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
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.
“The 1950s seems a familiar decade, nestled in a buoyant post-war economy that expanded the middle class and generated an avid consumer society. But before the Princess phones, Eldorado tailfins and backyard Weber grills, there was a short, but sharp, recession. By 1951, Boston was still struggling.
This is the year, and this is the town, of “Serpents in the Cold,” a skinned-knuckle mystery by co-authors Thomas O’Malley and Douglas Graham Purdy. In the best noir tradition, these co-authors shine a smoky light on lives often lived in shadows; in this case, the inhabitants who lived in Scollay Square and the West End of Boston, before it all disappeared under the developers’ wrecking ball…
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.”
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)