Author: Adam Mitzner
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Ella Broden is living a double life.
By day, Ella works as a buttoned-up attorney on some of the city’s most grueling cases. By night, she pursues her passion for singing in the darkest clubs of Manhattan.
No one knows her secret, not even Charlotte, the younger sister she practically raised. But it seems she’s not the only one in the family with something to hide. When Charlotte announces she’s sold her first novel, Ella couldn’t be more thrilled…until she gets a call that her sister’s gone missing.
Ella starts investigating with the help of Detective Gabriel Velasquez, an old flame in the NYPD, and what she finds is shocking. If art imitates life, then her sister’s novel may contain details of her real-life affairs. And any one of her lovers could be involved in her disappearance.
Desperate to bring Charlotte home, Ella works through her list of suspects, matching fictitious characters with flesh-and-blood men. But will it be too late to save the sister she only thought she knew?
Dead Certain is a hard book for me to review. There were several things I really liked about it, but there were some I didn’t. Rather than write out a lengthy review about it all, I’m going to break this review down to what I liked and what I didn’t care for.
What I liked:
- The mystery behind Charlotte’s disappearance.
- The chapters of Charlotte’s book. They were the heart of the story for me, and the most interesting clues to her disappearance.
- The unexpected narrator in the second half.
- How the mystery of Charlotte’s disappearance wrapped up.
- Ella’s double life. I wanted more of it. It wasn’t as big a factor as I expected.
What I didn’t care for:
- Ella. Her character wasn’t one I easily connected to. There was something about her personality that annoyed me.
- The amount of legal detail overwhelmed me at times.
- The first half of the book was a bit boring, to be honest. The second half was so good. I don’t know how the author could have made the beginning more like the second half, but it would have made the book more entertaining.
- The plot was somewhat predictable. I knew who did it early on.
Despite not enjoying the first half of this book, the second half totally redeemed Dead Certain in my eyes. Even though I didn’t enjoy that first half, I can now appreciate that part. It made the surprises that were coming in the second half even better.
Would I recommend Dead Certain? Yes. I did end up really liking how things played out, and I think others would, too.