This is another very good entry in the 87th Precinct series. The title has multiple meanings and, as it would suggest, the story takes place during a brutally cold winter. As it opens, a dancer from a big show is walking home late at night. As she nears her apartment, someone steps out of the shadows and shoots her to death with a .38.
As it turns out, the same gun was used in the murder of a small-time drug dealer a week or so earlier. That case belongs to Steve Carella of the 87th Precinct, and since the two cases are obviously linked, the detectives of the 87th inherit the murder of the young woman as well, even though the crime did not occur within the boundaries of their precinct.
The detectives work diligently, but they can find no link between the two victims and no plausible suspects in either killing. Then another person is shot with the same gun and this victim would appear to have no relationship with either of the first two. It's all very confusing and suggests to the detectives that perhaps a crazy person is running around the city, killing people at random, which would be the worst possible thing that could happen.
In the meantime, Detective Bert Kling is still recovering from his recent divorce. He is definitely in emotional and psychological difficulty and is spending way too much time in the wee hours of the morning, lying awake and staring at his gun on the nightstand beside him.
All in all, it's a great tale. Thirty-six books into the series, McBain was clearly on a roll and fans of the series won't want to miss this one.