Death in the Family (Shana Merchant, #1)

Death in the Family (Shana Merchant, #1) 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 AffairThirteen 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 Fianc 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 EdgeWhile 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 Shout out to Tucker who suggested we buddy read this one That muscle again It slid beneath the surface of his skin like an eel in shallow water. Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant took her position at Thousand Islands to escape the haunting events from thirteen months ago where she was knocked down to a shell of her former self.This sleepy little town was supposed to provide Shana a chance to heal but then she and her new partner, Tim, get a call to the private Sinclair family island Murder s what the family wants to call it Abby wakes up to a pool of blood where her boyfriend, Jasper Sinclair, laid beside her last night But there s no body You ve got to have a theory People don t just disappear Shana and Tim quickly arrive on seen only to become stranded with the rest of the Sinclair family as a nor easter blows in.Cut off from the mainland, the experts and even the most rudimentary of supplies, it s up to Shana and Tim to figure out who committed the murder before the killer has chance to melt away It always bothers me when a victim s family and friends describe them as perfect in every way What s the implication there, that their beauty was too much for the killer to handle As Shana gets closer to figuring out the murderer, the prevalent the traumatizing flashbacks become With reality and her memories fighting for dominance will she be able to find the murderer Will she even be able to hold it together It was the kind of thing a person would go to great lengths to bury So who wielded the shovel Whewwwww I really haven t been hit with a roller coaster of a book like this in a long time Started off 3 stars.25% through and it dropped to 2 maybe even one star.50 60% it was back up to 4 stars and the ending was a solid 5 stars.What worked I really loved the atmosphere of the book with the rich, snooty family trapped on a private island The swell of the storm, the downpour of the rain, the bone chilling cold It all drew me completely into the story I was also deeply intrigued by the mystery of Shana s past I truly wish it had of a role in the beginning of the book because it would have really picked up the slow sptos.What kind of worked The characters I liked how each one of them is terrible in their own way and so many suspects really made the plot interestinghowever, there were I think too many side characters It was difficult for me to keep track of them and I didn t really care about half of them By the end of the book, I liked or at least enjoyed them when they came on the page about 2 3 of them.But in those first few hundred pages where we don t know them and most of them just seem to just hang out and be there until Shana interviews them and the side characters begin to have a personality.What didn t work The pacing of the book really threw me off The beginning of the book really hooked me it had a fabulous premise and the setup was fabulous.But then, for about a hundred pages there are things that are happening but they just didn t hold my interest I honestly nearly DNF ed the book because I just had a hard time caring about what happened Which, honestly, is a bit of a weird problem for me that pretty much never happens and I have a hard time pinpointing what didn t work I think there was too much build and not enough action.But then, the book started to turn around and I literally could not put this one down OverallDefinitely liked it but be aware of the slump that happens.Also, shout out to Tucker the Reader for being my buddy reader for this one With thanks to the author and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest reviewYouTube Blog Instagram Twitter Snapchat miranda.reads This book is another early, surprising, twisty, riveting, dark, mind bending, whodunit gift for me makes me sing Christmas Carol songs louder lalalalala In the beginning I was expecting I had a three stars, mostly four stars ordinary reading A small town murder mystery with too much Christie vibes, dark and rainy atmosphere you may see at Norwegian dramas or Fincher movies just remember bloody Seven , rain never stopped till the last scene , investigators have different methods, coming from different backgrounds Two detectives not Poirot and Marple Shana and Tim trapped in a house with notorious, dislikeable, spineless family members, investigating disappearance of Sinclair family s young son Jasper His girlfriend finds his side of bed empty Okay correction Not empty His side of the bed is COVERED IN BLOOD Is it getting interesting Let s continue to flip the pages because it s getting interesting in each second.So let s look at Jasper s family members Camilla Sinclair Only likeable character, getting weaker each day, suffering from big C, truly loves Jasper and has no idea about great schemes are orchestrated by rest of her evil grandsons and granddaughter Flynn Sinclair