Dead Certain ~ by Adam Mitzner

On sale –  Mitzner has been okay in the past – not great crime or lit but it’s readable.   One thing is that on the surface,  this tale seems really similar to other recent crime novels I’ve read.   Daughter works in her father’s law firm (The Good Daughter),  her sister has gone missing (several I think),  and this sister has written the first half of a novel which apparently gives clues to her murder (Magpie Murders and Silkworm).   It’s a New York setting.   The lawyer daughter is one of the first person protagonists and likes to play in dangerous places (several ).



Dead Certain
by Adam Mitzner
2017 /  348 pages
read by Erin Bennett – 8h 37m
rating:  B  /  crime – suspense 

There are several 1st person points of view here,  including Ella Broden,  the main protagonist,   Claire, the fictional heroine in Charlotte novel.  and that of the murderer.

And more than a couple of  plot twists including a guy named  Paul who comes in needing a lawyer because his girlfriend,  Jennifer,  is missing.  He knows he will be the prime suspect.  He’s thinking ahead.  She turns up dead.   And then Charlotte goes missing.

Charlotte just happened to get a book accepted for publication and has said some really bad things in it, a romance and her boyfriend,  on whom she is apparently cheating.  She changes names and calls it fiction.  The book is full of clues as to who could have snatched and murdered her.  This is the main plot.

Charlotte’s main boyfriend,  Zack,  is a Black man and therefore a prime suspect as far as the police are concerned and Zack knows it.  There are other suspects  and it’s Gabriel Velasquez of the police force who really works closely on the case.

The final twist is in the structure – not only are there three completely different points of view,  but they work in slightly different time frames.   In Part 2 a lot of it comes together.

The parts of Charlotte’s romance novel which are included in the book feel awkward and they get confusing with two names for each character but they do provide some information for the Ella and the detectives.  Ella uses it extensively and we get to read along.

One problem  with these other 1st person sections is that they’re  also told from Claire’s   1st person point of view but in the Audible version the voices are the same and the writing is not too different either.   Who is talking?   Is it Claire (Charlotte’s fictional character) or Ella (the lawyer)?   Finally,  Charlotte’s writing is not good writing – the book is a trashy romance about a woman juggling boyfriends but the clues are there.


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