Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Scandal, Starlets, and Attempted Murder

Expected Publication:  March 3rd, 2015
Dead To Me
By: Mary McCoy
ISBN-13:  9781423187127

"Don't believe anything they say."

Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace.  Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her -- and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.

When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her.  But Alice isn't a kid anymore, and this time she won't let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly.  The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets -- and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime.  What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie's attacker behind bars -- if Alice can find her first.  And she isn't the only one looking.


     A bit of a change of pace from my normal reading, what with the noir and all.  Not my usual, but I do enjoy a noir mystery film from time to time - I even took a Film Noir class in college.  Would you believe that some of it actually stuck?  That said, this is also set during what could be conceivably called the Golden Age of Hollywood, when there were so many stars and great films it's almost unreal.  Add into that particular time period an average teenaged girl, with a father who is a promoter in the film business and whose sister left home years ago without a backwards glance.  The girl, Alice, is startled to receive a call from the hospital that her sister Annie has been found almost beaten to death and they need her to come up there.  When she meets a private eye in the hospital room, who claims to be Annie's friend, things spiral completely out of control.  It becomes a game of cat and mouse, with the very real danger of death just around the corner.  Is this a mystery that Alice can survive?
     I appreciated that it's pretty clear whodunnit, and that's not where the mystery lies.  The mystery of the story is the motivations, the connections and the how of the situation!  There is a lot of action and I was always on the edge of my seat.  No character was truly safe and the psycopathic movie star described in the book summary was truly terrifying once he became a major player in the novel.  The reasons were not quite what I was expecting, but with the sleazy side of 1940s Hollywood being what it was, it wasn't entirely surprising in and of itself.  Mostly, the bits and pieces of this one - story, plotting, characters, etc. - came together to form an entirely pleasant reading experience and genuinely intriguing mystery.  This is an author I will definitely be watching in the future.  Please excuse the vagueness of this review, as I'm trying to avoid spoilers due to the March 2015 release date!!!

VERDICT:  4/5  Stars

**I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie.  No favors or money were exchanged for this review.  This book's expected publication date is March 3rd, 2015.**

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