Monday, November 1, 2010

The Dead Drop Review (Jennifer Allison)

For fourteen-year-old (soon to be fifteen) psychic investigator Gilda Joyce, a summer internship at the Washington, D.C., International Spy Museum gives her the perfect opportunity to sport her vintage spywear, cavort with real C.I.A. agents, and expand her knowledge of gadgetry and surveillance. But when the spy museum acquires new Cold War-era artifacts from a former Soviet spy, things get a little . . . weird. Suddenly, the ghost of Abraham Lincoln haunts Gilda's dreams, and a mysterious spectral woman with a bloodstained star keeps appearing in spy museum exhibits. Seeing her chance to solve a mystery, Gilda takes the case, but she soon finds out that she's in far deeper than she imagined. After intercepting a "dead drop" - a spy's encoded message hidden in a Washington, D.C. cemetery - Gilda realizes her case is not only a matter of investigating the supernatural; she's involved in an urgent matter of national security.

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator, Gilda Joyce and the Ladies of the Lake, and Gilda Joyce and the Ghost Sonata - the three preceding books to this one - were disturbing, and I'm not entirely certain why I read the next two after the first one. They weren't good right-before-bedtime reads, and some of the content pertaining to the murders was disconcerting (i.e. in one of them, a girl almost purposely takes a drug overdose because she's tired of living). What I did like about the other three as opposed to The Dead Drop was the fact that at the end, Jennifer Allison did not specify whether or not there actually was a ghost. She more or less left it up to the Reader; a ghost could have actually been involved, but at the same time she offered a realistic, plausible explanation. The Ghost Sonata is when she stopped doing this and got ghosts more involved.

In The Dead Drop, there is no question of there being ghosts. The Dead Drop is not as disturbing as the other three, and I was able to read it comfortably before going to bed. There are some instances that are, of course, spooky, but not quite in the same way as, say, The Ladies of the Lake.

But the main reason I keep reading Gilda Joyce is because while actual ghosts are involved, the stories themselves really are intriguing mysteries, and Gilda herself is a very fun and unique character. I can share her love for vintage (though, in my opinion, she chooses the wrong era) and her love for working on a manual typewriter. There is simply no denying the fact that Gilda is a great heroine that keeps a Reader laughing. While the first three books have some pretty creepy and disturbing content, I think it can be a fun series to read. At times.

Star Rating: 3/5 (liked it)

Others in the Gilda Joyce Series:
1)Psychic Investigator
2)The Ladies of the Lake
3)The Ghost Sonata
4)The Dead Drop
5)The Bones of the Holy

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