Dead of Winter (Coin Reveal #1) by Lee Collins Book Review

Write on: Sat, 05 Jun 2021 by  in Charles' Reviews Read 368


DEAD OF WINTER by Lee Collins is one of the latest books I've read on my Weird West kick. I've always been a fan of the genre and even wrote my Cthulhu Armageddon books with the theme but am not as sufficiently versed in the subject as I want to be. This came highly recommended and I immediately tore into it when I got my copy. It is an extremely readable novel and that's something I always like to bring up. Like Blood Riders by Michael P. Spradlin, I really loved entering the world and spending time with its characters.

The premise is that Cora Oglesby is a Southern woman who hunts vampires with her husband Ben. The two of them ostensibly work for the Catholic Church, though Cora is the kind of hard-drinking hard-fighting woman who is decidedly not the type you'd think would be employed by such. Finding herself in the town of Leadville, Colorado, she soon finds herself on the trail of a cannibalistic monster that she manages to dispatch only to find herself engaged with an even bigger threat.

I like the character and really enjoyed her constantly getting in the face of the locals. Unfortunately, one issue I had is the fact Cora is one of those mythical Confederate citizens who blame the Yankees for their "savagery" while also not being racist themselves. Everytime she tried to play her past for sympathy, I rolled my eyes as I've had enough Lost Cause apologia to last a lifetime. I liked her less and less every time she tried to pretend that the South wasn't the bad guys.

The villains are also a bit lacking due to the fact that they are all motivated by EVIL and don't have much of a personality. That's fine for our monster-hunting story, though, and I liked the Wendigo especially. The fact Cora has no idea what the monster is and how to kill it is something that added a level of believability to the Wild West shenanigans. She works for the Church and they have vast knowledge on Western monsters but almost no knowledge about how the supernaturals of other peoples work.

I'd be remiss if I also didn't mention this is one of those books that relies on a BIG TWIST that changes everything. I won't spoil the BIG TWIST but I am going to note that there is one. I'm of mixed feelings about it because it is never explained to be either supernatural or mundane. If mundane, it would be something that doesn't correspond much to reality but is still an interesting way of forcing you to interpret previous events in a new light. Sadly, it also spoils something that I'd been enjoying about the book in a completely drama free protagonist relationship.

Generally, if you like the idea of a couple of monster hunters coming to a small town (even though Leadville, CL was actually anything but at this point in time) to hunt evil then getting involved in some nasty business with a master vampire then this will be your kind of book. Cora is a great character and I wish I didn't find her opinion about the Civil War so repellent. Still, this is definitely something I enjoyed. The twist is something I have mixed feelings on, as stated, but I appreciate the author trying something new.

Available here

C.T. Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".

He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.