Sunday, December 20, 2020

"The Dead Season"

Tessa Wegert is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Adweek, and The Economist. She grew up in Quebec near the border of Vermont and now lives with her husband and children in a hundred- year-old house in Coastal Connecticut. Wegert writes mysteries set in Upstate New York while studying martial arts and dance, and is the author of the Shana Merchant series, beginning with Death in the Family.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Dead Season, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Music was playing, a nineties indie anthem I’d liked as a kid, back when my life was simple, and the menu was a mixed bag of limp iceberg salads and deep-fried everything else. I ordered two slices of Hawaiian, Suze got a veggie calzone as big as a loaf of bread, and as we dug into our lunch, we dove into the past.

Memory, I realized as we spoke, is a tenuous thing—the truth a filament thin as a spider’s web—but I didn’t like how much I’d forgotten.
I’d say this page is very representative of The Dead Season. Memory is a major theme in this book, which kicks off with Senior Investigator Shana Merchant reluctantly returning to her hometown upon learning of her estranged uncle’s murder. In her youth, Shana wasted no time leaving Swanton, Vermont and her dysfunctional extended family behind. Now, her homecoming requires her to acknowledge that her kin is more twisted and unpredictable than she could have imagined.

On page 69, Shana reconnects with her former best friend Suze, who’s eager to rehash the old days — days that feel nebulous to Shana. In Death in the Family, the first book in this series, readers learn that Shana survived being abducted by serial killer Blake Bram, with whom she shares a hometown. In The Dead Season, Shana reveals the nature of this relationship and the extent to which Bram’s psychological manipulation affected her. As the story unfolds, Shana discovers that Bram may be linked to additional crimes — both her uncle’s cold case in Vermont and the recent abduction of a child in the Thousand Islands of Upstate New York — and a cat and mouse game ensues. Shana’s memory becomes a critical tool in her effort to decode the clues Bram is planting just for her. The question is: how reliable are her memories now that Bram has probed her mind, and can she recall enough about their shared past to follow his breadcrumb trail and reach the child in time?
Visit Tessa Wegert's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Dead Season.

--Marshal Zeringue