Following the horrific events of Death in the Family, Senior Investigator Shana Merchant finds herself on administrative leave.
Her PTSD was triggered by the events on the Sinclair family’s private island and it caused her to display poor judgement. Now she is left spinning her wheels as her department urges her to take time to heal.
Pending a psychological evaluation she may be reinstated to her position. In the meantime however, she is suppose to focus on anything but work.
Shana has a hard time with that. When the remains of her long missing Uncle are found in the woods of her hometown, she heads home to solve the mystery.
At the same time, a young boy, Trey, goes missing on a school field trip in Alexandria Bay. Shana’s partner, Tim, is on the case and Shana feels like it is connected to Blake Bram, the serial killer continuing to hound her.
What’s even more intriguing is that Shana feels like the cases are linked in other ways; like Bram is holding Trey hostage, forcing Shana to solve the case of her long-dead Uncle. If she can solve it, perhaps Trey will live, but why?
I really enjoyed getting to know Shana Merchant, as a character, in the first novel. This second book fills in more of her past and the events that haunt her, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
We learn more about Blake Bram and Shana’s original connection to him.
Wegert won me over in the first novel by utilizing my favorite mystery trope, the locked room mystery. In this second installment, again, she gave me another one of my favorites: when a protagonist returns to their hometown to solve an old mystery.
Shana feels like she has forgotten a lot of her childhood. As she interviews friends, relatives and other community members, it begins to jog her memory and what she finds there isn’t pretty.
I really enjoyed the pacing of this and the reveals.
Shana is a great character, as is Tim, her partner. I have no idea how many mysteries this series will ultimately be, but you better believe, I will be reading them all.
If you are looking for a new mystery series with a classic mystery feel, you should definitely give the Shana Merchant series a try. The Dead Season is releasing on Tuesday, December 8th!!!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I really appreciate it!