I was a big fan of Shana Merchant in the first book, but something was missing with A Death In The Family.  Fast forward to The Dead Season and the slow pace from book #1 picks up in #2.

Shana’s uncle disappeared when she was a teenager.  Everyone assumed he left his wife and two kids to move to Philadelphia.  That was what he told people he did before he vanished, but his bones tell another story.  This is what’s happening in Shana’s hometown.  In upstate New York a young boy is taken while on a field trip for school.  Clues are left for Shana to figure out who took him, and it doesn’t take her long to figure it out.  It’s the same person who has already killed three women, a rookie cop, and held her captive.  Bram.  He’s back and more evil than ever.

This time around we see how Shana’s past and present collide, and it’s juicy!  We also find out Bram’s real identity.  Holy moly I did not see that coming!  Oh it’s good with a side of disturbing.  How she got that long scar on her face is also explained which is equally disturbing.  Everyone is a suspect, every one of her family members that is.  

A lot of pieces from the first book are starting to come together, but not all of them.  I thought this was going to be the last book in the series, but I should have known better.  Ug!  This was such a page turner, and I can not wait for the next one.  I only hope that it’s all about Bram and Shana without another case tying them together.

Book Rating: 5/5

Wine Pairing: Jacques Girardin Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes 2017


Goodreads Synopsis

Senior Investigator Shana Merchant has spent years running from her past. But she never imagined a murder case would drive her to the most dangerous place of all–home.

After leaving the NYPD following her abduction by serial killer Blake Bram, Shana Merchant hoped for a fresh start in the Thousand Islands of Upstate New York. Her former tormentor has other plans. Shana and Bram share more than just a hometown, and he won’t let her forget it. When the decades-old skeleton of Shana’s estranged uncle is uncovered, Bram issues a challenge: Return home to Vermont and solve the cold case, or the blood he spills next will be on her hands.

As Shana interviews members of her family and the community, mining for secrets that could help her solve her uncle’s murder, she begins to realize how little she remembers of her childhood. And when Bram grows impatient and kidnaps again, leaving a trail of clues Shana alone can understand, she knows his new victim will only survive if she wins the psychopath’s twisted game. In order to solve one mystery, Shana must wade into her murky past to unravel another.