Review: Dead of Wynter by Spencer Seidel (Rating 3.75 Wine Glasses)(Fantastic Debut)

Posted May 6, 2011 by Felicia S in Uncategorized / 0 Comments


From Goodreads: “Dolly, it’s your mother.” Dolly. Jackie Ruth Wynter had called Alice that for years. The conversation that followed led her right back to the place she had run from for years. Her twin brother, younger by just a minute or so, had been fading, transforming into an image of their drunken, narrow-eyed father. Now her father was dead, and her brother, Chris, missing.

Alice resigns herself to return, helping her mother and the local police with the mystery surrounding the crime. But there are some family secrets her mother would sooner take to the grave than reveal.

Reacquainting with her past brings fresh pain and new friendships as she struggles with who to trust with the details of her father’s murder and brother’s disappearance. As the authorities come closer to solving the mystery of the men in her family, she begins to realize her past life as Alice Wynter is the missing part of the puzzle. But who is searching out the former Alice? The sinister mysteries of the Wynter family will capture the reader’s attention well past when the fire has gone out.

Received from Publisher for review
Overall Rating 3.75
Story Rating 4.00
Character Rating 3.5

QUICK THOUGHTS: Spencer Seidel is a terrific storyteller that is not afraid to take risks with his plot. This book was a dark thriller that kept you guessing till almost the very end. I pretty much thought I had it figured out about 1/3 of the way through and was completely wrong. Best kind of thriller on the market is when you can’t figure out who did it!

What I Loved: Dead of Wynter was a very methodical, well paced thriller that not only had a terrific story but also enough twists and turns to truly keep you guessing. The idea of using two parallel time lines was brilliant. Every time you were sure where the story was heading,Spencer Seidel would send you in another direction. None of the plot turns felt forced as they complimented what was happening in the adjoining time line.

What I Liked: The 1984 plot was a great glimpse into who these characters were and how they became who they are today. I really enjoyed (though that might be the wrong word) watching the thoughts, actions, reactions, and character building that went on during this part of the storyline. Of course, this is also what made me believe I had it all figured out but alas I was wrong. Great Job Spencer Seidel!

Complaints: Other than Michael, I didn’t really “connect” with any of the characters. This did not distract from the story to much, since in a thriller, to me, it is more important to have a strong story/plot/case than character connections.

Why I gave it a 3.75: This was a fantastic debut novel from someone who I think will be a strong voice in the thriller community for years to come. I would have liked to feel a little stronger pull to the core characters but still a very strong debut! I will be reading Spencer Seidel in the years to come.

Who I would recommend it too: Mystery/Thriller readers who like the darker material. This is not for the faint hearted!

Spencer Seidel

Dead of Wynter

Felicia S
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