Genre: YA Mystery
Page Length: 304 Pages
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Source: eARC via Netgalley (thanks Disney Hyperion!)
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.
As far as mysteries and plots go, Mary should win a gold crown or something. The story she weaves and the mystery she creates were well-planned and mind-blowing! I really loved how Mary chose the perfect setting and time period for this crime. I also loved her portrayal of Hollywood in the late 1940's and appreciated how accurate and realistic it was. I was thoroughly impressed by how slippery and deep this mystery went. This is no silly crime, things get rough and dangerous. I spent so much time wracking my brain, theorizing, trying to figure out what was really going on and why. Basically you can trust no one. Many gold stars to Mary though, she managed to pull the rug out from under my feet multiple times. She slammed twist after twist into the pages and left me a frazzled mess. Mary made this book so suspenseful, my anxiety levels were through the roof. You can cut the tension with a knife. Dead to Me is an exemplary mystery novel. There's plenty of sleuthing, shady dealings, blood, sweat, and tears.
In terms of characters, they all fell a bit short to me. I couldn't really connect with any of the characters. I didn't feel I knew much about the main character, Alice. I couldn't relate to her, I didn't know her at all. The supporting characters were just as flat. Maybe it was on purpose though. I suspected everyone, and I suspected no one. Some of the characters just slip right by you. There are quite a few revelations we discover about each of these characters, so eventually we learn who they really are. I loved the strong sisterly bond between Alice and Annie. I also really enjoyed their love of games and codes. They loved cracking codes, and it plays a super important (and super cool) part in the book.
If you're in the mood for a convoluted mystery and thriller then be sure to check out this book!
"Big as it was, it was easy to forget about the sign sometimes. You could go weeks in the city-you could go weeks in Hollywood-and not see it once, and then suddenly you turned a corner and there it was, neglected, ugly, and embarrassing."
"Falling asleep was like falling down a well. When I hit the bottom, everything went black for a while."
"And up to that moment, you could walk away whenever you wanted without feeling as though you'd been rude or stuck-up or led someone on. And after that moment, it became almost impossible to walk away at all, no matter how badly you wanted to. After that moment, it was too late."
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mary McCoy is a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the 1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles's notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. Mary now lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Her debut novel, Dead To Me, is a YA mystery set in the glamorous, treacherous world of 1940s Hollywood.
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