Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

This novel fits into my Halloween reads perfectly: it involves mind tricks, ghosts, and a complicated family dynamic that leads the heroine down a dark path.

The Winters is a thriller that starts off quietly enough: you get foreshadowing from the opening pages; you know something has gone terribly wrong. But then you're introduced to our heroine, who remains nameless throughout the novel. At first I thought I had just missed her name, but no, it never comes up. Hmmmm....

Meeting on the Cayman Islands where she works a drudge of a job for a horrible boss, Mrs. Winters-to-be meets Senator Max Winter, and they quickly fall in love. She's not at all what his first wife, Rebekah, was, and she becomes obsessed with Rebekah. Tall, blonde, beautiful, classy; killed in a car accident on the grounds of Asherley estate, Max's family Long Island mansion. There's Dani, Max's teenage stepdaughter, who is still grieving the death of her mother, and is a handful. She's angry, bitter, and does not like Max's new fiancee. Dani goes to a lot of trouble to make the future Mrs. Winters miserable. 

As our heroine struggles to fit in at Asherley, you sense something just isn't right, and maybe Max isn't the perfect, debonair man she first met. But what is it?! Do we believe Dani, or Max? 

Oh--the last pages are a real kicker. It's like being in a boat, gently riding the waves, and then BAM! Here comes a big one, and it rocks the boat violently. You  feel for Mrs. Winters, because she really is trying to grapple with a new life, a new husband, and the ghost of Rebekah. Will she figure things out in time to save herself? 

This was a great thriller and a big thank you to Viking for sending me an an advanced copy. It takes the domestic thriller and turns it up a notch. It has a modern gothic feel to it that I appreciated and it almost lent a timelessness to it, even though it is firmly set in contemporary Long Island. For those who enjoy thrillers, pick this one up! 

Rating: 4/6 for a novel that leads you down the path, and you know something is wrong...but wow it all happens quickly and you read with baited breath. A very good thriller!

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

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