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His Coldest Winter by Derek Beaven
His Coldest Winter is set in England during the winter of 1963, the coldest winter in centuries, when the Thames froze and any outside water pipes broke, leaving many without water. It was also at the height of the Cold War and a time when the tide would turn against any British technical superiority. Alan Rae is a 17-year old who cheats death by riding his motorbike to a biker cafe where he falls for Cynthia. Alan is home alone since his mother's car has a frozen block in London and his father has been called away on business. Cynthia is a secretary at his father's research firm, and both Alan's father and Cynthia's parents go missing. Their work on emerging microchips that could eventually control early versions of the internet has gathered the interests of a competing power. Derek Beaven's novel juxtaposes Alan's innocence and naivete against the loss of innocence of his father's generation. His Coldest Winter has received mixed reviews with The Telegraph saying, "Here is an admirably ingenious, multi-layered novel of extreme contrasts nicely balanced."