Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

This is a suspense/crime sort of book but I say that lightly. I’ve certainly read more suspenseful books than this one. I chose this awhile back when Barnes and Noble was having a sale on hard backs–the synopsis sounded interesting enough and the reviews IMG_1821on Good Reads were mixed but not so much that I wasn’t interested in seeing what this book was like for myself. I finished it last month and I have to say that I was not impressed at all. In fact, I didn’t like this book even slightly but I pushed through because I was already committed. It wasn’t so bad that I was pained to continue but I also wasn’t itching to turn the page. I never felt any suspense and I found the entire story to be really anti-climatic. The only true win here is that I wasn’t fully expecting the way it ended.

***

Ava Antipova is 1/2 of an identical twin duo. Her sister, Zelda, is the wild, unkempt and vivacious twin. Ava is predictable, well put together and responsible. When Ava finds out that Zelda hooked up with her high school crush ( a guy who is totally in love with her but she keeps at an arm’s length because it makes her feel good), she flees her family’s failing vineyard and her mentally compromised mother and skips off to live in Paris where she refuses to speak to her sister. After about a year in Paris, Ava receives word from her mother that Zelda has died unexpectedly in a fire and implores her to return home at once. Ava makes the journey home but she suspects that this is Zelda just playing another one of her games, she can’t possibly be dead. It’s so un-Zelda like. Shortly after her arrival, Ava receives an email from her sister’s email address welcoming her back home and that is what confirms for Ava that Zelda is pulling a fast one over everyone and means for Ava to play along and find out where she’s hiding. Zelda has planned this perfectly. She’s created a game for her sister where each clue is represented by a letter of the alphabet. Ava would love nothing more than go home back to Paris to her new life and not be dragged into Zelda’s chaos but she can’t help but be intrigued by the game. Now she’s anxious to get to the end of the alphabet, the end of the clues, so she can find out what the hell her sister is actually up to.

***

I think this the premise of this book held promise, but I just felt it was not written in a way that executed it well. Rather than be held in suspense, I was just sort of bored. As for all the books I’ve read in 2019, this one is my least favorite so far. I gave it 3/5 stars.

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