions are laden with the dark foreboding that typifies hard-boiled crime fiction. Nothing is innocent, and nobody is what he or she seems…such passages…are also what set this book apart, bringing a dirty old world back to life. A noir crime novel, even down to its…postwar setting, Serpents in the Cold revels in the grit and ugliness of the streets. ” —The Boston Globe
“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
“Serpents in the Cold is a startling work of art, a beautifully rendered, atmospheric tale of crime and punishment set in mid-twentieth century Boston. The crimes perpetrated are as much of the heart and soul as of the system and the worst punishments, as always, self-inflicted.”—Reed Farrel Coleman, award-winning of Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot
“The murder of an innocent young woman turns into murder of an entirely different sort in this hair-raising tale of two wounded men squeezed by changing times. Purdy and O’Malley resurrect the neighborhoods of 1950s Boston in faithful, brutal detail — and in language so lush and gorgeous that you’ll fall in love with reading it all over again.”—Elisabeth Elo, author of North of Boston