News & Press

SERPENTS IN THE COLD (Mulholland Books, Little Brown) Thomas O’Malley & Douglas Graham Purdy

“A noir novel can be the high, slippery tightrope of mysteries. It’s difficult to sustain a dark, moody balance; many writers slide right off into caricature. But O’Malley and Purdy let in just enough daylight – even if it’s harsh winter light – to hold out hope of redemption.” — WBUR’s Carol Iaciofano

“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 that captures the atmosphere of a city in decay and its inhabitants. It delivers noir fiction like we always want it to be.” Kirkus Review (full review here)

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

“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


UK Press Release: O’Malley and Purdy to Mulholland
01 May 2013
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.”


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