Cover Art

Serpents in the Cold – paperback out tomorrow (5.24)

SERPENTS IN THE COLD paperback comes out tomorrow, May 24th.

Noir meets historical crime fiction in a dark tale of redemption during the worst winter on record.


Critics and authors praise SERPENTS IN THE COLD:

“Brutally realistic . . . The authors give us one last, lingering look at the good-bad old days.” Marilyn Stasio, New York Times

“This is a bone-crunching, gut-wrenching novel.” Kirkus Reviews

“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.” Reed Farrel Coleman, award-winning of Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot

“[The authors] have delivered a love-letter to a Boston that’s long gone.” Publishers Weekly

“Serpents in the Cold lovingly revisits the hardboiled noir.” 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.” 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.” Joe Lansdale, author of The Thicket

“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


31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #7

Teenage angst sure was a bitch in the 1980s.


#7: The Fury – John Farris (Tor Horror, 1986)

The novel was originally released in the mid-1970s, and then made into a great film by Brian DePalma (featuring one of the most magnificent body explosions in all of cinema – yes, click here).  Above, we see the Tor Horror re-release of The Fury, which has been given a more 1980s cashmere-sweater YA vibe.

And as a bonus cover, we have the following from John Saul’s Comes the Blind Fury. At first it looks like this could be a sequel to The Fury, but this edition of Saul’s novel came out earlier in the decade. The similarities are striking: the purple background, the whitened eyes, the otherworldly ‘I’ll swallow your soul’ glow.

God I miss the days when all children were evil.


31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #5

Happy Monday, kids!


#5: Nightscape – Stephen R. George (Zebra Books, 1992)

When you can’t help but judge a book by its cover.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #3

He is death personified, demoniacal, unstoppable, bloodthirsty, and very, very real.

Yes, people he is the SLOB.


#3: Slob  – Rex Miller (Signet, 1987)

Hailed as one of the least subtle paperbacks in the Horror Boom, Rex Miller’s SLOB is a no-nonsense head-first dive into the damaged psyche of a serial killer, a 400+ pound mess called Chaingang. The cover reeks of the mid-1980s, denim, blood-stained chains, and a blurb from Stephen King. As a teenager, I remember holding this paperback and feeling something both sleazy and ridiculously sublime. What’s under the cover is a different story. This book is in the ‘love or hate’ category. With lines like the following, there isn’t much in-between.

…How pleasant it would have been to sink a sharp object into her throat, ripping down across the breasts and then the abdomen and then gutting her and taking the parts he liked the best. And the thought of this fills his head with a scarlet roar.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #2

#2: Doom City  – edited by Charles L. Grant (Tor Horror, 1987)

Today’s cover image could be viewed in many ways. Is it an advertisement for a single’s resort: throw your heart to the wind and we’ll find you that absolute love? Or could it be a promo for vacationing at a seaside commune for those hoping to mend a broken heart, a drug addiction, or something far worse: yes, here the sunsets have the smoldering impression of a leering skull, so enjoy our quaint shoreline as we help you find yourself?


‘Doom City’ was part two of an anthology quartet edited by the late Charles L. Grant (a damn good editor but an even better short story writer). Every tale takes place in a fictitious coastal town along the Northeast, Greystone Bay, penned by some genre’s finest: Steve Rasnic Tem, Al Sarrantonio, Robert McCammon, Kathryn Ptacek, and many others. While this cover may not fully strike the horror chord, it sure does nail the mid-1980s contemplative, air-brushed vibe. Doom City doesn’t look all that bad, does it?

I can’t help to pair up this image with the following score from Brian DePalma’s ‘Body Double’. I think, goes so well with the high heels, sun-kissed ocean spray, and sweeping synths of glossy embossed loneliness.