I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.The Dead Key on March 1, 2015
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2014 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Grand Prize and Mystery & Thriller Fiction Winner
It’s 1998, and for years the old First Bank of Cleveland has sat abandoned, perfectly preserved, its secrets only speculated on by the outside world.
Twenty years before, amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland’s largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees, and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost.
In the years since, Cleveland’s wealthy businessmen kept the truth buried in the abandoned high-rise. The ransacked offices and forgotten safe-deposit boxes remain locked in time, until young engineer Iris Latch stumbles upon them during a renovation survey. What begins as a welcome break from her cubicle becomes an obsession as Iris unravels the bank’s sordid past. With each haunting revelation, Iris follows the looming shadow of the past deeper into the vault—and soon realizes that the key to the mystery comes at an astonishing price.
The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley was a fascinating read for me. I found myself staying up too late to read just a little more. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about Beatrice and Iris and wondering what was going to happen next in the story. The author does a great job of telling two stories at the same time. I liked going back and forth between 1978 and 1998. It was easy to tell which era we were in.
The premise of the story was enough to pull me in, and once I started I didn’t want to stop reading. The thought of being in an abandoned bank shrouded in mystery really intrigued me. I kept wanting to be able to explore with Iris. I loved the setting, both the bank and the city. I live in Ohio, and felt I could easily relate to several elements of the story. This story was well done and I will look forward to reading more by this author. Definitely an author to watch out for!
1) What is your writing space like?
I like to sit in the cushy brown chair in my living room with my laptop. On good days, my puppy is asleep at my feet. On the other days, he tries to eat the laptop.
2) What does a typical writing day look like for you?
I get up and make a pot of very strong coffee. Then I walk the dog, feed my kids, pack their lunches, and make sure they get to school. After that, I answer email, scroll through Facebook, and take the dog on a very long walk to wear him out. I finally settle down to write around 10:30 a.m. and I don’t move from my chair until about 1:00 p.m. I take a break for the rest of the afternoon to run errands and spend time with my kids. After dinner, I review my husband’s comments on what I’ve written or we discuss what he hasn’t read yet.
3) Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
I hate interruptions once I sit down to work. I turn off my cell phone and I take the house phone off the hook and stuff it into a drawer. Yes, I still have a land line. Does that count as a quirk?
4) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Before The Dead Key was published, I spent much of my free time running my home renovation business and investigating building failures. However, I have scaled back on my engineering work since starting my second novel. Now, I like to read all sorts of books, and it’s a real kick that I can consider that “work.” However, when I’m writing a first draft, I usually avoid reading other novels. On the days when I need a mental break, I watch Rehab Addict or old episodes of the HBO series Girls. On days when I’m feeling restless or anxious, I tend to start ill-advised home improvement projects. I just recently renovated my fireplace.
5) Who are some of your favorite authors?
I am discovering new authors all of the time, but the ones close to my heart include: Daphne du Maurier, Herman Hesse, Kurt Vonnegut, J.D. Salinger, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Saul, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, Janet Evanovich, Karin Slaughter, Laura Lippman, J.K. Rowling, Sam Thomas, Jerzy Kosinski, V.C. Andrews, Judy Blume . . . I could go on.
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