Dead of Winter is the fourth book in the Alexa Williams Suspense Series by Sherry Knowlton, published by Milford House Press. Read my blog about the other books in the series here.
This book has one of the best thriller openings I’ve read in a while. Alexa Williams, her old flame Reese and social worker friend Tyrell have just gone out and tested Tyrell’s new drone. Now they are looking at the footage when suddenly they spot what looks like a body in a pool of blood.
This leads them to search for the spot until they find a man who looks like he’s been executed by a firing squad. Next to him a note in Arabic that makes it look like an act of terrorism.
It turns out that this is not the only such killing. Reese becomes a suspect in the executions, which makes it hard for him and Alexa to re-kindle their old flame. But the inhabitant’s of Alexa’s small Pennsylvania town turn into a mob and go after a family of newly-settled Syrian refugees, fueled by anti-Muslim rage, while a local militia group targets Alexa.
One dark night in the dead of winter, Alexa discovers who is behind the murders and must race to stop an attack that could kill hundreds. If she fails, she could lose everyone she loves.
The thrilling plot is interwoven with a story from the past, about two slaves who escape their master through the underground rail road and ends up fighting with John Brown at Harper’s Ferry. I found this story very gripping and was tempted to fast-forward to those sections to read it all in one piece.
I’m a student of Krav Maga, like Alexas is, so I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Alexa is learning Krav Maga from an instructor.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
- “With riveting suspense and vivid details, Dead of Winter by Sherry Knowlton brings the towns and forests of Southcentral Pennsylvania to vivid life as cultures and beliefs clash in a searing tale of murder, love, and communal fear. From flying drones to police investigations and legal wrangling, Dead of Winter will keep you guessing and glued raptly to your reading chair.” - Gayle Lynds, New York Times best-selling author of The Assassi
- “Sherry Knowlton brilliantly weaves contemporary issues into a riveting mystery that will stick with you long after the last page is turned. In Dead of Winter, the reader can sense a fuse has been lit and is burning closer to a rural Pennsylvania town that is on the brink after a series of deaths appear to lead back to the normally tranquil setting. While addressing xenophobia, racism, and America’s complicated history, Dead of Winter is the novel we need and the story we want.” — J.J. Hensley, author of Bolt Action Remedy and Record Scratch
- “Ms. Knowlton is a fine writer, who writes beautiful prose as good as that of much of our finest fiction … The book is an intriguing, suspenseful story which grabs the attention of the reader from the very first page … Alexa Williams again proves a formidable heroine in this suspenseful tale of international corruption and hatred.”-- Alma Bond, Midwest Book Review
- “In Dead of Winter, Sherry Knowlton examines the explosive combination of ignorance and fear that results in hate and violence.Knowlton uses her familiarity with both small town South Central Pennsylvania and the wilds of Africa to good advantage in her fourth Alexa Williams novel. Her use of drone technology to set up the discovery of the crime in which Alexa will find herself caught up is clever....A thought-provoking novel dealing with issues that are as important now as they were at the time of the Underground Railroad. --Matty Dalrymple, Author of the Lizzy Ballard Thrillers and the Ann Kinnear Suspense Novels and Shorts
WHERE TO FIND IT
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sherry Knowlton is the author of the Alexa Williams series of suspense novels: Dead of Autumn, Dead of Summer, Dead of Spring and the most recent release, Dead of Winter. Passionate about books at an early age, she was that kid who would sneak a flashlight to bed at night so she could read beneath the covers. All the local librarians knew her by name. When not writing the next Alexa Williams thriller, Knowlton works on her health care consulting business or travels around the world. She and her husband live in the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania.
HOW TO CONTACT SHERRY
FEARLESS BLOGGER TOUR
This blog is part of a tour organized by the International Thriller Writer's Association FEARLESS BLOGGER tour. The Fearless Bloggers were created by Alison McMahan to help new thriller writers who were members of ITW promote their work. Blogs are written about new thrillers by thriller writers. All work is done on a volunteer basis. Other blogs in this tour include:
Elena Hartwell (includes author interview)