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Dead of Wynter Paperback – May 24, 2011
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"Dead of Wynter cracks like footsteps on frozen branches. You’ll have trouble putting this down until the last page has been turned. This is not only a fine first novel, it’s a terrific novel, period."
Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author
"Dead of Wynter packs a wallop, with writing as raw and rugged as its landscape and characters. You’ll want to stay with it until the last shot is fired."
Gerry Boyle, author of Damaged Goods, and the Jack McMorrow mystery series
"Dead of Wynter kept me reading late into the night, the sign of a great thriller! Seidel combines well-written action sequences and vivid, cruel characters as the secrets of one New England family are slowly meted out."
Stefanie Kiper, Water Street Bookstore
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Alice Wynter receives a phone call from her mother telling her that her father is dead. When she goes back to her hometown of Redding, Maine, she discovers that her twin brother Chris is missing. Alice grew up in a troubled household with an alcoholic and abusive father. As a result, her twin Chris was a troubled teen and developed his own drinking problem. Alice was able to move away and start a life of her own, but now that she's back in town, bad memories are resurfacing as the police are trying to figure out what happened to Alice's father and brother. As the story goes on, there are flashbacks to 1984 when Chris was a teen and getting into deep trouble as well as glimpses into Alice's homelife.
Dead of Wynter is one of those novels that slowly draws you in. I enjoyed uncovering the story layer by layer. I wondered if Chris was responsible for his fathers murder and what secrets Alice and her mother were keeping. I felt bad for Alice having to go back to her hometown where so many painful memories were waiting.
The flashbacks were done well and were a necessary part of the story in order for the reader to get a glimpse into these characters lives.
Author Spencer Seidel does a great job at creating a creepy atmosphere. This was a good mystery and I enjoyed getting caught up in it.
The present day story wraps up in just a couple of days, but lots of family secrets are unearthed. Alice thinks she is the only one with anything to hide, but learns that everyone in her family had a secret - some old, some new. She reconnects with an old boyfriend from highschool while she is back in town and is able to eventually heal some wounds that had happened with him.
I liked the way the author used the Maine weather to play a role in the story. As the weather intensified, so did the story. The more the snow fell and covered the landscape, the more secrets were unburied. I felt satisfied by the ending and felt like all the loose ends had been wrapped up. Highly recommend this book for anyone who loves mysteries, thrillers, and are fans of good fiction!
DEAD OF WYNTER.
Set in the harsh, frozen winter of Maine, Seidel introduces readers to the small town, dysfunctional Wynter family with skeletons hidden in the darkest corner of their closet.
Ma Wynter is devoted wife who stood by her alcoholic husband through better and worse-poor and poorer. The mother of fraternal twins, Chris and Alice, she just excepted her lot in life and never amounted to much of anything. Pa Wynter was a mean and course man who drank and criticized anyone who was within ear shot and passed his tendency to hit the bottle on to his only son, Chris. Though twins, Chris and Alice are very different. Alice hides in books and wants nothing to do with the town, and Chris wants to be accepted more than anything. It is Chris's drive to be a part of a group and his longing for acceptance that leads to the true downfall of his family and the loss of his sister's real presence in his life.
Alice, managing to escape her past, has made something of herself. She left for university, married and has never looked back...until she receives word that her father is dead. Unsure of how she really feels about his death, Alice knows one thing for certain, she must go back. This scene was really moving. When we meet Alice at the beginning she is successful and married, but her life is not without problems. Her marriage of 18 years has fallen stale and she realizes that her husband is most likely having an affair. Anyone who has been married for a period of time will be able to relate to the emotions conveyed by the characters. The distance between Alice and her husband is one of the factors that leads to Alice arriving alone to the house and family she left in her past.
Soon after arriving back in her hometown, Alice discovers that there is more to her father's death than meets the eye. And with her brother Chris spiraling downward she soon realizes that it may all be connected to the reason she left in the first place.
This was a very fast and easy read at only 281 pages. The story alternates between various characters perspectives and periodic flashbacks to 1984 so readers can slowly begin to unravel the hidden mystery that has led to the current murder/crimes taking place. The end is satisfying, even though it wasn't what I had hoped would happen-I admit that I understood the characters decisions and why things were left the way they were. Unlike some other popular crime mysteries, this one is completely solved and has a definitive ending.
DEAD OF WYNTER is an enthralling thriller that is emotional and gripping and Spencer Seidel is an author to definitely keep an eye out for. I was impressed with this debut and look forward to future works from this author.
Most recent customer reviews
Can't wait until his next book!