Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner

Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Published: 1st June, 2017 (Thomas & Mercer)
Series: N/A
Rating: 3

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?

Well, this one was pretty good! I quite liked the idea of the book within the book (Charlotte’s half finished novel as a clue to her murder).

Can’t say the same thing about having to read some dialogues and scenarios twice because suddenly the story switched to the killer’s point of view. The fact that the identity of the murderer was quite obvious early on did not bother me. It was actually quite interesting, seeing how he behaves and trying to figure out what his motives were.


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That said, the killer going after Ella, and plotting her murder to tie up the loose ends, that were not even loose at the point he came up with this brilliant idea, was a bit over the top. I kept thinking “But what the hell for? Just chill, dude!”


To be fair the reason why he killed poor Charlotte is nothing earth shattering, and other reviewers marked this up on the negative side, but having watched tons and tons of true crime documentaries I know sometimes the motives for real murders are just plain stupid, and frankly disappointing.

From the book description the main character, Ella, sounded pretty interesting. I imagined her double life will be a big part of the story. Kind of like imagined something along the lines of Gipsy, the series I saw recently about this therapist who lives a proper double life with fake identity and a lot of subterfuge. Nothing like this happened here though. Apart from singing once in a club under a different name and some lipstick on, it was not mentioned again, and even the main character admitted, anyone who’ve ever met her would know straight away that it’s her. (Couldn’t help but think of Ron Swanson / Duke Silver… I’ll see myself out).

According to the bio the author is a practicing lawyer, and I must say, all the lawyer talk was nicely done, in a no-bullshit fashion. I actually look forward to reading more stories from him.

P.S. Loved the fact that the main characters are 5″2 (like me) and not some six foot tall amazons!

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