Saturday, 7 March 2015

Review & Giveaway: Dead To Me - Mary McCoy

Welcome to my stop on the tour for the gripping Dead To Me by Mary Mcoy. Scroll down to read my review and for a giveaway (US only - sorry!).

Dead to Me
by Mary McCoy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: March 3rd 2015

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.
If you're a fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood, film noir and detective stories then you should read Dead To Me or of stories that burrow into your brain ensuring you can't put the book down until it's finished. Sixteen year old Alice hasn't seen her sister Annie for four years but out of the blue she gets a phone call. Annie is alive, barely, and in hospital in a coma after being brutally attacked. Little does Alice know that by rushing to her sister's bedside she's about to change everything.

Imagine one of those 1950's black & white detective movies but replace the worn/bitter/grumpy detective with a teenager and that's Dead To Me. If you're at all a fan then Dead To Me will have you hooked from the first page to the last page and in my case reading until just before the sun came up... I was so intent on finding out who the bad guys were, who the good guys were and whether Annie would ever wake up again that I kept on reading until I'd finished despite needing to get a very short hour later!

Annie and Alice are the children of Hollywood people. Her mother was a short-lived actress discovered doing hair and her father seems to be some sort of talent scout. Right from the very beginning there's some sort of shadow over what exactly what Alice's father does, with more than a hint of something seedy. As a younger teen Annie is sent out to parties with her parents dressed far older than her years and each time she returns home a little bit more of the shine seems to have rubbed off. Desperate to know why Annie never stayed in touch after she left, not even using one of the many secret codes they had, Alice becomes determined to find out who put her sister in a coma and make them pay.

Enter a motley collection of characters who all have their part to play and do so extremely well, some managing to seemlessly switch between the side of the bad guys to the good guys & vice versa. I loved Jerry, the definition of the rumpled private detective,  who turns up on Annie's hospital room shortly after Alice. Not sure whether she can truly trust him or not Alice enters into a tentative partnership with him to find Annie's attacker. Only it it's not just Annie's attacker they end up looking for and the whole mystery suddenly deepens, becoming far too dangerous a sixteen year old girl. Alice is not backing down though and is convinced she can solve the crime.

I spent the entire time I was reading Dead To Me convinced I knew 'whodunnit' only to have my theories completely flipped on their heads on the very next page. Nobody is who they seem to be, not even Annie, and by the time Alice figures this out it becomes a life threatening situation. At times the action slows down a little too much but I wasn't really bothered by this as I was reading the whole thing as it was a movie in my head. There are some great twists and turns that you don't see coming even if you do think you've solved the mystery, there's always one more surprise - and not always pleasant. One of my favorite things were the codes that Alice and Annie used, they added a great extra dimension to the story which allowed for some secrets to be kept right up until the end.

If you like Veronica Mars (which I have seen Dead To Me compared to a few times, I guess it's similar in that they're both teenage detectives) or you're a fan of the era, private detectives and film noir then Dead To Me may be the read for you. It evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood perfectly and even better, there's no romance! It's a mystery thriller about a teenage girl trying to find her missing sister and put her family back together again. If Mary McCoy has kept me intrigued this much with her debut novel I can't wait to see what she does next.

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Follow the Dead To Me by Mary McCoy Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

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.

Win (1) hardcopy of DEAD TO ME by Mary McCoy (US Only)

*Many thanks to Disney-Hyperion, via Netgalley, for a copy of Dead To Me!

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of a book where you can never quite guess who has done it and all theories are far off from the truth! Mysteries like this always manage to capture my interest and I do need something like this because I love the Hollywood setting in basically anything!

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