An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
By: D.M. Pulley
Publication Date: 3/1/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
As a former bank manager and regional marketing manager overseeing 30 bank offices from 1979-1994, I am always captivated by these types of stories. Mysterious THE DEAD KEY, is a fascinating and complex debut suspense thriller, by D. M. Pulley involving the banking world, fraud, murder, affairs, conspiracy, and its mysterious lock boxes.
The book flashes back and forth from 1978 to 1998, where readers learn of the mysterious First Bank of Cleveland, an old abandoned building with a guard 24/7. It is the holder of dark hidden secrets, and a place for the homeless to sneak in through its tunnels.
Some odd twenty years prior, there were all sorts of disappearances, allegations of fraud, unhappy customers, and investors --- Cleveland’s largest bank was sold in the middle of the night. No customers, employees, or customers were allowed with a federal investigation. For some odd reason the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost. Was someone stealing from the lock boxes or safety deposit boxes?
In 1998, we have a young bright and eager young engineer, Iris Latch who stumbles upon an astonishing clue which may be connected to the mystery, during a renovation review of the property. She becomes obsessed with the mystery of the keys, the boxes, and the lives of those connected to the bank’s past. However, the more she digs, she puts herself in harms way. Someone is lurking in the shadows.
Needless to say the historical part was much more interesting than the latter more present day. I liked the characters from the earlier days, as more intriguing. As author takes us back and forth between the two eras, we meet two different women, caught up in the same mystery as the pieces unravel.
1998-Iris Latch 23-years old, assigned to work off-site, as a civil engineer, to view the architecture of the abandoned bank building with another fellow employee. She of course is thrilled to leave her cubicle for some adventure. She finds it rather strange nothing has been touched for the twenty years when the bank was shut down. She finds a key to the safe deposit box #547 and slowly stumbles upon a web of deceit and lies and a crime of the past. She now is in danger, and someone has put the secrets to bed, and the most curious of all why the guard around the clock?
1978-Beatrice Banker is a sixteen year old who works at the bank in the secretarial pool. Her aunt helped her get the job as she was really not old enough. A fast-paced suspense which had me glued to my ipod to find out how these stories connect. There is a mystery surrounding her aunt. She does not trust anyone. Beatrice escaped a bad home life and stayed with her aunt. She also met Max, another secretary, who became involved as well as other women and the bank manager.
The narrator, Emily Sutton-Smith delivers an intense performance, combined with the dialogue and connection of two different stories, for an engaging debut!
We all know this is fiction as banks are all about dual control when it comes to the vault and compliance. However, this is not to say, banks, employees, officers, or investors, cannot get involved in politics, wire and bank fraud, as plenty of it happening in today’s world of conspiracy and greed.