The winters of ’76 and ’77 in the greater Detroit and Oakland County area of Michigan were extremely harsh, with record snowfall, brutal temperatures, and incessant howling winds. During these winters, a deranged serial killer preyed upon preteen and early teen victims, both male and female.
As snow would begin to fall, the killer would hunt and abduct them, keep them at a secluded location, bathe them, meticulously groom them, feed them their favorite meal, and then wait for the next snowstorm. Under the cover of the next snowfall, the killer would hide their corpses in snowbanks on secondary roads, where they would be found by passing motorists.
This story is a fictional account of an over-the-hill detective, Frank Pellegrini, and his strange obsession in the pursuit of that killer.
“...a winner out of the starting gate. Every mystery fan will be engrossed from the first chapter, taken up in the evil and agony as this traumatic episode evolves. Based upon actual events, Burns leads the reader through the time when no parents in the area of Detroit could feel secure about the safety of their children...This critic doesn’t see THE DARK GRAY BLANKET collecting dust on any bookstore shelf. Read it, recommend it, and reference it. It’s a keeper.”
“I loved this book from beginning to end! While uniquely intertwining fact and fiction, the author weaves a captivating mystery set in a Detroit of days gone by, the essence of which is captured in fine detail. Children ‘lost’ in the dead of winter and found in bizarre circumstances...A detective called upon to investigate who cannot explain why he is so drawn to these cases. Spellbinding! Left me hoping for a sequel!”
“H. Burns sets the table for a memorable story with his accurate accounting of a harsh, Michigan winter. The secret that lies beneath will keep you on edge and like myself unable to put the book down...The vivid descriptions of Detroit, Oakland County, and the shadow that was once cast upon the Motor City add to the grip that surrounded this proud area of Michigan. In the tradition of Patterson, Cromwell, and Clancy, The Dark Grey Blanket will have you reliving this tale well after you’ve finished reading. A must read!”
Communications Corporation Senior Statistician
Design Engineer (Retired)
Automotive Executive (Retired)
H. Burns earned a degree in psychology and marketing, and then pursued a successful career with Ford Motor Company. During the harsh winters of ’76 and ’77, he was on assignment at the Renaissance Center in Downtown Detroit.
He, his wife, and their two daughters, ages ten and
twelve, lived in Northville, Michigan, where they watched the developing nightmare from afar. The last victim, a twelve year old, was found less than three miles from their home.