The Rich and the Dead: Book Review

The Rich and the Dead Book Review

What is this about?: Lila Day is an ex-cop, drummed out of Miami PD because she burned out investigating 12 high-society murders. The case consumed her and destroyed her. It did the same to Teddy Hawkins, a billionaire who channelled his frustrations into building a time machine. He approaches Lila to go back in time and solve the murders. But here’s the catch: she can’t stop them.

What else?: An exploration of Lila as a character, which fails to engage as much as I thought it would.

Stars: 3/5 An exciting premise loses steam.

Blurb: In exclusive Star Island, Miami, money and power can’t protect you… In collaboration with branding powerhouse Alloy Entertainment comes a thrilling new series featuring a former Miami PD detective on the hunt for a mass murderer, who must face the past she thought she left behind.

On New Year’s Day 2015, twelve powerful, wealthy people were found dead—shot in a lavish Star Island estate. In 2018, the murderer remains at large.

As a detective and lead investigator on the case of the century, Lila Day was consumed by her hunt for the Star Island Killer. But that was before she was pushed out from the force, and her life unraveled.

Years later, down on her luck and no longer a police officer, Lila is approached by mysterious billionaire Teddy Hawkins. He has a job for her, he says—solving the Star Island murders. Lila laughs. After all, how do you solve a crime when all the leads have long grown cold? The answer, Teddy tells her, is to be there before it happened. He is going to send her back in time.

With nothing left to lose, Lila travels back in time to 2014, determined to stop the Star Island killer once and for all. There’s one catch: she must gather the evidence to bring the murderer to justice in her own time, without trying to save anyone. Easy enough, until she starts to care for the people who are destined to die. Now Lila must be willing to say good-bye—or risk setting into motion events that could change the future forever.

When the book begins, Lila is at rock bottom and then goes further when she’s fired from her hotel security job. Pretty quickly Teddy Hawkins arrives and introduces her to time travel, enlisting her help to solve the Star Island murders. As the blurb says 12 people were killed in Star Island, and neither Lila or anyone else have been able to solve the murders. It’s her white whale and Lila eagerly agrees for the chance to redeem herself.

So Lila time travels to 2015, months before the murders. Not a whole lot is given about how time travel works, but there’s just enough to make it all make sense within the confines of the genre. