Review and Giveaway: Dead of Wynter by Spencer Seidel
“Dolly, it’s your mother.” Dolly. Jackie Ruth Wynter had called Alice that for years. The conversation that followed led her right back to the place she had run from for years. Her twin brother, younger by just a minute or so, had been fading, transforming into an image of their drunken, narrow-eyed father. Now her father was dead, and her brother, Chris, missing.
Alice resigns herself to return, helping her mother and the local police with the mystery surrounding the crime. But there are some family secrets her mother would sooner take to the grave than reveal.
Reacquainting with her past brings fresh pain and new friendships as she struggles with who to trust with the details of her father’s murder and brother’s disappearance. As the authorities come closer to solving the mystery of the men in her family, she begins to realize her past life as Alice Wynter is the missing part of the puzzle. But who is searching out the former Alice? The sinister mysteries of the Wynter family will capture the reader’s attention well past when the fire has gone out.
If you are a crime mystery junkie (like me) then you will absolutely devour Spencer Seidel’s debut,
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.
Also Reviewed By: Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog – – Beth Fish Reads
This book is due for release on Amazon May 24th. We are giving away a copy of DEAD OF WYNTER to one very lucky commenter on this post. To win simply leave a comment. Winner will be selected via random.org and announced in our Week in Review post on Sunday, May 22nd 2011. Good Luck!