Dead Letters

Dead Letters

A Novel

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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A missing woman leads her twin sister on a twisted scavenger hunt in this clever debut novel with eccentric, dysfunctional characters who will keep you guessing until the end--for readers of Luckiest Girl Alive and The Wife Between Us.

Ava has her reasons for running away to Paris. But when she receives the shocking news that her twin sister, Zelda, is dead, she is forced to return home to her family's failing vineyard in upstate New York. Knowing Zelda's penchant for tricks and deception, Ava is not surprised when she receives her twin's cryptic message from beyond the grave. Following her sister's trail of clues, Ava immerses herself in Zelda's drama and her outlandish circle of friends and lovers, and soon finds herself confronted with dark family legacies and twisted relationships. Is Zelda trying to punish Ava for leaving? Or is she simply trying to write her own ending? Caite Dolan-Leach's debut thriller is a literary scavenger hunt for secrets hidden everywhere from wine country to social media, and buried at the dysfunctional heart of one utterly unforgettable family.

Praise for Dead Letters

"Dolan-Leach writes like Paula Hawkins by way of Curtis Sittenfeld." --Amy Gentry, author of Good as Gone

"A sharp, wrenching tale of the true love only twins know . . . Dolan-Leach nimbly entwines the clever mystery of Agatha Christie, the wit of Dorothy Parker, and the inebriated Gothic of Eugene O'Neill." --Kirkus Reviews

"A smart, dazzling mystery . . . Dolan-Leach revels in toying with both Ava and her audience . . . and the result is captivating."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Draws you in like you are part of the story itself, living and breathing alongside the compelling characters as they uncover the dark secrets of their complicated family." --Wendy Walker, author of All Is Not Forgotten

"Push-pull tension . . . This book is wine-soaked yet lucid, comforting and frightening, asking the big questions about intimacy and loyalty." --Caroline Kepnes, author of You
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780399588853
Branch Call Number: FIC Dolan
Characteristics: 332 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

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Mar 12, 2018

Author is like tries to say a hundreds words in one second, but at the same time the narration is too long.
It can be said, as per one of the text' sentences, it's about "canibalized" relations between two twin sisters.
It seemed to me not quite clear the purpose of telling this story.
Almost all members of described family are alcoholics. The relationships between them are not clear-who loves whom, who hates whom.
But it was interesting read, despite the shortcomings.
There are a lot scenes with descriptions of alcohol or drug poisoning, with subsequent hangovers.
Names of medications, cocktails, alcoholic drinks was like some kind of advertising, albeit negative.
In many books, often, the ending is disappointing. But in this book I liked it.

Jun 28, 2017

A missing woman leads her twin sister on a twisted scavenger hunt.

This was a great read. I decided to read the book after seeing a review in Library Journal, which gave it a starred-review. (Publishers Weekly also gave it a starred-review.) Some have compared the book to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which I have also read, but I think Dead Letters is much better. I intend to post reviews on Amazon and Google Books, even though I rarely post reviews, no matter how good (or bad) I thought something was. That's how good Dead Letters is, in my opinion. I also intend to email friends with my very strongest recommendation.

Jun 02, 2017

OK, so Ms Dolan-Leach is a very crafty writer; she has concocted a clever book, probably best categorized as an abecedarius (google "constrained writing" if you care about such things). It's a sort-of mystery but I would tend to classify it as a printed soap opera; i.e. somewhat trashy story, very trashy characters who richly deserve all the grief that befalls them. Twin sisters who are amoral, vicious, manipulative alcoholics, as are their parents. You can tell I dislike these people. I don't doubt that many readers will enjoy the book; I found it at times infuriating for the reasons just mentioned. It contains just enough intrigue to have kept me reading though to the end but I found myself skipping along quickly, glossing over a lot of stuff, eager to get it over with.

Mar 27, 2017

Ava Antipova is living in France when she receives word that there has been a fire at her family's winery in upstate New York and her twin sister is missing, presumed dead. Or is she? Ava had moved to France to escape her dysfunctional alcoholic family, leaving her sister to take care of their ill mother. Now, Ava gets led on a scavenger hunt to try to figure out what happened.

The end was a little unsatisfying, but I enjoyed the book overall.

Feb 23, 2017

Just a heads up. I realize marketing depts. try to cast the widest net to gain readers but this is NOT a thriller. It's a well written family saga that looks unsparingly at the effects of alcoholism & extreme disfunction with a little mystery thrown in.

Jan 18, 2017

Such a smart and suspenseful book! I felt my heart rate rising with each new clue in Zelda’s game, and between surprising twists, not knowing what those twists meant, and a possibly unreliable narrator (this question kept me on my toes!), I truly did not know what would happen next. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend time in this very dark and dysfunctional world, but the more I got to know the vivid and flawed characters and got into the game, the more I did not want to stop reading. The language is pretty flowery at times, but I enjoyed the verbosity; it felt appropriate for the indulgent and clever twins and I thought it made the book a pleasure to read. I would definitely recommend it to fans of mysteries, literary fiction, or readers looking for something a little unusual, so long as they don’t mind some dysfunction.

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