Die a Little by Megan Abbott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Megan Abbott’s first novel is a nifty little noir set in post-war LA. School teacher Lora King is extremely close to her brother Bill who is a police detective. When Bill meets Alice Steele he falls head over heels for her, and the two are soon married. Alice shows a tireless energy and enthusiasm for life as a homemaker that would make Martha Stewart feel like a lazy slob, but Lora finds herself becoming suspicious of some her new sister-in-law after getting clues indicating that she had a shady past before meeting Bill.
It’s a great turn to have a cop in a mystery novel in an era dominated by men, but he’s mainly used as a supporting character that two woman revolve around. It’s also interesting how Lora finds herself becoming intrigued with what she learns about Alice’s seedy history and starts indulging in her own wild side. The writing shows the Mighty Megan knack for getting inside the head of a conflicted person as well as making both the suburbs and seedy nightclubs come alive with a variety of characters. This is a solid start to a great writer’s career, and I particularly liked the ending.
I’m calling 3.5 stars just because I think she did it even better in her later books.
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