Summary

On a freezing Christmas morning, a distraught young man named Jeremy Davies led police to a corpse he had placed in a snowbank some hours before. They found a man's body, naked, bloody and beaten. Davies insisted that he had not killed the man but that he and his fiancée had simply buried a stranger's body. The police investigation confirmed the fact that the victim, Harry Berge, had died in the apartment of Barbara Hoffman. Hoffman had dropped out of university a few credits short of a degree and had worked in a local massage parlor for some time. She and Davies had recently become engaged. After the police discovered that Berge was an ex-lover of Hoffman's and that he had signed over his house and an insurance policy to her benefit and, further, that Davies had also made her the beneficiary of his insurance policies, they began to suspect that Davies might be in danger. They kept him under watch for a while but eventually had to stop the surveillance. Shortly thereafter, Davies turned up dead, an apparent suicide.
However, it was discovered that he had died from cyanide poisoning and, though he had also been beaten, so had Berge. Although Hoffman was never charged for Davies' murder, she was charged and convicted for Berge's murder. The suspicion was that her intended victim had been Davies and that Berge's death was unplanned. Hofmann was convicted for the murder and went to prison with a life sentence.
©1990 Karl Harter; This edition published in 2014 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer petamd on 18-02-16

excellent one of the best

a great read very well told and an interesting crime well told and informative a new writer tome will be looking out for more by him

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Squeaky Joe on 15-09-18

A thought-provoking case

When a man turns up at a police station on Christmas Day saying he has buried a corpse, police are led to a naked body dumped in a frozen snowbank. Claiming that he and his fiancé, Barbara Hoffman, discovered the stranger in her apartment, Jerry Davies insists they know nothing about the dead man. However, when police begin their investigation, they uncover a tale of deception, insurance fraud and cyanide poisoning.

In any true-crime story, we expect certain things: references to police reports, official documents and personal letters, as well as actual evidence that backs up the author’s point of view. This is not one of those books. In a note at the beginning of the paperback version, Karl Harter says this book is the result of ‘extensive research and scores of interviews’. He also records how he has ‘dramatically emphasised’ some scenes. Well, that is certainly true, for Harter ignores the usual set-up and instead goes off at a tangent at regular intervals, imagining what certain people are thinking about, looking at, or doing with their hands. He also spends a lot of time relating intimate details of Hoffman’s sexual encounters, which seems inappropriate at the very least.

Maybe I’m just being picky but reading about real events is only interesting when we are given the facts rather than imagined scenarios. In ‘Winter of Frozen Dreams’ I’m left with the feeling that the author’s writing style would have worked better in a novel. Of course, this is only my opinion and I may well be doing him a disservice, and to be fair, the last section of the book which details the eventual court case, is positively riveting. But all in all, this is an interesting and thought-provoking case that could have been expressed far more effectively.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Dee on 18-03-16

Too Boring

I tried to get through it, but by chapter 20, I had to stop. The thought of getting through 70 more chapters was too much.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By 2d6 charisma on 18-04-16

Found narrator to be

The book itself was ok but I think it would have been better if I had read it myself. the narrator bothered me because of his lack of inflection or in some parts it was misplaced. For the most part he talked in a monotone. I will be sure to never choose a book narrated by him again.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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