Alice Wynter Dunn has secrets that not even her husband of eighteen years knows about. She left Redding, Maine, in 1984 to go to college and has never looked back. As far as Alice and her twin, Chris, were concerned, their senior year in high school couldn't have ended too soon.
When she answered the middle-of-the-night phone call informing her that her mean-spirited, alcoholic father had committed suicide, Alice wasn't sure what to think. By the time she arrived home to help her mother, Alice learned that her father had actually been murdered and her brother, the prime suspect, is nowhere to be found.
Spencer Seidel's Dead of Wynter is a mix of thriller, family drama, and murder mystery that is told in the present with flashbacks to the year that everything changed for the twins. Seidel reveals the Wynters' past in small bits that are well timed to give a foundation for the family's current behavior. The action scenes are exciting, but the mystery is foreshadowed enough that the impact of the ending is somewhat weakened.
The plot and setting would translate beautifully to film, but as a novel, the story is uneven. You are left wanting to know more about the Wynters and the detective as well as the town itself. There are very few characters outside the immediate family, which not only narrows the answer to the mystery but limits one's perspective of the family.
Regardless, Dead of Wynter is a fast, entertaining read. I am looking forward to Seidel's continued growth as a writer.
Published by Publishing Works, May 2011
Source: Review (print) (see review policy)
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