The Dead Key - by D.M.Pulley
Posted on December 28th, 2015
This mystery novel starts slowly by introducing the reader to two young women starting their careers 20 years apart. In the late 70s, Beatrice is starting as a secretary at the First Bank of Cleaveland. 20 years later, in the late 90s, Iris is having her first job at an engineering firm that is in charge of drafting plans of all floors from the First Bank of Cleaveland's old building.
The book progresses slowly showing us Beatrice's life as a secretary living with her aunt Doris, her new friendship Max (or Maxine) from the bank and the way she discovers the world. On the other side, Iris is walking around a deserted building that was abandoned overnight nearly 20 years prior. What happened? Why is there a guard 24/7 in the abandoned building?
While Beatrice takes steps towards her future, Iris seems to be taking steps towards the past as she discovers furniture, files, notes and keys in the old bank. Beatrice is young and innocent and Max is ready to help her grow and have fun. However, fun starts to get more complicated when Doris has a heart attack and, later, both Beatrice and Max discover that she had a few secrets that don't seem to make a lot of sense.
Iris, on her side, is having a hard time focusing on her job to draft plans for all floors of the bank as she discovers that one floor is missing some space. The numbers don't match and floor sizes should match. Add to that a colleague that gets under her skin and a few friends who like to get really drunk, Iris gets easily distracted and when she finds a key with a number (547) on it, she's more interested in understand what that means than to work on taking boring measures of floors that look the same.
That's about the point when things starts accelerating. Beatrice discovers Max snopping around her aunt Doris' drawer with some secret love letters and many weird notes. Iris discovers the bank closed over night and many people never got to touch their belongings. Something was up at the bank and none of them quite know what it is but both are committed to understanding more.
Their opposite investigations provide the reader with a story that fills itself from two different angles that some times overlap and some times don't. Something doesn't smell right and things only get worse. D.M. Pulley's story spirals to speed the reader into an exciting set of events that is both scary and exciting at the same time. Loads of money, power, corruption, police, politicians and many more details drive both our protagonists to fill gaps for each other while maintaining the core of the story unknown. An unexpected gran-finale puts us to spin a last time before the curtains fall and the women in the book deal with their faith.
A great mystery read. Not pretencious. A little slow at the beginning but quite fun and unexpected. This won't blow your mind but it'll likely keep you entertained for some good 8 to 12 hours. One sex scene and a few details on death make it a quite "calm" book for a mystery but still for adult public.