Publish Date: May 24, 2011
Paperback, 292 pages
Why I read this: The blurb sounded interesting and I like dark and twisty suspense tales.
My thoughts: Dead of Wynter is definitely a dark and twisty suspense tale which I enjoyed from the standpoint of pure reading satisfaction. However from the character standpoint I found it a little lacking. But please read further because I do believe this is a very enjoyable book.
I'll start with what I love about Dead of Wynter. The suspense. The author does a wonderful job of building the suspense, both in what happened in the past (the dark family secret) and what is going on in the present. I loved the back and forth and the little tidbits that were added to the story each time the story explored the past and what Chris did during his and Dolly's senior year of high school.
What was so-so for me was the character development. I didn't love or hate Alice in the beginning. I really couldn't form an attachment to her and she is the main character. Her mother is in the story, her father is dead and her brother is missing. When she heads home after her father dies you know she doesn't want to be there but you don't know why and you won't know why until much later in the book. I think that part is great and as I mentioned I love the way the author builds on the story. But I think it would have been helpful to know a little more about Alice ("Dolly" as her mother calls her) in the present to feel for her a little more. As it stands she seems a little cold and strange (but this is probably the way the author intended it). I wanted to like her in the beginning, but just felt ambivalence towards her. As the story continues though I warmed to her. I still thought she was a little flaky at times and the story just a tad out there, but for an enjoyable afternoon read - Dead of Wynter fits the bill.
If you enjoy suspense stories that focus on small towns and family secrets then this is a book for you to try. Mr. Seidel weaves an excellent tale of suspense.
Spencer Seidel definitely makes my list of authors to read more books by and I look forward to more from him in the future.
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
About the Book:
“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.
About the Author:
Spencer Seidel lives and works in suburban New Jersey but has also called Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine home. He is an honors graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University and attended the Berklee College of Music to study guitar, which he has been playing for over 25 years. His love of reading and books began as a child after discovering Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Later, he was drawn to darker work by authors such as Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Jack Ketchum, who continue to influence his dark novels and short stories.
His debut novel, Dead of Wynter, is due to be published in May 2011.