Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

The Dead Key by DM Pulley

Title: The Dead Key, Author: D. M. PulleyThe Dead Key. Finished 1-12-17, rating 4/5, pub. 2015

Unabridged audio read by Emily Sutton-Smith. 13 hours 47 minutes.

It’s 1998, and for years the old First Bank of Cleveland has sat abandoned, perfectly preserved, its secrets only speculated on by the outside world.

Twenty years before, amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland’s largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees, and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost.

In the years since, Cleveland’s wealthy businessmen kept the truth buried in the abandoned high-rise. The ransacked offices and forgotten safe-deposit boxes remain locked in time, until young engineer Iris Latch stumbles upon them during a renovation survey. What begins as a welcome break from her cubicle becomes an obsession as Iris unravels the bank’s sordid past. With each haunting revelation, Iris follows the looming shadow of the past deeper into the vault—and soon realizes that the key to the mystery comes at an astonishing price.

In 2015 I had the opportunity to hear Pulley speak (wrote about it here) and the talk made me excited to read the book (the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Award winner). So much of what she writes about came from her experience as an engineer and being able to see the safe deposit boxes left as they were described in an old bank she was surveying.  I think seeing her presentation definitely made the book better.  If you’re interested this is a talk ( link )she gave at a local library.

The mystery follows the popular two storylines taking place in different time periods approach and works well enough, but I almost wish there’d been less of the 1998 story because the storyline and main character weren’t nearly as interesting as 1978.  I loved young Beatrice getting caught up in scandal and intrigue at the bank during a time that women had less options than they do today.  I was rooting for her to make her way out of the mess without getting caught but we never really knew until the last chapter with Iris in 1998.

Beatrice had all of the dignity that Iris lacked.  Iris drank too much, smoked too much, was late for work too much and maybe let her curiosity get the better of her too much.  I didn’t have problem with her but it was Beatrice’s story that kept me reading.

I liked it and am glad that I was able to hear her speak first because it put the story in context.  I also loved that it took place in Cleveland (and that means I can count it for my Read Harder Challenge).

 

January 12, 2017 - Posted by | 4 Star Books

4 Comments »

  1. I’m pretty sure I have this one on my Kindle. I remember being intrigued by the story a while back. It is interesting to think about those safety deposit boxes and what happens to them. And hearing an author speak always makes me want to try their work. If I only could read in my sleep. LOL

    Comment by Kay | January 13, 2017 | Reply

  2. I can see how your experience hearing her speak made this book better for you.

    Comment by BermudaOnion | January 13, 2017 | Reply

  3. I have this on my Kindle and have been hesitant to start it because another Kindle freebie was a stinker. I will def read this one now!

    Comment by Jennygirl | January 14, 2017 | Reply

  4. I agree about having tons of interest in what might be in all those safe deposit boxes! And the older story was fascinating. Overall, an ok book.

    Comment by Care | January 26, 2017 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: