At the request of Meryl L. Moss Media, an ARC TPB was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis (from marketing): There is the Maine of summer — warm, picturesque, filled with vacationing families — and then there is the Maine of winter, where the cold creeps into your bones and refuses to leave. Alice Wynter Dunn thought she’d never have to go back to her hometown of Redding, Maine, where secrets are buried under a thick layer of ice and the chill emanates from people’s hearts.
A phone call in the middle of the night. Alice’s infamous father, Edward “Papa” Wynter, is dead from a gunshot wound. Leaving her distant husband in their New Jersey McMansion, Alice races back to Redding. What at first seems like a simple case of burying her past along with her cruel, alcoholic father turns into a double mystery. Papa Wynter wasn’t a victim of suicide as originally thought — it was murder, and Alice’s abused twin brother, Chris, is missing.
Memories begin to crack the surface as apparitions from the past appear. The winter when Chris ran wild with his bad-seed cousin, cruising from petty crimes to irreversible tragedy, is revealed. Could this be the catalyst that drove Chris to become a hard-core alcoholic like their father? And did their cousin Ray, a junior sociopath in the making, really die in a snowmobile accident?
Supervising Lieutenant Detective Don Lambert has his suspicions. Chris and Papa were last seen arguing in their favorite townie bar the night of the murder — and they were fighting about Ray; the same Ray who tortures Alice’s memories. Things grow more complicated when the murder weapon is found and her mother, Jackie Ruth, is brought in for questioning. What is she hiding? What dark secret from Alice’s past is about to be exposed?
My Thoughts and Opinion: The author of this debut thriller is one to put on your radar. The story takes place between the present time when Alice Wynter Dunn returns to her hometown, which she has tried to erase and rewrite her history, and 1984, the year that changed the Wynter family's lives. A year full of deep, dark secrets that has plagued them for years in varied ways. Alice, by escaping the area, her father and twin brother, by escaping with alcohol. But secrets that come back to haunt and kill them. The author was able to, with his writing style, portray the absolute evil in some of the characters in the book, but also let the reader feel the frightening emotions that other characters were feeling. A disturbing, chilling, yet intriguing read which was hard to put down, with a shocking conclusion.
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