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The Dead Season

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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 a 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.


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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 a 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.

30 review for The Dead Season

  1. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Following the events of Death in the Family, Senior Investigator, Shana Merchant, finds herself on administrative leave. Her PTSD was triggered by the events on the Sinclair family's private island and it caused her to display poor judgement. Now she is left spinning her wheels as her department urges her to take some time off. Pending a psychological evaluation, Shana may be reinstated to her position. In the meantime however, she is suppose to focus on getting well, not on work. Like many profess Following the events of Death in the Family, Senior Investigator, Shana Merchant, finds herself on administrative leave. Her PTSD was triggered by the events on the Sinclair family's private island and it caused her to display poor judgement. Now she is left spinning her wheels as her department urges her to take some time off. Pending a psychological evaluation, Shana may be reinstated to her position. In the meantime however, she is suppose to focus on getting well, not on work. Like many professionals, she has a hard time with that. When the remains of her long missing Uncle are found in the woods of her hometown, she heads home to help solve the mystery. At the same time, a young boy, Trey, goes missing on a school field trip in Alexandria Bay. Shana's partner, Tim, is assigned the case. Shana suspects this kidnapping is connected to Blake Bram, the serial killer continuing to hound her. What's even more intriguing is that Shana feels like the kidnapping is connected to the case of her Uncle; like Bram is holding Trey hostage, forcing Shana to solve her hometown cold case. If she can solve it, perhaps Trey will live, but why? I really enjoyed getting to know Shana Merchant, as a character, in the first novel. This second book fills in more of her past and the events that haunt her, which is exactly what I was hoping for. We learn more about Blake Bram and Shana's original connection to him. Wegert won me over in the first novel by utilizing my favorite mystery trope, the locked room mystery. In this second installment, again, she gave me another one of my favorites: when a protagonist returns to their hometown to solve an old mystery. Shana feels like she has forgotten a lot of her childhood. As she interviews friends, relatives and other community members, it begins to jog her memory and what she finds there isn't pretty. I really enjoyed the pacing of this and the reveals. Shana is a great character, as is Tim, her partner. I have no idea how many mysteries this series will ultimately be, but you better believe, I will be reading them all. If you are looking for a new mystery series with a classic mystery feel, you should definitely give the Shana Merchant series a try. Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I really appreciate it!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Happy book birthday! 🌈🥳💕📚Finally this amazing gripping thriller is out! Did you also become addicted to the adventures of Shana Merchant after reading the first, gripping, getting trapped in gothic mansion theme with Agatha Christian vibes novel of the brand new series? If your answer is yes, let’s celebrate to take another mysterious, unputdownable, breathtaking journey! Not only Shana, but her smart, loyal partner Tim and her badass, supportive best friend Mac are back! If you don’t remember t Happy book birthday! 🌈🥳💕📚Finally this amazing gripping thriller is out! Did you also become addicted to the adventures of Shana Merchant after reading the first, gripping, getting trapped in gothic mansion theme with Agatha Christian vibes novel of the brand new series? If your answer is yes, let’s celebrate to take another mysterious, unputdownable, breathtaking journey! Not only Shana, but her smart, loyal partner Tim and her badass, supportive best friend Mac are back! If you don’t remember the cliffhanger of the first book, let me remind you. Shana was suffering from PTSD which made her threatened the life of a victim because she experienced a serious trauma recently: she was abducted by a serial killer named Bram Blake who took three women’s lives, trapped in a basement. And Bram let her go after shooting the police officer who came to rescue her. Shana keeps a big secret which may reveal the real identity of Bram but it also means she has to confess she knows him too well from her past which may put her into a troubled position. They have been raised in the same town, sharing childhood memories but she is determined to keep those informations to herself. She doesn’t say a word to her partner Tim. And in this book, we will take a trip at memory lane of Shana to learn the real identity of Bram who just returned back! Don’t worry we will get all the answers which kept us in the dark before. Shana finds herself to be involved in two different cases. One of them is related with her family which will bring out the secrets had buried for nearly two decades. The officers found human bones In Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge locates at her hometown Vermont and those bones belong to her uncle Brett. In the meantime a kid is kidnapped and the perpetrator may be highly Bram who wants starting a new game with her. And interestingly two cases are connected which may force her to dig more about family secrets, facing her own past traumatic experiences. I have to admit I loved the first book more but this one still kept me on my toes, captivated my attention and I enjoyed to know about more Shana’s past, understanding the motives behind her actions, looking through the events from her perceptions. I’m giving four thrilling, action packed,full of mind games stars! I cannot wait to read the upcoming book and see more mouse and cat chasing game between Bram and Shana. She’s getting closer to catch him. Fingers crossed. Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this incredible Arc with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    I was really hoping for another 5 star Shana Merchant read, but for me this one just wasn't as enjoyable as the first. I'll be the first to admit that my rating is completely subjective, and mostly due to personal preference. The writing is once again excellent, but I think I was more drawn to the locked room, Agatha Christie-esque nature of Death in the Family than the family drama presented in book two. The pacing in the first half of the book was on the slow side, but once we were able to bre I was really hoping for another 5 star Shana Merchant read, but for me this one just wasn't as enjoyable as the first. I'll be the first to admit that my rating is completely subjective, and mostly due to personal preference. The writing is once again excellent, but I think I was more drawn to the locked room, Agatha Christie-esque nature of Death in the Family than the family drama presented in book two. The pacing in the first half of the book was on the slow side, but once we were able to break the half way point, things sped up and I found the mysteries at hand to be both engaging and enjoyable. Also, for those who enjoy listening, the narrator was wonderful and really added a level of commitment from me as a reader. While this wasn't my favorite in the series so far, I love what Wegert has done with these characters and I will definitely be in for the third installment. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I know I’m not the most regular series reader (even though I want to be!), but Tessa Wegert’s Shana Merchant series blew me away with the first book. Shana is back with The Dead Season, and I loved it just as much, if not more, than Death in the Family. Also, the first book ended on a cliffhanger, and I needed to know what happened! Shana is a detective who was abducted and later released by a serial killer. As one can imagine, the events were traumatic and left Shana with PTSD. On top of it, the I know I’m not the most regular series reader (even though I want to be!), but Tessa Wegert’s Shana Merchant series blew me away with the first book. Shana is back with The Dead Season, and I loved it just as much, if not more, than Death in the Family. Also, the first book ended on a cliffhanger, and I needed to know what happened! Shana is a detective who was abducted and later released by a serial killer. As one can imagine, the events were traumatic and left Shana with PTSD. On top of it, the serial killer is still out there somewhere. Shana’s story is entertaining, twisty, tense, and full of action. It all feels very real and kept me on edge the entire time. This series gets my highest recommendation. It’s top notch in this genre! I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    The Dead Season is the second book in the Shana Merchant series. I loved the first book, Death in The Family, which left me with some lingering questions surrounding Shana's past and tormentor, who held her captive. The Dead Season picks up three weeks after the events from Death in the Family. Shana is suspended from duty and is in therapy for PTSD. She is now drawn into two crimes that she has a personal connection to and is forced to play a cat and mouse game with her tormentor. The Dead Seas The Dead Season is the second book in the Shana Merchant series. I loved the first book, Death in The Family, which left me with some lingering questions surrounding Shana's past and tormentor, who held her captive. The Dead Season picks up three weeks after the events from Death in the Family. Shana is suspended from duty and is in therapy for PTSD. She is now drawn into two crimes that she has a personal connection to and is forced to play a cat and mouse game with her tormentor. The Dead Season combines a small-town mystery with an upstate New York kidnapping of a child and a family drama. What's a small-town mystery without some family secrets and drama involved. The family drama to this one is shocking and not what I expected, and the tension in the story rises, the more we get to know about Shana's family secrets. While the kidnapping of a child is always disturbing Tessa Wegert keeps it lighter and focuses on Shana and her abductor Bram and those lingering questions I had are answered. The pacing is slow at first as Tessa Wegert sets up the mysteries for us and then the action picks ups and I was turning the pages as fast as I could. While this one is not a thrilling and chilling dark read it's a suspenseful and tension-filled satisfying read and Tessa Wegert sure knows how to set us up for the next one and I look forward to reading it. I received a copy from the publisher through NG

