Devils at the Door
by Tessa Wegert
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Pub Date 05 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2023
A suspicious drowning throws New York State senior investigator Shana Merchant's life into turmoil in this taut, thrilling small-town mystery - perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Ruth Ware.
Sixteen-year-old Henrietta used to be happy. But that was before her family hit the national news. Before she - and the whole world - knew she was related to one of New York's most prolific serial killers.
Senior Investigator Shana Merchant readily agrees when her brother asks her to take in his troubled, rebellious daughter for the fall semester. Doug's convinced that spending a few months in Alexandria Bay with Shana will straighten Hen out.
But when Hen arrives, Shana's not so sure. She can't help but distrust the strange and manipulative teen, who binge-watches bloody movies and roams the house at night, taking things that aren't hers.
Soon, though, Shana has more to worry about than missing heirlooms when she's called to investigate the suspicious drowning of a local teenager, only to discover her niece at the scene of the crime.
What happened that night on the dark, uninhabited island of Devil's Oven? With Hen and her new friends not talking, and a community determined to keep their secrets dead and buried, Shana knows it's a race against time to uncover the truth before her niece is upgraded from key witness to prime suspect.
A Note From the Publisher
The previous book in the Shana Merchant series, The Kind to Kill, was one of The Strand Magazines top 25 mysteries of 2022
"A compelling, unique mystery with twists I never saw coming. I couldn't put it down"
–Samantha Downing, bestselling author of My Lovely Wife
"A taut, atmospheric and compulsive thriller that had me gripped as every secret unravelled and the investigation reached its compelling conclusion"
–Nadine Matheson, author of The Jigsaw Man
Average rating from 46 members
This was my 1st time reading this author and I have to say I am hooked! I flew through this one. I usually find small town mysteries a bit repetitive and unoriginal but this had me questioning everything and I couldnt put it down. The scenes are set perfectly, the characters well written, the atmosphere tense and creepy and its just the perfect book to get lost in on these cold dark nights
This is the first time I've read a book by this author Tessa Wegert!
Well written with intrigue, Devils at the Door, follows investigator Shana Merchant after a suspicious drowning case. A well-crafted plot! We also learn that a young girl named Henrietta is somehow linked to a serial killer. At the request of her own brother Doug, Shana agrees to take care of her, which will become a real challenge for her. Is Henrietta in danger? Well-kept secrets will resurface!
If you like stories filled with mysteries, you will surely like this fiction.
Thank you Severn House and NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book!
The Shana Merchant series just keeps getting better. Shana's psychopathic cousin Bram is still wreaking havoc even after his death, and the scars he inflicted on his family are still raw. Henrietta, Shana's 16-year-old niece has been sent to her aunt in A-Bay and is quickly implicated in the suspicious drowning of a local teen. Despite a conflict of interest, Shana can't keep away from the investigation and puts her job--and her relationship with her fiance--at risk as she searches for the truth. Great storytelling kept me hooked and I couldn't put it down. If you haven't discovered this series, you're missing out!
Thanks to Severn House for access to a digital ARC on NetGalley.
Thank you Netgalley & Severn House for an eARC of Devils at the Door by Tessa Wegert, a Shana Merchant novel.
Yes! Another Investigator Shana Merchant novel in the books. Every time I see Tessa Wegert coming out with a new one, I get giddy. I know they can't go on forever, but I keep hoping and praying. I pushed this to the top of my TBR as soon as I was approved because I know that Wegert will always write an atmospheric mystery that will have me absolutely hooked - Just in time for September and this spooky season.
What's Shana up to this time?
Shana's 16 year old niece, Hen, moves in with her and fiance Tim. Moving to A-Bay doesn't help Hen fit in, everyone knows she was related to one of NY's most prolific serial killers. When Hen arrives, Shana finds her at the scene of a suspicious drowning of a local teenage boy. What happened that night? Was Hen involved?
I loveeee the small town mysteries in this series. As always, the community wants to keep their secrets dead and buried, but Shana won't give up until she finds the truth. This could be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the series from the start so you have the background on Shana, her connection to the famous serial killer and her relationship with Tim. This one explores the mystery aspect as well as Shana's personal life which I love to see. Did I cry at the end of this one? Tessa, how the hell did you manage to make me cry?
I really love this series. I'm familiar enough with the region (I'm also an upstate/Western NY resident) to enjoy the setting and references, and it's an area that doesn't see a lot of action, fiction-wise, so it's fun in that regard. But even more than that, I really love the characters she's crafted. Her protagonist is a survivor in the truest sense of the word - a woman who is strong, bent-not-broken, and forged by the events in her life into a steel sword seeking justice for those around her. Yet she never loses her humanity and remains fallible, like all of us, and this is what makes her such a relatable character. The pacing and plotting is, as always, strong and even. The mystery draws you in straightaway, and the character development (both in this installment and series-long) continues to be engaging and heartening. I hope Wegert sticks with these characters for a long time - because I intend to!
This is the fifth book in the senior investigator, Shana Merchant series.
