Review: The Dead Season by Tessa Wegert

Title: The Dead Season by Tessa Wegert
Shana Marchant Series Book Two
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 351 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.


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.

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