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    4.5 rounded up While I enjoyed Death In the Family more, I still found the second installment to the Shana Merchant series a fantastic read. The writing was again exemplary and character development very well done. I was hoping to learn more about Shana in this book and while I was hoping for more, I definitely respect the direction that Ms. Wegert is taking things. (I was expecting more of a backstory dump in this book, but when it wasn't there I deduced that she is going to be more deliberate i 4.5 rounded up While I enjoyed Death In the Family more, I still found the second installment to the Shana Merchant series a fantastic read. The writing was again exemplary and character development very well done. I was hoping to learn more about Shana in this book and while I was hoping for more, I definitely respect the direction that Ms. Wegert is taking things. (I was expecting more of a backstory dump in this book, but when it wasn't there I deduced that she is going to be more deliberate in sprinkling more information as each book progresses.) There were plenty of twists and turns that I found engaging and believeable. Believe-ability is my biggest pet peeve in thrillers and I have nothing but praise for this series when it comes to that. So many thrillers are filled with crazy twists that are so out of nowhere that it ruins an otherwise good book. There is no such problem here and I am thankful for that! As for the plot, Shana is involved in solving not one, but two cases at once and reading about her attempt to solve both while under enormous emotional stress was highly engaging. I am so excited for the next book and I hope that we are awarded another one in 2021. Thank you so much to Netgalley, Berkeley Books and Tessa Wegert for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review. Publication Date: 12/08/2020 Review Date: 12/26/2020