Big brother, typical asshole, having anger management issues, violent past, potential alcoholic, correction he s alcoholic and mean Seems like a potential killer, hah Abella Beaudry Jasper s girlfriend She is jobless, having issues with her visa to stay in the US, trying to get a job at the family company at least with Flynn says to the detectives and she may have had a big argument with Jasper before he is gone missing How a person cannot hear anything when sharing a bed with somebody who is possibly stabbed to death and carried outside the room Even I don t sleep so deep I had missed two largest earthquakes, but I had been so tired at those days She could be also a killer, right Caretaker Mr Norton He stays too long with the family Camilla considers him as a family member He seems like he holds something back He keeps some secret Could he be the killer He gives us creepy vibes Ned Flynn s boyfriend who wants to leave him and he has a secret relationship with Flynn s sister Yesss this is not a regular episode of Young and Restless or Bold and Beautiful, we re still introduced to scumbag characters Ned thinks Jasper sees him with his sister and he can tell it to Flynn Could it be a reason to kill anyone Maybe And sister Bebe Nope we are not talking about women s retail brand I think it is short for 2B a.k.a BIG BITCH because she is the bitchiest character and so many times I asked myself which one of them were irritating Flynn or her cheating sister, manipulative, pretentious, sneaky Could she kill her own brother for his share of inheritance Of course she could.Jade, Bebe s problematic stepdaughter, 14, in love with Jasper, is spying on people Could she want to avenge Jasper because he doesn t love her back Maybe Miles Husband of Bebe, seems like cool guy, is about to divorce his cheater wife, taking care of his daughter But he is also hiding something, making suspicious comments about everyone, hating the family members truly So is he another potential suspect Why not And of course everyone detectives characters are impeccably developed, well rounded Shana is the heroine, suffering from traumatic past She was kidnapped by serial killer and luckily found by rookie cop who died at the basement she d kept A killer ran away without leaving a trace Shana could have killed him But she had let him go Why Was she typical Stockholm Syndrome victim and now she has an unhealthy relationship with her obsessive control freak fianc e who insists to resign and not to believe the lies of Tim And Tim, charming, social, political, talkative local boy who insists Shana s fianc e is manipulating dangerous man who tried to ruin his career and now he is playing mind games with Shana Who is telling the truth What is Shana s biggest secret she cannot share with anybody And most importantly who the hell killer is Mysterious, riveting, heart throbbing page turner ends with a surprising cliffhanger makes you wanna pray that author may write the sequel urgently I want to read I want to learn the big secret of Shana I also enjoy to see the chemistry of these two polar opposites So please I want the second book ASAP Period. The beginning Where was that exactly Nowhere I wanted to take a stranger, even if he did smell nice But maybe I could go back partway, just far enough to make him happy Back to a limestone building on East Fifth Street, and a day that grabbed me by the throat and still hasn t let go Hear ye, hear ye, all my mystery loving friends of the Agatha Christie variety this one s for you I know that the subtle, slow paced mystery has taken a backseat to the flashy psychological thriller over the past decade, but I am here to tell you that quality writing never goes out of style, and quality writing is precisely what I found in Tessa Wegert s Death in the Family It s not in your face by promising a twist that you most definitely will not see coming , and while our protagonist is flawed and working through some issues, she is not plagued by the rampant wave of alcoholic blackouts and wimpy stamina that brings about a whiny heroine I ve been begging for a strong female lead to become the norm in crime thrillers again, and this is a great start in what I m sure will become a new favorite series of mine.In Death in the Family, we are blessed with not one, but two cases of criminal behavior to work through Right in the prologue, and also in the synopsis of the book, we are informed that Shana Merchant was abducted by a serial killer 13 months ago and somehow survived This will likely be the continuing thread for the series, at least for a little while, and we do get bits and pieces of how she was abducted and her time spent with the killer however, this one does leave a few questions unanswered I felt this type of mini cliffhanger was extremely well done, and not a put off but a way of enticing me to read the next book in the series The second case, the present day crime, is a missing person who appears to be in grave danger, due to the amount of blood left in his bed Shana and her partner, Tim, barely make it to the island, and realize that they will have to work the case alone due to the terrible storm surging around this island