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Die A Little by Megan Abbott
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Die A Little (edition 2008)

by Megan Abbott

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Member:AHS-Wolfy
Title:Die A Little
Authors:Megan Abbott
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Tags:Crime, Noir, TBR

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Die A Little by Megan Abbott

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The 1950s seems to be an idealized era, full of change and promise; some would say it was a simpler time. Veterans were settling down to desk jobs, marrying, and raising families of their own. Women's fashion, technology, and the entertainment world were swerving in a new direction. Everyone seemed to be generally prospering and there was relative peace. That's the world that Lora, a twenty-something school teacher, and her brother Bill live in: a serene, quiet existence in West Pasadena.

The day Alice Steele careens into Bill's life, Lora can't help but feel that life as they know it will never be the same again. Alice has been places, knows things, and as she digs her heels into Bill's heart, she brings along friends from her old life in Hollywood and seedy Los Angeles. How bad can she be? Just you wait!

I really enjoyed this book! After finding James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia gripping but too dark for my liking, I found Abbott to be just the right balance. The female perspective was nice, but like Gillian Flynn, she doesn't hold any punches. Things get pretty gritty, so hold on your hats and short laced gloves! ( )
  dreamydress48 | May 11, 2014 |
School teacher Lora and her cop brother, Bill, live in L.A. and only have each other. Then Bill meets Alice and they marry so quickly that Lora barely has time to get used to Alice before becoming suspicious of her low-rent friend who is always bruised, and the work credentials that never appear. Lora takes on the job of digging through Alice's past because her brother is too much in love to see that something isn't right.

L.A. noir set in the 50's and done so well. At first it seems like Lora is just an over-protective sister, or, a sister who is jealous of losing her brother to his new wife, but the story that unfolds gets quite juicy. ( )
  mstrust | Apr 29, 2014 |
Or at least mostly read. I should have loved this book, its a topic I like (noir, dark, mysterious) and written in the style of [b:Raymond Chandler|2052|The Big Sleep|Raymond Chandler|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AGA624Z5L._SL75_.jpg|1222673]. Yet, for some reason I couldn't just sit down and read the whole thing. I read about 1/2 of it, then started skimming to get to the end. The writing style might have had something to do with it, its written in very short (often a paragraph or two) burst, switching topics, places or events at the end of each burst. I also didn't care all that much for the protagonist, she almost came off a little incestuous to me in her devotion to her brother. Hated the brothers wife, but that was the point so no surprise there.

This might be just the thing for someone who is really into noir and can handle the writing style but it didn't work for me. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
Megan Abbot's "Die A Little" brings back the 1950's and a mystery in the mode of Raymond Chandler.

Lora King, a school teacher, has a close relationship to her brother, Bill, a young investigator in the DA's office.

Bill meets a mystery woman named Alice and they marry soon after.
Lora gets to know Alice and becomes suspicious when some of the things she says about her past don't add up.

Alice introduces Lora to a good time woman named Lois and the three woman share adventures with Lora becoming fascinated in the lives of the other women while still maintaining a protective attitude of her brother and the mysterious woman he married.

The setting is in the Hollywood area with scenes at movie studios and minor people from the films. It's a story that will capture most reader's attention right from the start.

The reader will like Lora and her mystery solving activity. There was also some excellent surprises which add to the entertainment of the novel. ( )
  mikedraper | Feb 10, 2013 |
DIE A LITTLE is the first in a series of books frm Megan Abbott flagged somewhat unhelpfully as "modern noir". I'm not at all sure what that should imply in terms of expectation, but whatever caused it, something didn't really work about this book for me.

Leaving aside the fact that the cover is absolutely wonderful and the title is glorious, the style very atmospheric and the build up interesting (woman with a "past" who marries a cop, cop's sister smells a rat, digs), something about the delivery of this story simply flat out didn't hold my interest. I suspect part of this is because the "sister" whose viewpoint is paramount, didn't seem to fit with the noir stylings. For a while I wondered if the "bad girl" telling the story, might have helped, but ultimately I think the problem was partially the complete lack of suspense. Noir can be predictable to my mind, but it shouldn't be flat. It shouldn't drone on leaving a feeling of impatience for the damn thing to get to the point.

I suspect part of the problem really was that the focus on the sister's viewpoint isn't supported by her being a character that you can get involved with. It wasn't too long before I was forced into thinking I'd be on side of the bad girl wife, regardless of the question. ( )
  austcrimefiction | May 26, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743261704, Hardcover)

FEMME FATALES

OBSESSIVE LOVE

DOUBLE CROSSES

How does a respectable young woman fall into Los Angeles' hard-boiled underworld?

Shadow-dodging through the glamorous world of 1950s Hollywood and its seedy flip side, Megan Abbott's debut, Die a Little, is a gem of the darkest hue. This ingenious twist on a classic noir tale tells the story of Lora King, a schoolteacher, and her brother Bill, a junior investigator with the district attorney's office. Lora's comfortable, suburban life is jarringly disrupted when Bill falls in love with a mysterious young woman named Alice Steele, a Hollywood wardrobe assistant with a murky past.

Made sisters by marriage but not by choice, the bond between Lora and Alice is marred by envy and mistrust. Spurred on by inconsistencies in Alice's personal history and possibly jealous of Alice's hold on her brother, Lora finds herself lured into the dark alleys and mean streets of seamy Los Angeles. Assuming the role of amateur detective, she uncovers a shadowy world of drugs, prostitution, and ultimately, murder.

Lora's fascination with Alice's "sins" increases in direct proportion to the escalation of her own relationship with Mike Standish, a charmingly amoral press agent who appears to know more about his old friend Alice than he reveals. The deeper Lora digs to uncover Alice's secrets, the more her own life begins to resemble Alice's sinister past -- and present.

Steeped in atmospheric suspense and voyeuristic appeal, Die a Little shines as a dark star among Hollywood lights.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Suspicious of her new sister-in-law's inconsistent personal history, Lora King delves into the woman's possibly shady past while pursuing a questionable relationship of her own with a press agent who appears to know more than he reveals.

(summary from another edition)

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