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Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery [Paperback]

John Leake
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2012
In August of 1989, Duncan MacPherson-a pro hockey player from Saskatoon, Canada-vanished without a trace in Europe. With no help from the police, his parents, Lynda and Bob, drove all over the Alps looking for him, and finally found his car at the Stubai Glacier, a popular ski resort near Innsbruck, Austria. Thus began their twenty-year struggle to discover why their son had disappeared after snowboarding on a beginner slope. Had he, as the local police suggested, wandered off the beaten track and died in a remote area, or had he (as certain signs indicated) been the victim of something sinister? In the course of their search, the MacPhersons encountered an extraordinary cast of characters, including a 5,000-year-old ice mummy, an amnesiac initially thought to be Duncan, a renowned psychic with a startling vision, a charismatic ski resort developer, and a deceptively friendly forensic doctor. In 2009 they asked author John Leake to help them with their ongoing search for answers, and after a two-year investigation, he discovered the shocking reality of what happened to Duncan. Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery recounts the strange and agonizing odyssey of the MacPherson family. It is a story about tremendous love, perseverance, and the irrepressible desire to know the truth, literally at all costs. It is also the story of a twisted cover-up, committed by the ski resort, the local police, and high-ranking officials in Innsbruck. Leake's findings are the subject of the television documentary "A Cold Case," produced by the fifth estate-Canada's premier investigative news program. "Leake skillfully and exhaustively takes a complex story and makes it eminently readable." -The Regina Leader-Post "Besides research and writing skills, John Leake brought some crucial assets to the project--fluency in German and a knowledge of its region, its politics, and economics. -Linden MacIntyre, host of "the fifth estate" "You can't get Todd Mclellan to do anything but watch hockey video, with the exception of reading this book." -Drew Remenda, host of Sports Night Live "What a compelling read! I love this book." -John Gormley, host of John Gormley Live.

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Product Description

About the Author

John Leake went to Vienna, Austria on a graduate school scholarship and ended up living in the city for over a decade, working as a freelance writer and translator. His first book, Entering Hades, was a New York Times Sunday Book Review "Editors' Choice," a Men's Vogue "Best Book of 2007," and the inspiration of The Infernal Comedy, starring John Malkovich. For more information about Leake, please visit

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold a Long Time Nov. 17 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is outstanding and very compelling. I could not put it down, wanting to find out what happened to Duncan. His parents were presented with every form of deceit, but kept searching for the truth. It is the sadest and most heroic story I have read in years. We remember you Duncan. Rest well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I found Leake's book so compelling that I read it straight through to the end last night. It left me with an eerie feeling that the truth of what happened to Duncan MacPherson raises even more questions.....particularly, since so many of the experts indicated that while their expert opinion was that 'such and such' happened, they alluded to something altogether 'dark' about the entire case. The examples of other deaths or murders of young people in the area...only added to my curiosity...and questions.... I wonder if Leake felt the same way.
Overall, very well done-- clearly set out and seamless. I sense this was very hard to do given this story's oceanic
level of complexity and detail and bizarre twists and turns. I was intrigued by the minor but notable role Toronto Psychic Carole Wilson played in the story. Her vision of what happened to Duncan proved eerily accurate in the end. Christiane Schull
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic Feb. 24 2013
By wadadu
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A tragic story. A tale of a heartbreak and the horrible coverup by the Austrians. Makes you think twice about travelling alone in a strange country.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  117 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic and shocking!! Dec 1 2011
By J. Johnson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was attending college in Duncan MacPherson's hometown of Saskatoon, Canada when he disappeared. I remember well the almost daily stories in the local and national news for several months afterwards. The day this book was released on Kindle I downloaded it to my tablet and read it cover to cover in one sitting. I was riveted. Mostly, though, I was in a state of disbelief as I read the account of his parents and their decades long struggle to uncover the truth. Masterfully researched and written, this is the true story of a family's sorrow and their struggle against a foreign government and culture hell-bent on protecting the image of a region of Austria. Even if you're unfamiliar with the story of Duncan MacPherson this book will open your eyes!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You've NEVER read anything like this that was a TRUE story!!! March 5 2012
By Joe Lozito - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Cold A Long Time: An Alpine Mystery by John Leake. This may be the most unbelievable thing I've ever read. The story is amazing and my God, Lynda MacPherson is my hero. A warrior in every sense of the word who stopped at nothing to find out the truth about what happened to her son. As a hockey player, Duncan was a hard-nosed battler on the ice and after reading this book, it's obvious where his work ethic and toughness come from. At times, the political hoops that Lynda and her husband Bob had to jump through will make you forget that this is, unfortunately, a TRUE story! Author John Leake did an incredible job. Even if you are in the middle of a book at the moment, put it down, buy this book and prepare to run through every emotion contained in your body & mind.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read! Another incredible story by John Leake March 9 2012
By David R. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I heard about Cold a Long Time on a sports radio station in Dallas. The talk show had a guest from the NHL media who casually passed along his recommendation to pick up this fascinating story about Duncan McPherson. Based upon this recommendation I purchased the book from Amazon and have been blown away by the depth of the cover-up in Austria. John Leake does a wonderful job of organizing all the facts of the case and presenting a well written narrative about the demise of Duncan and the smokes and mirrors thrown up by the local and regional governments in Austria. Must read. I have passed this along to all my friends who are into mystery, conspiracy and sports as well. Looking forward to John's next project.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Disturbing Saga of Loss and a Search for the Truth July 12 2013
By Nyssa - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Imagine a loved one disappearing from a public venue without a trace one summer afternoon. Now imagine that the very people whose job it was to help him and should be helping you find that person not only neglected to sound the alarm to begin a search for him are now misleading you and giving you false information when you then attempt to conduct your own search. That's the situation a couple from Saskatoon find themselves in when their son disappears from a popular Austrian ski slope.

This is the type of story you might hear on the news about a person who has gone missing somewhere in a Third World country, not something you would think would happen in a western country such as Austria.

The first half of the book is about the circumstances of Duncan MacPherson's disappearance and the attempts his parents, Lynda and Bob, made to determine what actually happened to their son. When the local authorities were unwilling to pursue the case, Duncan's parents continued on their own at great expense both emotionally and financially.

Fourteen years after he vanished, Duncan's body melted out of a crevasse in the middle of a ski slope. Duncan's parents could finally get the answers about his death they've been seeking all those years.

Or could they?

The second half of the book traces the evidence, tracks down forensic experts, and attempts to reconstruct what really happened on that August afternoon in 1989. The results are both disturbing and shocking, and showed that the Austrian officials and the ski resort employees were involved in a huge cover-up in not only Duncan's case, but several others over the years. A conspiracy of silence, misdirection, and a disregard for the victims and their families ran rampant in those who depended on the tourist industry for their livelihood in the Stubai Glacier ski area of Austria. It was the making of a true-life nightmare with fatal consequences.

Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Story Sept. 17 2012
By Spekial K - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting and sad story. The only down side to this book is that the author got too emotionally attached and really couldn't present the story from a neutral standpoint. It became frustrating to read in the middle because it started to make accusations that didn't seem to make sense based on the facts that we had been provided. Overall it is an entertaining story and easy read.
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