Having won the grand prize winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel for 2014, The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley showed its sheer genius as a wild story that thrilled a lot of its readers. The book was the first novel by Pulley, and it’s largely inspired by her profession as a structural engineer in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Dead Key bases its plot on real events especially those that took place in the city of Cleveland between 1977-1978. This was a period when Cleveland plunged into one of its lowest economic points in history having defaulted on most of its debts. This was after the Cleveland Trust Bank refused to extend its loans to the city after the new mayor declined to engage in corrupt deals as had been the culture in the previous regimes.
In a plot twist, a young woman named Beatrice tries to unearth the secrets and shady deals that are being carried out in the bank. She risks her life doing this although unfortunately the bank closes down before she can conclude her investigations. The story then captures another part in 1998, involving a character named Iris who’s trying to investigate the events that took place before the closure of the bank in 1978. It is in this part that deeper secrets of the bank are exposed.
The Dead Key involves a lot of mystery and thrilling events although its first few chapters are a little slow and involves a more complicated plot for the average reader. However, the story unfolds about midway as Pulley reveals several clues in the past and present. This helps to make the storyline more captivating and will leave you yearning to know more with each passing chapter. The plot can be quite confusing at first although you have to acknowledge that Pulley is pretty skillful in how she juggles between the alternating stories.
Overall, this is a book that will keep you engaged nearly throughout its whole plot. It has a refreshing premise, and its mystery is extremely compelling. Pulley executes her original idea very well making it a perfect read for anyone who loves mystery novels.