Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A book that left me feeling the chills of the storm…

First off, that brilliant cover image!!

And then of course the plot of the book, a raging storm, an island, the bed soaked in blood, wealthy Sinclair family all with heaps of motives and transgressions, distrust and suspicions galore and to top it off, a heroine who is herself recovering form the trauma of serial killer abduction. What more a crime thriller aficionado want?

And reading the above, all thriller fans immediately think of Agatha Christie and her classic story-telling of a locked room mystery but here the atmosphere provides the major thrill factor.

Shana Merchant is new to the Thousand Islands region in New York and the detective work is nothing like what she has experienced. The islands are secluded and with the weather playing havoc, Shana and Tim have to play examiners, detectives, secure the premises, and also determine if at all there’s a murder that is to be investigated. The family and friends behave suspiciously and they are all hiding details that may prove significant but extracting these tit-bits is not easy and the interview process becomes tedious. And making matters worse is Shana’s flashbacks and her trauma of abduction by a serial killer.

The classic whodunnit was perfectly done and with a struggling protagonist, the story takes a very devious turn as the readers are provided glimpses of Shana’s past incidents and this tantalizing info is quite compelling so much that the next book in the series is definitely gonna be auto-buy for me. And it is not just the serial killer equation but also the reason for the huge scar on Shana’s face that hints at another crime and hopefully another book in the series. I loved the characterization of each and every individual comprising the Sinclair family, there are the usual squabbles and sibling rivalry and financial motives and unearthing the truth from myriad motives made Death In the Family a very addictive read.

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A storm-struck island. A blood-soaked bed. A missing man. Senior Investigator Shana Merchant believes it all adds up to a killer in their midst—and that murder is a family affair.

Thirteen months ago, former NYPD detective Shana Merchant barely survived being abducted by a serial killer. Now hoping to leave grisly murder cases behind, she’s taken a job in her fiancé’s sleepy hometown in the Thousand Islands region of Upstate New York.

But as a nor’easter bears down on her new territory, Shana and fellow investigator Tim Wellington receive a call about a man missing on a private island. Shana and Tim travel to the isolated island owned by the wealthy Sinclair family to question the witnesses. They arrive to find blood on the scene and a house full of Sinclair family and friends on edge.

While Tim guesses they’re dealing with a runaway case, Shana is convinced that they have a murder on their hands. As the gale intensifies outside, she starts conducting interviews and discovers the Sinclairs and their guests are crawling with dark and dangerous secrets.

Trapped on the island by the raging storm with only Tim whose reliability is thrown into question, the increasingly restless suspects, and her own trauma-fueled flashbacks for company, Shana will have to trust the one person her abduction destroyed her faith in—herself. But time is ticking down, because if Shana’s right, a killer is in their midst and as the pressure mounts, so do the odds that they’ll strike again. 

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