Book Review: Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

Dead to Me
Author: Mary McCoy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction | Mystery
Released: March 3, 2015
Review Source: Reading Teen


LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.

"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.

Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.

I have to admit that this was a little hard for me to review. I really liked the idea and premise of Dead to Me. I wish I could say I enjoyed the story more than expected. In reality, something just didn't quite fit for me. 

Set in the late 1940's, Dead to Me follows the story of Alice. She spent four years waiting for her sister, Annie, to return home. She wondered why her sister left in the first place. But what killed her the most, were the last words her sister spoke to her - "Don't believe anything they say". Who is 'they'? 

When Annie finally turns up, Alice is unable to ask her questions; as she is in a coma. She was brutally beaten and left for dead. With no one to answer her questions, Alice is in search for the truth. Only that this little journey of hers brings her to great danger. 

The story is well described. I liked how the author explained the differences between ciphers. With graphics and all. It was interesting to learned this information. I actually even Google these to learn more. 

Although the story is set in the 40s, at times, I felt it more modern. The mystery is good but I found myself predicting the person behind everything. Which was a let down for me. Also, I had a mixed feeling about Alice. Sure, she is brave to go out and learned the truth about her sister. But if a loved one is in coma, especially my sister, I wouldn't  leave her side. 

Overall, I think it was a good story. In spite of the fact that I found it dull at times, I I enjoyed actually learning how to solve ciphers - well simple ones.

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