I love the premise of D.M. Pulley's debut novel, The Dead Key. In 1998, a structural engineer evaluating a bank that's for sale discovers that the safe deposit boxes in the bank's vaults are still there, locked. And, what it makes it even more intriguing is that the story is based on one of Pulley's own experiences as a structural engineer. While evaluating a building, she found a basement vault filled with unclaimed safety deposit boxes.
In 1978, the First Bank of Cleveland closed overnight at the same time the city of Cleveland was in financial trouble. There had been rumors the bank was in trouble, and stories of women disappearing. Now, twenty years later, Iris Latch is sent into the bank to survey it for a possible sale. She's stunned to find the building abandoned just the way it was the day the doors were locked. Files are intact. But, there's still a guard on duty twenty-four hours a day. And, as Iris uncovers stories of other women who were once in the bank, and disappeared, she's warned not to disturb the ghosts. But, keys and shorthand journals and personnel files are too tempting, and Iris continues to look for answers. The stories of Doris and Max and Beatrice should be warnings. Cleveland's powerful and wealthy men had secrets to keep, and those secrets can reach across twenty years.
As I said, I love the premise of this story. And, I was particularly interested because of the Cleveland setting. But, I never warmed up to any of the characters, even Iris and Beatrice. And, the story seemed repetitive, the characters panicky and the story too long. But, don't take my word for it. Give it a chance, and come back and let me know what you think.
Two readers will have that chance. The publicist will give away one copy, and I'll give one away. If you'd like to win, email me at Lesa.Holstine@gmail.com. Your subject line should read "Win The Dead Key." Please include your name and mailing address. Entries from the U.S. only, please. The giveaway will end Thursday, April 16 at 6 PM CT.
D.M. Pulley's website is www.dmpulley.com
The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley. Thomas & Mercer. 2015. ISBN 9781477820872 (paperback), 471p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to participate in the TLC Book Tour.