Shana finally has her life in order after it was torn apart by her cousin, and later revealed serial killer Blake Bram. Shana has a fiancé and a stable career in Alexandria Bay. But then she receives a call from her brother Doug, her niece, Henrietta (Hen), is going through a rough patch, and he thinks it might be good for her to spend some time with Shana. Except Hen isn’t the innocent child that Shana remembers and she’s not sure if she can trust her. Soon after she arrives, Shana is called to a crime scene to investigate a suspicious drowning of a local teenage boy, at the uninhabited island, Devils Oven, only to discover her niece at the scene of the crime.
This has become one of my favourite series, and while it’s probably better read from the beginning, the author does provide enough background that you could just jump in to this novel. The story pulled me in from the very beginning. Small town setting, lots of secrets and new characters to shake things up.
Another one I highly recommend. 4.5*
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Severn House for this gifted review copy.
Although this is the fifth book in the series, it is the first for me. While there were lots of references to earlier books, I never had any trouble following the story as the author did a good job of providing all needed information.
The story is set in upstate New York on the St. Lawrence River. The main character is New York state troopers investigator Shana Marchant. She and her fiance, a fellow investigator, are busy renovating their home and preparing for their wedding when her brother calls. He begs Shana to take his troubled teenage daughter, Henrietta, for the school term in hopes that a change of scenery will straighten her out.
Stana quickly finds her hands full dealing with the strange and moody teen, and things take a turn for the worse when the girl is found at the scene of the death of another teen. Hen and her friends aren’t talking and seem obsessed with death and the occult.
I thought the author did a fine job of juggling all the doubts and fears in Shana’s personal life, with the mistrust and exasperation that comes with dealing with a teenage girl. Throw in a large dose of small town secrets and a suspicious death from the past, and you have a fine setting for a taut mystery. I know that my guesses at who done it was quite long and all were wrong.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good small town mystery and a psychological storyline. Many thanks to Severn House and NetGalley for allowing me to read this advance copy in exchange for an impartial review.
Another exciting Shana Merchant mystery! I was very excited to get this ARC from Net Galley. I have enjoyed this series so much. The mysteries are very well crafted. The settings- both in NY and VT are very familiar to me, which makes this series even more enjoyable. Wegert expertly captures year round life in a small, summer tourist town. Shana has been carefully developed throughout the series, as have the supporting characters. The series keeps getting better with each book.
Shana is a flawed person, with a lot of personal guilt to carry, in regard to a deceased relative, who is still managing to disrupt her life from the grave. But- she still is able to forge relationships and a have personal life in The Bay. In this book, her niece comes to stay with her, and quickly becomes embroiled in a suspicious death. Shana should stay out of the investigation because family is involved. But can she? You'll just have to read this book to find out!
Thanks Net Gallery!
Shana is finally starting to feel normal and happy, she is engaged to a great man, they are renovating their home and things are going pretty well. The town is finally starting to accept her and not glare at her when they see her. Can she finally put her serial killing cousin behind her? She agrees to look after her teenage niece for a while. Henrietta is going off the rails a bit and her parents are desperate for some help. Shane doesn’t realise what she is getting herself into with Hen, and soon she finds herself investigating a drowning, one where Hen was a witness,or is she the prime suspect?
This series has a way of getting you so invested in the characters and storylines. I found myself cursing Shana at times, she doesn’t always make the best decisions. We saw her and Tim in a different way in this instalment. I look forward to what comes next for them.
I love this author.
This series has kept my interest from the first to the last page every time.
The characters are strong and the spin on the story line will have you wondering who is the murderer.
A must read series and author for sure.
Thanks to NetGalley and Severn House publishers. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
My favorite of the series so far. Giving myself a high five for figuring it all out before the reveal - not easy to do with this author. I like where the relationship is going between Shana and Tim. I love that Shana is so flawed - her life isn't tied up in a neat bow now that Bram is (mostly) out of the picture. This story features Shana's 16 year old niece, Henrietta; talk about throwing a wrench into your life! Again, I love how Shana handles her (or doesn't) and how she doesn't have all the answers. This series keeps getting better.
Devils at the Door by Tessa Wegert is the 5th book in the Shana Merchant series.
I absolutely LOVE this series! While you can read it as a stand-alone novel, I highly recommend reading the other amazing books in the series.
Shana Merchant is doing well, engaged to Tim and putting the events of the past behind her. Things are going pretty well. She agrees to take care of her 16-year-old nieces, Henrietta (Hen) for a little while to get her back on track.
When Shane is called to investigate a drowning, things get complicated with Hen, as she was a witness. Or is she a suspect?
This is such a great book! I really enjoy Shana so much! Shana and Tim took on a different role in this book as guardians to Hen and it was a really nice dynamic.
The mystery was fantastic and there were some great twists and turns that left me gasping.
Another fantastic installment that I cannot recommend enough.
When Senior Investigator Shana Merchant agrees to let her teenage niece Henrietta (Hen, to her aunt) stay with her and her fiancé Tim while they simultaneously renovate their home, plan their wedding, and keep the Alexandria Bay area safe from crime, she thinks the challenge will be getting her niece to open up about her troubles. Shana knows firsthand that her family history can be difficult to navigate, even for an adult. But Shana doesn’t expect her duties as an aunt to intersect with her duties with the New York State Police.