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe

    I LOVE this series! Thank you so much to Berkley Publishing, Suzy Approved Book Tours, and Tessa Wegert for the second book in this amazing detective series. I loved the first book and I have to say I loved this one just as much. I get major Agatha Christie vibes from these books and I love that they each have a story in the book as well as part of an overarching story. This book was about Detective Shana Merchant and her journey to learn more about her past. She was abducted years ago and now h I LOVE this series! Thank you so much to Berkley Publishing, Suzy Approved Book Tours, and Tessa Wegert for the second book in this amazing detective series. I loved the first book and I have to say I loved this one just as much. I get major Agatha Christie vibes from these books and I love that they each have a story in the book as well as part of an overarching story. This book was about Detective Shana Merchant and her journey to learn more about her past. She was abducted years ago and now her kidnapper is playing with her. She is called back to her hometown when her uncle’s remains are found, and though she’s suffering from PTSD, she still wants to investigate. At the same time, a child has been abducted from a field trip and she realizes they are connected. If she can find out what happened to her uncle years ago, she can find the child as well. The story goes deep into her past while helping her solve a mystery in the present. Thoughts: I love the main character in these books, Shana. Her violent past and strong willed attitude makes her the perfect choice for the leading detective. This story focused more on her past and her connection with her abductor. It also had her hunting down her uncle’s killer while slowly learning more about her childhood. I loved that this book really reads like an action movie. I could picture the whole thing and felt immersed in the plot. I have to say I love a good cliffhanger, and this book leaves you eager for more and more of this series. I couldn’t put this book down and can’t wait for another one! 5-stars!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maximilian Birner

    Looks so good! Death in the Family is on the top of my to-read shelf so I'll have plenty of time to anticipate this release. Looks so good! Death in the Family is on the top of my to-read shelf so I'll have plenty of time to anticipate this release.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader

    After reading Death in the Family, I was so excited to dive into The Dead Season. I loved all the twists and turns. I really loved the ending it lets me know that there is another book in this series and i can't wait to get my hands on it. This is a mystery worth reading, I highly recommend this book. 4 stars and recommend this one. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own. After reading Death in the Family, I was so excited to dive into The Dead Season. I loved all the twists and turns. I really loved the ending it lets me know that there is another book in this series and i can't wait to get my hands on it. This is a mystery worth reading, I highly recommend this book. 4 stars and recommend this one. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aristotle

    Shana dealing with her PTSD after her abduction by a serial killer, searching for her uncles killer, coming to terms with her mentally ill aunt and what that did to her two cousins, and learning the identity of her kidnapper. This was a well done psychological thriller. Talk about family secrets. This book ends in a major cliffhanger. Read book one Death in the Family to better understand Shana Merchant.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Minx

    True Rating 3.5 stars.... The Dead Season is the second book in the Shana Merchant series and this story is an intriguing police procedural filled with deception, secrets, and coming to terms. After everything that went down in the prequel, Death in the Family, Shana has been on suspension and, at the start of this story, she is finally nearing the time when she will be able to take a mental status exam that will decide the future of her career. Shana herself is in a much better place, mentally, True Rating 3.5 stars.... The Dead Season is the second book in the Shana Merchant series and this story is an intriguing police procedural filled with deception, secrets, and coming to terms. After everything that went down in the prequel, Death in the Family, Shana has been on suspension and, at the start of this story, she is finally nearing the time when she will be able to take a mental status exam that will decide the future of her career. Shana herself is in a much better place, mentally, but her progress will face extreme challenges because in The Dead Season, Shana has to face her past as well as bring certain facts to light that could compromise her future. The focus of The Dead Season is primarily on a cold case that involves Shana’s estranged family member. The discovery brings Shana back to her hometown, with a little added pressure from her past tormentor, and while there Shana begins to realize that she is being dragged into a game that she wants no part of. While at home poking into the case of the bone discovery there is an abduction that takes place that has the two cases coming together for Shana. Which only adds to the mounting pressure on her to connect the dots she wishes she did not have to. It seems that Shana knows so much more about the serial killer that had previously held her prisoner than she ever let on. What I love about this story was that it expanded on Shana’s background. I liked discovering more about her and her past. The reveals in The Dead Season really opened up her character for me and I was able to better understand her and what motivates her. Though, I will say that I enjoyed the first book in this series more. This story is well written and carries with it a bit of a thrill but I felt that the tension was off. I never felt the ratcheting tension that would cause this to be a page turner for me. The clues to the mystery were spaced out between the family drama that was occurring and that had the pacing feeling sluggish for a while. Overall, though, The Dead Season was an intriguing story that had chilling moments with a true psychopath and a cop who was willing to do whatever it takes for justice. This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    This is the second book in the Shana Merchant series, and you should definitely read book one before reading this one, as events continue and you need the perspective. As it was, it has been eight months since I read the first installment and had forgotten quite a bit and it took a while for it to come back and make the story more compelling and readable. Once I remembered the kidnapping and its possible ties to Shana's past, I couldn't turn pages fast enough to discover what was happening. Much This is the second book in the Shana Merchant series, and you should definitely read book one before reading this one, as events continue and you need the perspective. As it was, it has been eight months since I read the first installment and had forgotten quite a bit and it took a while for it to come back and make the story more compelling and readable. Once I remembered the kidnapping and its possible ties to Shana's past, I couldn't turn pages fast enough to discover what was happening. Much is revealed in this book to further the investigation. Pieces are slotting into place, and the picture is getting more creepy as things come into focus for the main characters. There are still quite a few unanswered questions, and while the two main mysteries of this particular book are solved by the end, there's still a cliffhanger about Bram and his motivations and intentions. I feel as if I'm really getting to know Shana and she is gradually opening herself up to Tim and Mac so that they can all work together with full knowledge. I can't wait to see what happens next! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee

    This is the second book in the Shana Merchant series! The first book "Death in the Family" was excellent, and I think this one was even better! I loved this book!! I was on the edge of my seat and couldn't read fast enough! Plenty of action and twists! I also liked learning more about Shanna's past! I definitely think thriller fans will really enjoy this series! After being abducted and traumatized by a serial killer Bram, she leaves the NYPD and hopes for a fresh start in the Thousand Islands NY This is the second book in the Shana Merchant series! The first book "Death in the Family" was excellent, and I think this one was even better! I loved this book!! I was on the edge of my seat and couldn't read fast enough! Plenty of action and twists! I also liked learning more about Shanna's past! I definitely think thriller fans will really enjoy this series! After being abducted and traumatized by a serial killer Bram, she leaves the NYPD and hopes for a fresh start in the Thousand Islands NY. But Bram has different plans for her. After her estranged uncle's skeletal remains are found, Bram challenges Shanna to return to her hometown in Vermont to solve the case, or he will spill blood, on her hands! As she is trying to solve this mystery, Bram kidnaps again leaving clues only she can figure out. She knows it's up to her to save his next victim. She must dig into her past to solve the cases, while keeping up with Brams mind games! Thank you to the publisher, author, and suzy approved book tours for the review copy! All opinions are my own!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Madeline (always_reading1)

    I need the next one ASAP!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Another great murder mystery! I loved Death In The Family so much and was absolutely thrilled to read the second book of the Shana Merchant series! It is gripping, unputdownable and did not disappoint! ***Thank you Berkley Publishing Group, author Tessa Wegert and NetGalley for this gifted review copy in exchange for an honest review. Pub. Date: Dec 8, 2020*** This is a great follow up from the first book. I liked how we get to know more about Shana in this book since the mystery c Wow. Wow. Wow. Another great murder mystery! I loved Death In The Family so much and was absolutely thrilled to read the second book of the Shana Merchant series! It is gripping, unputdownable and did not disappoint! ***Thank you Berkley Publishing Group, author Tessa Wegert and NetGalley for this gifted review copy in exchange for an honest review. Pub. Date: Dec 8, 2020*** This is a great follow up from the first book. I liked how we get to know more about Shana in this book since the mystery centers around her own family. Shana returns to Vermont after the discovery of her uncle's remains who everyone believes had abandoned his family twenty years ago. At the same time, nine year-old Trey Hayes is reported missing during a school field trip to Boldt Castle. Soon, Shana realised that her former tormentor, Bram, is playing a game of cat and mouse with her, and she must solve her uncle's cold case to save Trey. Once again, the plot is BRILLIANT and twisty. Shana needs to dig deep into her past in order to solve the present mystery, and to do this means she has to reconnect with her cousin and best friend. As the mystery gets complicated, so does the suspect list keeps growing. Nope, I was not able to solve this mystery, and it's a great thing! This book can be read as a standalone but I'd recommend to read the first book first. You would definitely feel a stronger connection with Shana. It brought me so much joy to see how her character grows in this story. In a nutshell: solid and convoluted plot, great characters, suspenseful writing, and perfect ending. I can't wait to read the next book in this series. I want my book three now!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nancy McFarlane

