Die a Little by Megan Abbott
A Novel

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By the author of Dare Me and The End of Everything

Femmes fatales. Obsessive love. Double crosses. How does a respectable young woman fall into Los Angeles’s 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.

About Megan Abbott

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Megan Abbott is the Edgar Award-winning author of five previous novels. She received her Ph.D. in literature from New York University and has taught literature, writing, and film at NYU, the New School, and SUNY-Oswego. She lives in New York City.
Published February 22, 2005 by Simon & Schuster. 256 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Die a Little

Kirkus Reviews

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A schoolteacher gets jumpy when her brother falls for sizzling hot dame.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Die a Little: A Novel

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Entertainment Weekly

Lora King, the prim narrator of Abbott's self-conscious debut novel Die A Little, doesn't like her brother's new wife, Alice, one little bit.

Feb 14 2005 | Read Full Review of Die a Little: A Novel

The Bookbag

What Abbott has given us, and this seems even more impressive considering it's a debut novel, is a tantalising glimpse into a world we can never hope to know but, like Lora King, cannot resist delving into to find out more, regardless of the cost to ourselves.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Die a Little: A Novel

Reviewing the Evidence

When Lora dates a man who has associated with Alice in the past, she begins to learn things about Alice that are deeply disturbing.

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The Best Reviews

It is only when Bill is prepared to break the law to abet his wife does Lora act to put an end to Alice's influence with the help of a very connected criminal who bears no love for Alice.

Jan 22 2005 | Read Full Review of Die a Little: A Novel

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