A storm-struck island. A blood-soaked bed. A missing man. In this captivating mystery that's perfect for fans of Knives Out, Senior Investigator Shana Merchant discovers that murder is a family affair.
Thirteen 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 fiancé'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 edge.
While 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.
It's been a long time since I've read a good locked-room mystery, and to be honest, I suppose I had gotten away from them for a while. It's mostly because I so rarely find one to hold my ever-changing interests, but every once in a while, one comes along that makes me sit up and take notice. Death in the Family is such a mystery, and I get the added bonus of knowing there will be more to come since it is the start of a very promising series. Rather than go into story details and risk spoiling it, I'll just tell you how much I enjoyed this one. It's very well written, and while Shana certainly has her share of things to work through, she's still a strong character, which goes a long way toward convincing me to want more of her in future books, The book does leave some questions unanswered, and I'm guessing that those will be part of a continuing storyline as the series moves forward. I will add that if you're looking for an in your face, breakneck pace type of story, this is not it. Think more along the lines of Agatha Christie style - maybe a bit more grit than Christie, but the style is reminiscent. What it boils down to is if you enjoy crime fiction, and like me, you've been waiting for a strong female character to lead a series in the genre, this one is well worth checking out. I know I'll be watching for whatever comes next for Shana Marchant.
❃❃ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Berkley