of wealth and privilege What I loved most about this book is the updated twist on the classic locked room mystery It s by far my favorite crime fiction trope, partly due to the marriage of slow building suspense and established character development that it requires to be well done While psychological thrillers tend to try and pull a trick from thin air in the hopes to shock you beyond your wildest dreams, this traditional tale takes the cast that is trapped on the island and convinces the reader that each character is as guilty, and as likely to be a culprit, as the next I truly had no idea how this book would wrap up until the final reveal, and because the author did such a good job distributing equal amounts of shady behavior and transgressions amongst the cast, I didn t feel disappointed that there was no outrageous explantation that I hadn t thought of This brilliant form of slow growing suspense allowed me to fully settle in to solve this case alongside Shana without my interest waning in the least Obviously Det Merchant has some issues, what with being kidnapped by a serial killer and being held captive for roughly a week I can t go into too many details surrounding this portion of the book, because spoilers, but suffice it to say that the growth arc that Shana develops over the length of the book is phenomenal She makes a decision nearing the finale of the book involving her personal life that I applaud the author for choosing to write about so few authors tend to portray a female successfully escaping an unhealthy relationship, and we need of this Themes like that, paired with a strong female friendship and developing trust with people after a traumatic event are also explored here, which makes my heart incredibly happy Obviously there s a little nugget of WTF at the tail end of the story otherwise, how would you be hooked to read the next book Overall, I m delighted that I picked up this book, and the sequel is automatically on my most anticipated list for whenever it gets published Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy. Many thanks to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review People with that kind of wealth often feel untouchable, and it s a shock when they discover they re not My original rating was four stars but I am dropping it to three stars because, even though the end was great, it simply wasn t enough to make up for how numbingly dull it was in the first half So, what s this book about On an island, a butler calls in a murder Shana Merchant and her partner, Tim come running With a blood soaked bed and a missing man, it s pretty obvious there had been a murder, right Shana is convinced but after interviews and mysterious occurrences, she begins to wonder if there s something much deeper than what they think is going on Unfortunately, she can t call for any help as a large storm hits Soon enough, it becomes clear that Shana is trapped on an island with no escape And it seems the killer is trapped too And there is no way to tell when he might strike next I am so, so disappointed This book had so much potential The setting of being trapped on a cold, creepy island in the middle of a violent storm IT S F KING MYSTERY GOLD But, nope this book took that gold and yeeted it right out the window.UGH it was so frustrating because the author was literally sitting on top of gold and had a shovel in her hand but chose throw the shovel away Also, there were WAY too many characters Some authors can have 6 characters and have them all fit into the story without confusion but this was not the case I couldn t keep track of all the people I lost track of who was who I simply couldn t juggle all those people I also REALLY wanted to know about Shana s incident with the serial killer guy Like, that was brushed over It was like Yeah, that happened I feel like that story can and should be an entire book All that said, the author does a very good job at showing rather than telling something, I am very bad at and really drew me into the world with stunning and sharp detail I also really loved Shana Even though she made some questionable choices, she was very flushed out and real I loved her chemistry with Tim and I can t wait to continue in this series Overall, this book has its flaws but it s still worth reading I recommend it but just keep in mind it s a slower book Bottom Line 3 Stars Age Rating R Content Screening Spoilers Educational Value 0 0 Positive Messages 0 0 Violence 4 5 Hot liquid poured on character, Toture, Murder, Guns, etc Sex 0 0 Language 3 5 F k, Sh t, D mn, sshole Drinking Drugs 3 5 Alcohol consumption, Poison, Characters are drugged Trigger and Content Warnings Loss of a loved one, Murder Publication Date February 18th, 2020 Publisher Berkley Publishing Group Genre Mystery Thriller 4 stars A slow start but the ending was great happiness is getting to a mystery series right before it beginsthere s nothing worse than finding a series that looks interesting and then you find out that it s 16 Buddy read with Miranda Goodreads Blog Pinterest Reddit LinkedIn YouTube 3.5 starsI loved how this mystery took place in the Thousand Islands region as I lived there for a few years It s always fun to read a book in which you are familiar with the setting This one turned out to be a solid whodunit mystery and given it is the first book in the series I am curious to see where it goes from here.Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant is hoping for a fresh start and moves to upstate New York with her fiance Many wealthy families flock to their vacation homes in the Thousand Islands region where Shana now works as an investigator Shana and her coworker Tim have been called to one of the isolated islands owned by the Sinclairs as one of the family members, Jasper, has gone missing There s a sizable amount of blood found in his bed but what happened and where is he With a house full of family and guests you would think someone would know the answer but Shana is finding it difficult to get to the bottom of things She better figure it out soon as with bad weather in store, she and everyone else on the island are stranded and who knows if a killer is in their midst.The very basics of the story such as a wealthy group of people get together in an isolated area and there s bad weather and something horrible happens is really nothing groundbreaking It s a classic premise used by many mystery writers over the years And surprisingly it still manages to hook me and reel me in as was the case here Everyone was a suspect and I truly didn t have a good theory as to what happened so my interest level was high throughout the story I like how Shana had an interesting backstory but I didn t care for any of the storyline involving her fiance I thought it was unnecessary and by far the weakest part of the story Overall this is a good whodunit mystery and I think the groundwork has been set for what should be a good series with a interesting female lead character.Thank you to Berkley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review Love, Love, LOVED Review to Come. I won this novel in a goodreads drawing.There s a murder on a rich man s island, and a female detective, still recovering from being held captive by a serial killer, is in charge of securing the crime scene and hopefully finding the killer There s a storm and back up is not coming.Didn t really do a lot for me YMMV. Really intriguing and atmospheric mystery set in a place I actually visited when I was a young girl The Thousand Islands are wild and I could picture every scene unfolding Lots of twists and turns and a very captivating protagonist we will surely be seeing a lot of in future books within this series A fantastic start Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for this fast paced, twisty turny ARC Picture being stranded on a tiny island that has just one residence, during a nor easter, where every single person is a likely suspect in a murder, and without any Police back up or CSIs Whew That is the situation Shana and her partner, Tim, find themselves in With the first interview Shana conducted of the Sinclair family, I found myself saying to myself Aha THAT is the murderer But then she kept interviewing the family plus the caretaker and a couple of love interests , I found myself continuing to say aha Haha All in all, I felt Death in the Family was a solid debut However, I found the beginning of the book to be a tad confusing, and I dislike cliffhangers, hence the four stars instead of five Having said that, however, I am definitely planning on reading the next book I hope Ms Wegert writes quickly A proven plot with the perfectly imperfect characters and that special dark twist makes DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Tessa Wegert feel like Holmes and Watson should be showing up any moment A man has gone missing on a private island owned by a wealthy family with far too many skeletons in their closets already Enter the raging storm that leaves two detectives trapped amidst a bed soaked bed, a family whose greatest attribute is their money, their greed, their ability to lie and their animosity toward one another Did I mention that one of the detectives seems rather off herself, not actually fit for duty I found myself caught up in the grisly mystery and feeling like I disliked every single character, save one So, where is the missing man Why is there so much blood Is there a murderer in their midst Was money the motive or has there been a terrible mistake, the possible victim just on a walkabout to find a little peace And, good grief, who said the detective was fit for duty anywhere Lots of nasty characters, even dark secrets and quite possibly proof that money is the root of all evil A semi solid, not quite original mystery with a couple of surprises along the way.I received a complimentary ARC edition from Berkley This is my honest and voluntary review.Series Shana Merchant Book 1Publisher Berkley February 18, 2020 Publication Date February 18, 2020Genre Murder MysteryPrint Length 320 pagesAvailable from Barnes NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow

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  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • Death in the Family (Shana Merchant, #1)
  • Tessa Wegert
  • English
  • 10 May 2017
  • 9780593097892