    Senior Investigator Shana Merchant is on suspension waiting to pass a psych exam to be able to return to working. PTSD caused her to almost kill a witness in her last case and she has spent months trying to overcome thinking about the serial killer who abducted her and kept her captive in a basement for days. Then the body of her uncle, who the family thought had simply left town 20 years earlier was found and she goes home to be with her family. She soon starts investigating and then her partne Senior Investigator Shana Merchant is on suspension waiting to pass a psych exam to be able to return to working. PTSD caused her to almost kill a witness in her last case and she has spent months trying to overcome thinking about the serial killer who abducted her and kept her captive in a basement for days. Then the body of her uncle, who the family thought had simply left town 20 years earlier was found and she goes home to be with her family. She soon starts investigating and then her partner calls and tells her about an abduction of a young boy. Next thing she knows she is not only working (without permission) both cases but she is also having to face her worst nightmare – Bram, her abductor is playing games with her and the young kidnapped boy is the bait. Shana is a top investigator and it isn’t long before she ferrets out enough information to figure out who killed her Uncle, but is that what Bram wants or does he want more from her? Will her involvement in these cases get her kicked off the force? Will she be able to figure out how to keep Bram out of her head so she can pass her psych exam? Will her family forgive her for what she uncovered? Some of these questions are answered but we will have to wait for the next book for the rest.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura (crofteereader)

    I will admit that I found the first book much more compelling. In The Dead Season, it was easy to forget that there was a child who'd been kidnapped, that those were the immediate stakes - instead there's so much focus on the cold case that the threat almost doesn't feel real. I will say that I really like how Shana's PTSD was handled. She's both aggressively trying to combat it (by taking crazy personal risks, taking self defense classes, and attending counseling) but she's also, not controlled I will admit that I found the first book much more compelling. In The Dead Season, it was easy to forget that there was a child who'd been kidnapped, that those were the immediate stakes - instead there's so much focus on the cold case that the threat almost doesn't feel real. I will say that I really like how Shana's PTSD was handled. She's both aggressively trying to combat it (by taking crazy personal risks, taking self defense classes, and attending counseling) but she's also, not controlled by it, but certainly very affected by it. Her paranoia adds a lot to the rather, dare I say, bland and unthreatening scenes. I think part of my lack of enthusiasm stems from my own ambivalence to family drama. Death in the Family had the tension of a classic locked room mystery where pretty much anyone could be the killer. But The Dead Season was so spread out geographically and we got the real clues in such tiny bites that I had a hard time bringing myself to guess along. Plus, I hate when a big conflict in the plot is "I can't tell [trusted person] this important info because it would make me look bad" - and since that secret-sharing was the catalyst for a rapid increase in the pacing, I could have used it much earlier in the book. This makes it sound like I didn't remotely enjoy the book, but that's not true. Wegert's writing is compulsively readable and I was able to devour the book in two halves (plus a little bit leftover) and I definitely plan on revisiting the series when the next installment comes out. {Thank you Berkley Pub and NetGalley for the advanced copy; all thoughts are my own}

  18. 5 out of 5

    Artee Avalos

    What a read !!! I would have finished this sooner if the holidays weren’t so hectic. Shana Merchant is not cleared to go back to work after her first case and the mishap that occurred. Still suffering from PTSD but ready to get back on the job Shana finds herself heading home because her uncle was killed. Missing for 20 years this is now a murder case. While not officially investigating this case Shana finds she is playing Brahms game. When a kid ends up missing Shana is caught in the middle of What a read !!! I would have finished this sooner if the holidays weren’t so hectic. Shana Merchant is not cleared to go back to work after her first case and the mishap that occurred. Still suffering from PTSD but ready to get back on the job Shana finds herself heading home because her uncle was killed. Missing for 20 years this is now a murder case. While not officially investigating this case Shana finds she is playing Brahms game. When a kid ends up missing Shana is caught in the middle of two investigations. As she discovers new information about her uncles case it brings her closer to finding the missing kid. This book was filled with twists and turns. Brahm is psychotic and is torturing Shana. More answers are reveled as the series develops. I can’t wait to see where the author takes the story. The book ends with you wanting more !!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    Thanks Goodreads for deleting my review mere minutes after I wrote it! Actual rating: 2.5 stars While I find the premise of this series very interesting, especially the backstory of Shana, I find the execution kinda lacking. The first book was okay, nothing outstanding, but an enjoyable read. This book however was not it. I found the plot convoluted and messy. There was too much happening at once and it make confusing. Also, I missed the moment where it was revealed that (view spoiler)[Bram was Sh Thanks Goodreads for deleting my review mere minutes after I wrote it! Actual rating: 2.5 stars While I find the premise of this series very interesting, especially the backstory of Shana, I find the execution kinda lacking. The first book was okay, nothing outstanding, but an enjoyable read. This book however was not it. I found the plot convoluted and messy. There was too much happening at once and it make confusing. Also, I missed the moment where it was revealed that (view spoiler)[Bram was Shana's cousin (hide spoiler)] . Did it happen in this book? I really can't remember it being revealed in the first book and I guess I missed the reveal early on while listening to this on audio. Also, really did not like the resolution of this but I really couldn't work out in my mind how it could possibly end. Not sure if I'll pick up the next book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicole (inmycozynook)

