Winter and Night

Winter and Night

Winter and Night

In the middle of the night, private investigator Bill Smith is awakened by a call from the NYPD. They’re holding a 15-year-old kid named Gary—a kid Bill knows.

But before Bill can find out what is going on, Gary escapes Bill’s custody into the dark night and unfamiliar streets. Bill, with the help of his partner Lydia Chin, tries to find the missing teen and uncover what it is that led him so far from home.

Tracking Gary’s family to a small town in New Jersey, Bill finds himself in a town where nothing matters but high school football, where the secrets of the past—both the town’s and Bill’s own—threaten to destroy the present. And if Bill is to have any chance of saving Gary and preventing a tragedy, he has to both unravel a long buried crime and confront the darkness of his own past.


February 28, 2002
Minotaur Books
ISBN-13: 978-0312245559
available in hardback, paperback, Kindle, audio

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In which SJ interviews SJ about Winter and Night


Starred review from Kirkus!

“No sooner has private eye Bill Smith pried his runaway nephew Gary Russell loose from the cops who picked him up for rolling a drunk than Gary’s taken off again, moments after telling Uncle Bill that his father would be cool with whatever it is he’s on his way to do. Unable to follow Gary, Bill tracks him backward to Warrenstown, New Jersey, the town Gary’s father Scott had just returned to after leaving 20 years earlier. High-school football rules in Warrenstown, and when Bill, nosing around Gary’s school friends looking for leads, discovers the body of sophomore Tory Wesley stripped, beaten, and overdosed in the aftermath of a wild party she gave in her absent parent’s house, everybody is studiously uninterested in finding out which local football players may have been involved. But Bill and his partner Lydia Chin, stonewalled at every turn in their search for answers, get onto bigger game when they link Tory’s death to an eerily similar crime 23 years ago: the case of Bethany Victor, who was raped by a misfit kid who killed himself soon after. At least that’s how the story goes. And in rejecting that story, Bill and Lydia head into a dark past that crosses Monday Night Football with Columbine High.

“Rozan’s best books, from No Colder Place (1997) to Reflecting the Sky (2001), root their complex plots in a strong central situation. Her masterly take on one of the genre’s classic tropes—the sins of the fathers waiting to bear poisonous fruit for their children—is worthy of that trope’s own spiritual father, Ross Macdonald.”