Great article about this summer’s crime releases. Honored to have ‘We Were Kings’ listed alongside such great novels as Michael Harvey’s ‘Brighton’ and Megan Abbot’s ‘You Will Know Me’. Cheers to J. Kingston Pierce and Kirkus Reviews.
“Thomas O’Malley and Douglas Graham Purdy’s initial historical grabber, Serpent in the Cold (2015), somehow escaped my radar. The same won’t happen with its equally Boston-based sequel, We Were Kings. After the icy, desolate winter that back-dropped Serpent, we’re offered here the skin-peeling heat wave of 1954, when “currents of lightning sparked and raced” across the sky without inciting rain, and Scollay Square—a once-vibrant urban quarter, fallen on seedy times—was being razed in a racket to make room for today’s Government Center. Tipped off that a ship bearing contraband intended for Irish Republican Army partisans will land at the Charlestown docks, local police lock down the harbor, only to turn up an empty vessel and an unidentified body tarred and feathered, perhaps left behind as a warning to other prospective IRA “rats.” Homicide detective Owen Mackey, worried about Beantown turning into a conduit for Ireland-bound armaments, asks his widowed cousin, Cal O’Brien—a former cop, now heading a private security outfit—to infiltrate the Irish community, see what can be learned. O’Brien, in turn, recruits his ex-heroin addict friend, piano player Dante Cooper, and together they dig among the city’s clubs, funeral parlors, and underworld dives until they expose a terrorist scheme of no small import…”
Read the full article here.
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
In one week, the paperback of ‘Serpents in the Cold’ comes out – 5/24/16. With a sweet new cover, I hope the novel pulls in some new readers. Noir is a term thrown around a lot these days, but Thomas O’Malley and I think our novel justifies the term (or at least we hope so).
Alan Glynn (author of Limitless) says, “There is a classic noir sensibility at work in Serpents in the Cold, complete with its uncannily rendered sense of time and place, but the novel is also suffused with a thoroughly modern understanding of loss, pain, damage and the price of loyalty. It’s not often you get to pair gritty with lyrical, but you certainly do here.”
We Were Kings (release: 6/21/16, Mulholland Books)
Book #2 in The Boston Saga
My soundtrack to the novel, SERPENTS IN THE COLD, is a featured mix on 8tracks. Ninety minutes of cinematic scores, melancholic jazz, and Noir-inspired electronics. I think it makes a nice audio accompaniment to the wintry and bleak crime novel written by Thomas O’Malley and me.
(click on image for the link)
‘Serpents in the Cold’ is a crime novel about uncovering dark secrets and going against the odds for the sake of redemption. Two friends, Cal O’Brien and Dante Cooper, traverse the frozen landscape of Boston in the 1950s to solve a murder that runs a violent trail deep through the city and its many shadows.
Also check out the chain of other 8tracks mixes inspired by the novel. So many great sounds here, ranging all styles and tempos:
The Boston Globe reviews SERPENTS IN THE COLD. “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.” Check the full review here.
Thank you, Marilyn Stasio– SERPENTS IN THE COLD gets a New York Times Sunday Book Review!
“The bitter winter of 1951 has a fierce grip on Boston in SERPENTS IN THE COLD, a brutally realistic novel by Thomas O’Malley and Douglas Graham Purdy…..Giant icicles hang down in glittering spikes from the twin spires of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Roxbury. Vagrants are freezing to death on park benches on Boston Common. And over in Dorchester, the glassy sheet of ice stretching across the bay from Tenean Beach heaves up the naked body of a woman the police believe to be the latest victim of the serial killer known as the Boston Butcher…..So kind of the authors to give us one last, lingering look at the good-bad old days.”
Click here for the full review.
The crime novel SERPENTS IN THE COLD (Mulholland Books) is available now on Amazon Kindle. It may just be the perfect book for this unforgiving Winter weather. Curl up with some tea, or better yet, a neat whiskey, and travel back to February, 1951, Boston. Chuck Hogan, author of the bestselling The Town, calls it “a great addition to the canon of gritty Boston street fiction, a no-punches-pulled look at a bygone era.”
(hardcover, ebook & audiobook released on January 20th, 2015)
“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