    I need this book like now, I absolutely loved Death in the Family!! Can't wait to read more of Shana's story! I need this book like now, I absolutely loved Death in the Family!! Can't wait to read more of Shana's story!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I enjoyed this continuation of the Shana Merchant series, even if I found the main abduction storyline to be poorly handled. I loved the expansion of Shana's backstory, her history with Bram, and the cold case centered in her hometown. The present day mystery is, in my opinion, a bit of an also ran with minimal tension - it's such a bizarre addition, when Shana's motivation/personality makes it pretty clear that she would've investigated without this manufactured ticking clock. I look forward to I enjoyed this continuation of the Shana Merchant series, even if I found the main abduction storyline to be poorly handled. I loved the expansion of Shana's backstory, her history with Bram, and the cold case centered in her hometown. The present day mystery is, in my opinion, a bit of an also ran with minimal tension - it's such a bizarre addition, when Shana's motivation/personality makes it pretty clear that she would've investigated without this manufactured ticking clock. I look forward to the next book in the series and the continuation of Bram's game with Shana. Thank you to the publisher, via NetGalley, for providing me with an arc for review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lovemybooks2020 Cindy Ward

    "Chilling psychological thriller meets gripping police procedural in this relentlessly compelling cat and mouse game of buried secrets and family heartbreak. Tessa Wegert is such a skilled and confident storyteller! I could not put this down."--𝘏𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘗𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪 𝘙𝘺𝘢𝘯, USA Today bestselling author ⁣ ⁣ Well, I love Hank’s books, so for sure I’ll love this one! 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘿𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙎𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙤𝙣 by Tessa Wegert is book two in the series featuring Senior Investigator Shana Merchant, although it can definitely be read as a "Chilling psychological thriller meets gripping police procedural in this relentlessly compelling cat and mouse game of buried secrets and family heartbreak. Tessa Wegert is such a skilled and confident storyteller! I could not put this down."--𝘏𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘗𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪 𝘙𝘺𝘢𝘯, USA Today bestselling author ⁣ ⁣ Well, I love Hank’s books, so for sure I’ll love this one! 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘿𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙎𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙤𝙣 by Tessa Wegert is book two in the series featuring Senior Investigator Shana Merchant, although it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. ⁣ ⁣ 𝗦𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗿𝘆:⁣ Shana 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.⁣ ⁣ Thanks to @suzyapprovedbooktours and @tessawegert for the gifted copy of this book, which will be released December 8th by @berkleypub . Get your hands on this one, you won’t regret it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristin (Always With a Book)

    Thank you Berkley Books / SuzyApprovedBookTours for the gifted copy. This is the second book in Tessa Wegert's Shana Merchant series and I really like this series. I'm so glad I had the chance to read the first book, Death in the Family, a few months ago. You all know how much I like reading my series in order! This latest installment is intense! As much as this book could be read as a stand-alone in the fact that has a self-contained case for Shana and her colleagues to solve, it also deals with Thank you Berkley Books / SuzyApprovedBookTours for the gifted copy. This is the second book in Tessa Wegert's Shana Merchant series and I really like this series. I'm so glad I had the chance to read the first book, Death in the Family, a few months ago. You all know how much I like reading my series in order! This latest installment is intense! As much as this book could be read as a stand-alone in the fact that has a self-contained case for Shana and her colleagues to solve, it also deals with Shana's past and that involves a bit of what we learned in the previous book. Yes, Tessa Wegert does give a bit of backstory if you haven't read the previous book, but there is also the issue of Shana being on leave - and this is all due to circumstances that happen in the previous book. If you haven't read that one, maybe by reading this one, it will leave you eager to pick it up! I love that we really get into Shana's history in this one. It was so fascinating digging into not only her own background, but also her family history. Her abductor from a while back is not letting go and is really intent on playing games with her. We come to find out that she really does indeed know his true identity and that is quite a revelation! When he kidnaps again, he decides to play games with her, challenging Shana to solve her uncle's murder or the blood of the missing child will be on her hands. This puts her in quite the predicament as she isn't ready to let her colleagues know who he is yet. This book kept me glued to the pages and guessing as to what was going on. I loved all the twists and turns that it took and was quite surprised at all the revelations that popped up along the way. This cat and mouse game isn't done yet and I cannot wait to see what happens next...this series just gets better and better and I will be eager for the next installment! You can see all my reviews at: https://alwayswithabook.blogspot.com/