Hen finds herself involved with a suspicious drowning and Shana finds herself on the outside of the investigation—one that could have implications for the rest of Hen’s life. Shana must do everything she can to get to the truth, combing through local secrets that have already done damage and continue to wreak havoc.
This is the fifth in Tessa Wegert’s twisty and atmospheric Shana Merchant series. Wegert is back with her tight prose and complex characters. Shana, the main character, is a complicated heroine, whose unique past and capable investigation skills, not to mention her badass martial arts prowess, make her a protagonist I love to root for, and this most recent chapter does not disappoint. Never fear if you haven’t read the others in the series. This book stands alone perfectly well. But if you haven’t, what in the world are you waiting for?
Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House for the opportunity to read an advance review copy.
👀 OMG, she’s back again! The most BAD ASS Senior Investigator Shana Merchant returns in Book 5 of the series by Tessa Wegert! “Devils at the Door” surrounds the aftermath of the death of Shana’s cousin Blake Bram … a small town serial killer that will follow Shana like a shadow forever !
BOOK REVIEW: 🖤🖤🖤🖤/5
When the news of Blake Bram’s true identity hits the national news, his family members take a huge hit for being related to a serial killer. Not just Shana. Her brother Doug asks Shana to take in his 16 year old daughter Hen who has been acting out and needed a change of scenery for one semester.
When Hen shows up, she begins to hang out with a rebellious crowd from school which leads to sneaking out, drinking, stealing and being secretive. One night when Shana is called to the crime scene of a teenager who drowned in the water surrounding Devil’s Oven island, she is SHOCKED to find her niece there when she was supposed to be at home sleeping. WHY were Hen and her “friends” on this deserted island in the first place??
Shana and her team are given the run around from the teenagers involved and it gets harder for them to keep their stories straight. When the drowning is suspected to NOT be accidental, Shana is desperate to find out the truth before Hen becomes the primary suspect.
This series is HANDS DOWN one of the best thriller series there is!! I have totally devoured every single book and highly recommend this series to everyone! If you enjoy GRITTY police procedurals, fast paced thrillers and atmospheric mysteries, then you need this book (and series) in your life 💯!!!!
Thank you kindly to @tessawegert @severnhouseimprint @netgalley for my advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review! This book releases on December 5, 2023!
This is my favorite Shana read so far! This one was so good! Just when you think with how the last book left off, that just maybe she can try to move on from the horror she has endured at the hands of her cousin. But when her brother calls with a very large favor, she cannot say no. Her niece moves in and Shana not yet being a mother, is in uncharted waters with rules and expectations, what is right or wrong and just why is normal for a teenager. When she gets a call about a body out on Devil's Oven Island, she gets the shock of her life to find her niece in shock from having been the one to pull the lifeless teenage boy from the water. Just what in the heck is going on and what is the real reason Hen was pushing to come to her aunt Shana's? Now being directly tied to the investigation, Shana has to treat lightly with her niece being considered a suspect while trying to get to the bottom of what is really going on with Hen, and who are these friends of hers that always seems to bring about trouble and her past. This was such a crazy read and I loved every page! I am extremely curious to see what Shana's future looks like in the next novel. Thank you to Suzy Approved Book Tours for the invite and to the author and NetGalley for the free ebook. This review is of my own opinion and accord.
Devils at the Door by Tessa Wegert is another gripping crime fiction story.
I really enjoyed reading book five in the Shana Merchant series.
I love the atmosphere of this book. It’s written with the intensity and a feeling of dread.
Brimming with an eerie mystery and hair-raising details this was a compelling read.
A solid and convoluted plot, great characters, suspenseful writing, and perfect ending made this story so much fun and exciting.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Severn House for the opportunity to read this ahead of its publication date in return for my honest review.
Tessa Wegert, the Author of “Devils at the Door,” has written an intriguing and captivating novel. This is the 5th Shanna Merchant Novel, which can stand on its own, but I recommend reading the other books in the series because they are so good. The genres for this novel are mystery, thriller, suspense, and fiction. The story occurs near Alexandria Bay, on the New York Border near Canada. The timeline for this story is set in the present and goes to the past regarding the characters or events. This well-written novel has twists and turns, betrayals, danger, accidents, and murder.
The author vividly describes her dramatic characters as complex, complicated, flawed, and dysfunctional. Investigator Shana Merchant has more complications in her life when her 16-year-old niece, Henrietta, is sent to live with her and Tim, Shana’s fiance. Shana’s brother and wife find that their rebellious daughter is a handful and hope that Shanna can straighten her out. The publicity still exists that Shana and Henrietta’s relative was a serial killer. Henrietta finds it difficult to make friends, but they seem to idolize her serial killer relative. These new “friends” of Henriettas also are interested in ghosts. When one of these friends drowns, and Henrietta is found nearby, Shana is forced to back away from the case.
The small town has very strange occurrences regarding these friend’s families. Will Shana be able to find out what is going on and protect her niece? I could not put this book down. I highly recommend this intense thriller.