The Dead of Winter (The Hemlock County Novels) (Volume 1)
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MURDER IN THE DEEP WOODS "It was on that first day of the hunt, an hour after dawn, that the old man found the body of the boy." This classic novel of crime and revenge in deer-hunting country opens on the first day of buck season in remote Hemlock County, Pennsylvania. Long-retired hunter and reclusive hermit W.T. Halvorsen discovers the victim of what at first seems like a hunting accident. After the funeral, the victim's father, Dr.Paul Michelson, begins a search for the killer who shot his son, then walked away, letting him bleed to death in the snow. When Michelson too vanishes, his lover Teresa Del Rosario follows him to Hemlock County, fighting her growing fear he has murder in mind. As terror stalks the deep woods, Halvorsen pits his tracking and shooting skills against those of his human enemy in a deadly cat-and-mouse game deep in the Kinningmahontawany Wild Area. An epic tale of justice, survival, and two utterly determined men hunting each other through the snow-shrouded hills and ravines in the greatest blizzard in twenty years. Hemlock County is Poyer's fictional re-creation and evocation of the country and people where he grew up. There are four books in the series. They were first published in this order: The Dead of Winter, Winter in the Heart, As the Wolf Loves Winter, and then Thunder on the Mountain.
They drove into Raymondsville along Route Six. * * * Ralph H. Sweet had been appointed the county game warden three years before. Or, as he liked people to call him, the game protector. He was Halvorsen's grandson, though the two had never been close; and when he came into the waiting room of the hospital where three men sat outside the green swinging doors marked EMERGENCY, it was to the old man that he nodded, clearing his throat. "Uh, hi, Racks. What's up? Heard there was something wrong
natural obstacles. He left contour lines to go deep into ravines and climb out on the other side, an admittedly shorter number of steps, but a much more physically demanding way to travel in rough country. To Halvorsen, slogging along, the trail was much harder to follow than that of a woods-wise man. Only occasionally could he go uphill to the first bench, walk for fifteen minutes on the level, then descend to pick up the trail again, the way he would to catch up on an animal or another
and the feel of the hard wood against her knees were so familiar that as the words droned on and the server lifted the bells to tinkle like breaking icicles, she nodded, lulled and forgetful and a little sleepy, as she had not been truly sleepy since it had happened. "Go in peace," said the priest clearly, turning to face the nearly empty church. "The Mass is ended." She murmured the response in Spanish; then sat again as the women rose and shuffled past, some helping others on walkers. As they
going very fast. Not that I am either, Michelson thought. Neither of us could outrun a healthy toddler. He remembered Aaron as a toddler. A fat child. Fat and strong. Odd how he'd gotten so thin as he grew. With the memory came a surge of pain, not physical like the rest, but deeper and more wrenching, yet strangely unreal to him; a cry from someone he once had been, but who was now buried deep under layers of cold ash, under the cave-in of a self. But it wasn't very loud and he smiled again,
At last it crashed down and he reached inside and a metal ramp scraped out. She watched, not speaking, as he climbed up into the bed. A whine and a roar, and something massive clawed at the steel of the bed. Metal squealed as it slid down the ramps, then dug into the snow, throwing ruby-glowing clouds of smoke, oil-smelling, noxious. She started back; she'd heard of them, but never actually seen such a machine before. Its engine roared again and then dropped to a purr. Lights detonated, blinding