D.M. Pulley wrote THE DEAD KEY that I reviewed several years ago. It was a fascinating study of corruption that was part of an old bank scheduled to be demolished. It was difficult to get into and yet there I was hooked into reading every page and the story was excellent.
“The author is a professional engineer from Shaker Heights, Ohio, who specializes in rehabbing historic structures as well as conducting forensic investigations of building failures. Pulley’s structural survey of an abandoned building in Cleveland formed the basis for her debut novel.” (Cover)
THE BURIED BOOK starts off a huge leap as nervous Althea Leary drops her son, Jasper, off at her brother’s farm about 60 miles from Detroit. He is left with a suitcase holding a change of clothes and a children’s Bible. It is August of 1952 and Althea is in a huge hurry to escape something. Everyone is confused but falls into place with the farm routines and helping Jasper fit into the schedule. The cabin is small with almost no privacy.
Jasper is finding the farm chores rigorous and yet he is enjoying the work and the learning. He is very confused by his Mother’s departure and when she does not return and her car is found abandoned or hidden the stress pushes him into hunting for her. At a burned down farmhouse, he finds a journal written by Althea when she was a young girl. The journal details how she was blackmailed into doing the bidding of bootlegger/wealthy farmer and this awfulness continued throughout her life.
The book is quite the page-turner, as I was kept invested in the story and what would happen to Jasper and his family. We are also learning about what was happening to the Native American’s who were on a reservation in the area of the farm. The prejudices and the fear of the people in the area are very much exploited by the drug runners and mafia people dealing with prohibition. Poverty is a theme that underlies the entire story.
Pulley writes like an engineer; precise, mathematical, descriptive and dense. The story moves forward until the riddle is solved and we find Jasper’s Mother and bring her home.
Fire was an important component of the story and I am still sorting out its meaning and reference. It was a potent threat.
This good read was sent to my Kindle by TLC Book Tours for review.