cover image Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter

Brian Moreland. Samhain (, $17 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-1-60928-663-7

Pushing the limits of hyperactive horror, this dark fantasy combines mythologies to inflict manitous and demons on the inhabitants of fur-trapping outposts in the Canadian wilderness of 1870. Insp. Tom Hatcher left Montreal to recover from pursuing the Cannery Cannibal, but now he is profoundly shaken as people around him are slaughtered or transformed into ravenous, flesh-eating fiends. He is both attracted to and repelled by Anika Moonblood, an Ojibwa tracker with her own traumatic history, who tries to awaken his repressed Native American spirituality so that he can recognize the evil spirits at work. Meanwhile, Jesuit exorcist Father Xavier attempts to identify those possessed by demons. It’s hard to work up much involvement with the many characters who exist merely to contribute their blood and guts to the proceedings, and the frantic action eventually becomes more numbing than diverting. (Jan.)