The Hounds of Winter

The Hounds of Winter

Book - 2005
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This psychological thriller by the award-winning novelist James Magnuson combines the moral acuity of Graham Greene with the twists and turns of the best Hitchcock films.

David Neisen came seeking reconciliation; what he found was a father's worst nightmare. Arriving on Christmas Eve to spend the holidays with his daughter Maya, he discovers her murdered on the floor of their cabin in the Wisconsin woods. He sees a ski-masked figure lurching through the snowdrifts behind the house and sets out in pursuit--only to transform himself into the prime suspect in his daughter's death.

Struggling to elude his pursuers in the fierce Wisconsin winter, Neisen must deal first with the ghosts of his past--a childhood tragedy that binds him to the small-town sheriff, the friends of his youth who must now choose to shelter or betray him, and the unresolved mysteries about the munitions plant where his father worked during the Korean War. And looming above it all is his growing certainty that his daughter was not who he thought she was. The answers lie hidden in "this Midwestern world of farmers and sons and daughters of farmers with their Christian forbearance and Scandinavian silences, their delicate kindnesses, this Cold War world, this white-bread world. It receded like the Ice Age had receded, leaving behind its own rubble, its broken citadels and buried secrets ...

Publisher: Austin : University of Texas Press, c2005
ISBN: 9780292709904
Branch Call Number: MAGNUSO
Characteristics: 273 p. ; 24 cm


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Mar 19, 2011

I found this book to be a bit of an odd read. I have not read any of James Magnuson's other books, but I wondered if he had written a mystery before.

The writing is very evocative, especially when he is describing the woods of Wisconsin, but the plot felt a little thin. The characters are too thinly drawn to garner any real sympathy or contempt.

Magnuson isn't very skilled at building suspense either. The author presents a few suspects to the reader, but we are never drawn far enough down any one path to feel like we know whodunit. Which leads to few shocks.

In short, fans of thrillers/mysteries will find better books than The Hounds of Winter.

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