2014 Winner - Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award - Mystery & Thriller
It's 1998, and for years the old First Bank of Cleveland has sat abandoned, perfectly preserved, its secrets only speculated on by the outside world.
Twenty years before, amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland's largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault's safe-deposit boxes were lost.
In the years since, Cleveland's wealthy businessmen have kept the truth buried in the abandoned high-rise. The ransacked offices and forgotten safe-deposit boxes remain locked in time until young engineer Iris Latch stumbles upon them during a renovation survey. What begins as a welcome break from her cubicle becomes an obsession as Iris unravels the bank's sordid past. With each haunting revelation, Iris follows the looming shadow of the past deeper into the vault - and soon realizes that the key to the mystery comes at an astonishing price.
©2015 D. M. Pulley (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mr on 25-10-16

Excellent book

This book is gripping and thrilling and definitely worth listening to. It kept me guessing right to the end and has left me with even more questions. Excellently written and performed. I loved it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Guy on 05-05-17

Not good.

First the good: The narrator was ok. The concept of the story was interesting (although not plausible), And the way the story bounced back and forth between the past and the present, and the two main characters was interesting. That's where the good ends.

Ultimately the book was a major disappointment. There are lots of errors and lots of things that are just too implausible to make the book believable. One example: The author apparently doesn't know the difference between being laid off and being fired. The words are used interchangeably several times (incorrectly), and late in the book the author makes a distinction between the two, then goes immediately back to using them wrong.

Another example: the entire premise of the book is that bank has been sitting there vacant for 20 years with millions of dollars that were stolen from the government inside. The bankers are so incompetent that they don't know how to open their own deposit boxes, don't know where the money is without a hand written ledger that a secretary was able to steal, and... they lost the keys. Yet they are smart enough to evade the feds for 20 years. Then there is the law enforcement officers. They can't get warrants for 20 years despite multiple disappearances, millions of dollars missing, reports of fraud from a mole, AND having an agent inside the bank the whole time. It's just too much.

Worse yet: The characters are too incompetent and stupid believable. Iris is an "engineer" that graduated top of her class (college not kindergarten), but somehow doesn't know what "drafting a set of plans" or "surveying a building" means. She's a morally bankrupt moron that no one who is intelligent enough to read a book will find relatable. She is supposed to be surveying a building, but instead spends her time digging through files that are not hers and snooping. Additionally, she is hungover nearly constantly. Beatrice is so mousy and generally pathetic that she too is nearly impossible to relate to. They both sneak around hiding and terrified for the majority of the book, for no apparent reason.

Then there are the other characters. Nearly every male character in the book is a sexist pig that sexually harasses women all day, every day. It was so prevalent that the entire book came off as a thinly veiled lecture on feminist studies.

And the bartender. He's just been running a nice bar up the street for twenty years. Super nice guy. Except he is really Sicilian mafia and shows up to start shooting people at the end.

Then there was the writing... the story seemed to meander around aimlessly. There was dialogue that was completely pointless. The characters were just over the top. There were times the characters jumped to conclusions about things for no apparent reason. I would bet that one could shave 4 hours off this book just by editing out 2760 references to Iris needing another cigarette. That was hyperbole. I didn't count.

Bottom line: This book reads like an early rough draft by an enterprising eighth grader.

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300 of 311 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Zendegy on 03-08-17

Am I the only one?

Everyone else seems to love this book. That's what kept me hanging in, despite my utter boredom and annoyance. The idea of the book has so much potential. The execution, though, leaves a LOT to be desired.
The writing is . . .sufficient - sort of amateurish, really, with repeating phrases like "hand on her shoulder" (this is how the women in the book are often startled), and "like a girl" as the ultimate insult. And that phrase was not used in the part of the book that takes place in the 70s, but in the modern section of the book. There are others, too. An editor should have picked up on these and spruced things up with some variations. There is also some very high schoolish wielding of adjectives that felt very awkward.
That stuff is fairly minor, though. The book is just sooooo slow and the characters have no substance or individuality. I was never invested in any of the characters and, so, couldn't have cared less what happened to anyone. The modern woman, who is one of the main characters, is such an embarrassing, clueless, spineless, girl who pants after her dream man with complete lack of self respect. It made me cringe.
The narration was okay, but she had limited ability to differentiate characters.
All-in-all, I wish I had invested all those hours somewhere else...

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110 of 115 people found this review helpful

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