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca D

    Thank Thank you to @suzyapprovedbooktours for my copy of Spirit of the Woods in exchange for me honest review. This book was really fun to read. Tackling one girls encounter with Bigfoot. The way that the author writes about this piece of folklore integrated into real life was such an interesting concept. Sydney travels with her dad, Alex, to the Algonquin Forrest of Canada to investigate a credible Bigfoot sighting. Sydney finds herself connected to the earth and Bigfoot in a way never thought p Thank Thank you to @suzyapprovedbooktours for my copy of Spirit of the Woods in exchange for me honest review. This book was really fun to read. Tackling one girls encounter with Bigfoot. The way that the author writes about this piece of folklore integrated into real life was such an interesting concept. Sydney travels with her dad, Alex, to the Algonquin Forrest of Canada to investigate a credible Bigfoot sighting. Sydney finds herself connected to the earth and Bigfoot in a way never thought possible. It speaks in a way about conservation that is appropriate for many age ranges. It was well written and captivating I highly recommend it. you to @suzyapprovedbooktours for my copy of The Dead Season in exchange for my honest review. From page one I was hooked and I tore through this novel! This is the second in a series and I can’t wait to pick up the first. That being said I definitely do not think you have to read them in order and I think that this is a series that will be one of my favorites. Shana leaves the NYPD and returns to her hometown after she was kidnapped by a serial killer. However she returns home because she and that serial killer share the same hometown and he challenged her to solve a cold case. This mystery was well written and oh so compelling. You will be on the edge of your seat with this page turner.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cassie-Traveling Sister-

    Buckle up your in for a wild ride! Shana Merchant a senior investigator, was put on suspension until she passes her psych exam. She has spent months trying to overcome her fear, after she was abducted by a serial killer Bram, who held her captive in a basement for days. Plus she’s keeping a huge secret of who Bram may be. When the body of her uncle is found, after her family had assumed he had simply just left town over 20years ago , she heads home to be with her family. Shana decided to do her Buckle up your in for a wild ride! Shana Merchant a senior investigator, was put on suspension until she passes her psych exam. She has spent months trying to overcome her fear, after she was abducted by a serial killer Bram, who held her captive in a basement for days. Plus she’s keeping a huge secret of who Bram may be. When the body of her uncle is found, after her family had assumed he had simply just left town over 20years ago , she heads home to be with her family. Shana decided to do her own investigation into what happened to her uncle, without permission from the force. When her partner calls and tells her about an abduction of young boy. She finds herself investigating both crimes. Shana finds herself reliving a nightmare, her kidnapper Bram is messing with her and using the young boy as bait, the more she investigates the more she realizes the two case, her uncles death and the boys abduction may be connected , is that what Bram wanted her to see is there more? Shana is forced to dig into family secrets Will her family forgive her? We take a trip down memory lane as Shana uncovers the identity of Bram , and as she faces her own inner demons. I’m giving this four wild crazy stars! This book was amazing I love all the twists and turns and that we get to know Shana on more of a personal level! This book is available December 8th 2020!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    4.5 stars. The Dead Season by Tessa Wegert is a complex mystery set in Upper New York and Vermont. Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) Senior Investigator Shana Merchant is currently suspended due to events from her last case. Forced to deal with her lingering PTSD from her kidnapping by serial killer Blake Bram, her meeting to discuss returning to duty is just days away.  However, she is drawn into two cases that, although they occur in two different locations, are unexpectedly linked. The fi 4.5 stars. The Dead Season by Tessa Wegert is a complex mystery set in Upper New York and Vermont. Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) Senior Investigator Shana Merchant is currently suspended due to events from her last case. Forced to deal with her lingering PTSD from her kidnapping by serial killer Blake Bram, her meeting to discuss returning to duty is just days away.  However, she is drawn into two cases that, although they occur in two different locations, are unexpectedly linked. The first case is the kidnapping of a local nine year old boy that occurred during a school trip.  The other case is much more personal and takes her back to the small town where her family lives. The remains of her long missing uncle Brett Skilton have recently been discovered and she has no choice but to investigate the case in order to save a life.  Will Shana unearth the truth about Brett's death before it is too late? Shana is undergoing counseling for her PTSD while currently staying with her friend, Sheriff Maureen "Mac" McIntyre. But instead of focusing on her recovery, she is distracted by the kidnapping and discovery of Brett's bones. Shana is planning to go back to Vermont when she fears that Bram is involved in the current events. Despite being urged by both Mac and her co-worker, Investigator Tim Wellington to stay away from the cases, Shana has no choice but to return home in hopes of finding out what happened to her uncle due to her fear of what Blake is going to do next. Back home, Shana's investigation means talking to family members who are not exactly happy to discuss long ago events. She also decides to reconnect with her old friend Suze. Shana ended their friendship when they were teenagers due to some of Suze's choices.  As she continues digging into the past, Shana is absolutely stunned at the information she uncovers.  But does anything she learns bring her any closer to figuring out who murdered Brett? The Dead Season is a riveting mystery with interesting characters and an intriguing storyline.  Shana is an intuitive investigator but she has not been completely honest about her kidnapping.  With a sense of urgency that increases with every chapter, Tessa Wegert brings this clever police procedural to a twist-filled conclusion.  Old and new fans of the Shana Wegert series will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in the wonderful series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephani Beltran

