On Boxing Day 1962 it began to snow. Over the next two months England froze. It was the coldest winter since 1740. The sea iced over. Cars could be driven across the Thames. Riding home from London in that first snowfall, on the powerful motorbike he has been given for Christmas, seventeen-year-old Alan Rae has a brush with death. Immediately he meets a girl, Cynthia, who will change his life. But someone else is equally preoccupied with her, Geoffrey, a young scientist who works with Alan’s father in the race with the Americans and the Russians to develop the microchip. Alan, Geoffrey and Cynthia become linked by a web of secrets which, while the country remains in icy suspension, threatens everything they ever trusted. Derek Beaven’s new novel is a moral drama. It demands that we question who our real friends are, and asks us to reconsider the scientific assumptions upon which all of modern life, and much of modern fiction, is based.
Reviews of His Coldest Winter
Praise for HIS COLDEST WINTER:
‘A fine novel that achieves an extraordinary exactitude of feeling matched by a perfect sense of place’ Guardian
‘The writing is persuasive, etching the imagery on the mind…Bevan can also catch people and their attitudes as well as landscape.’ Hugo Barnacle, Sunday Times
‘With wonderful imaginative intensity, expressed in an original style of elliptical impressionism galvanised by sudden realist shocks, Derek Beaven uses the austere background to dramatise a story of rivalry of young love, the rivalry of ton-up motor-cycle gangs, and the rivalry of international industrial espionage of military urgency.’ The Sunday Telegraph
‘A master of evoking atmosphere…Beaven writes about physical surroundings and sensations with absolute clarity and a poetically oblique manner. Beaven’s best descriptions are reserved for his character’s reactions to danger and confusion.’ Sunday Business Post