    I was so excited about this book that I had to reread the first in the series, Death in the Family, as I loved the first one so much that I just had to prepare and refresh for this second book in the series. When a book offers all the twists and turns and loads up on the mystery, I am there for it. I definitely recommend reading the first in the series in order to grasp the perspective and make it more enjoyable. I thought I loved the first one so much but then this one got even better and gave m I was so excited about this book that I had to reread the first in the series, Death in the Family, as I loved the first one so much that I just had to prepare and refresh for this second book in the series. When a book offers all the twists and turns and loads up on the mystery, I am there for it. I definitely recommend reading the first in the series in order to grasp the perspective and make it more enjoyable. I thought I loved the first one so much but then this one got even better and gave me so many Agatha vibes which made me love it even more and did not disappoint. It added more layers on the main character from the first book and just wrapped it all up making the plot pretty much Genius! The author does not let you down with the ending and her writing is remarkable. Cant wait to read the next in the series! Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group, Tessa Wegert and Suzy Approved book tours for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Sligh

    Review: 🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️/5 I honestly felt as though I was watching a movie unfold in front of my eyes. The writing was so descriptive and atmospheric, that I couldn’t help but be sucked in to the world Wegert drew up. This is the follow up to Death in the Family, however, this can be read as a standalone. Thankfully, I did read the first book, so I felt more in tuned. I’m not a major fan of police procedurals, but this is how you do it. This is how you keep my ADD attention span without thro Review: 🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️/5 I honestly felt as though I was watching a movie unfold in front of my eyes. The writing was so descriptive and atmospheric, that I couldn’t help but be sucked in to the world Wegert drew up. This is the follow up to Death in the Family, however, this can be read as a standalone. Thankfully, I did read the first book, so I felt more in tuned. I’m not a major fan of police procedurals, but this is how you do it. This is how you keep my ADD attention span without throwing all the legal jargon out that disinterest me. This is how you keep me on my toes. 👏🏼 I loved this one! The Dead Season is definitely one you need to grab before the new year. I devoured it in one day, and I’m sure any other books Wegert decides to write will have the same effect. Thank you Berkley Pub & Edelweiss for the eARC. This one is out Dec. 8th

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)

    Officially obsessed with Tessa Wegert's books! ⁣ A Death in the Family was fantastic, and in THE DEAD SEASON, Shana Merchant is back… and this time the murder hits close to home.⁣ ⁣ As in - miles from her home.⁣ ⁣ As in - her own family.⁣ ⁣ After being abducted by a serial killer and then that crazy murder island investigation … she’s now trying to solve the murder of her own uncle. And that serial killer?? Is he somehow involved? Does her past have something to do with this all?⁣ ⁣ Shana Merchant is such Officially obsessed with Tessa Wegert's books! ⁣ A Death in the Family was fantastic, and in THE DEAD SEASON, Shana Merchant is back… and this time the murder hits close to home.⁣ ⁣ As in - miles from her home.⁣ ⁣ As in - her own family.⁣ ⁣ After being abducted by a serial killer and then that crazy murder island investigation … she’s now trying to solve the murder of her own uncle. And that serial killer?? Is he somehow involved? Does her past have something to do with this all?⁣ ⁣ Shana Merchant is such a fantastic character. These books grab your attention, hook you right in, leave you breathless and wanting more. The Dead Season kept me guessing just like Death in the Family did.. and I again, didn’t figure anything out! Foiled again - in the best way! ⁣ ⁣ A must read. 👏🏻⁣

  30. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    Tessa Wegert came onto the scene last year with her debut novel Death in the Family, which was an immersive and atmospheric locked room mystery featuring senior investigator Shana Merchant that I thoroughly enjoyed. In book one, we got a snapshot of Shana surviving an abduction by the infamous serial killer Blake Bram. The Dead Season is part psychological thriller and police procedural as Shana confronts her PTSD while also unofficially investigating the murder of her uncle back in her hometown Tessa Wegert came onto the scene last year with her debut novel Death in the Family, which was an immersive and atmospheric locked room mystery featuring senior investigator Shana Merchant that I thoroughly enjoyed. In book one, we got a snapshot of Shana surviving an abduction by the infamous serial killer Blake Bram. The Dead Season is part psychological thriller and police procedural as Shana confronts her PTSD while also unofficially investigating the murder of her uncle back in her hometown. And take make matters worse, Blake Bram is still playing some dangerous and heady games. If you love small town mysteries packed with secrets and betrayal, you’ll definitely love this story. There were so many twists and turns throughout the book that kept me guessing right alongside Shana. The author did an incredible job of tackling really important mental health issues in this book such as PTSD, anxiety disorder, and drug addiction. This was a solid follow up to the Shana Merchant series, and I can’t wait to see what else in next! Thank you to Berkley Pub for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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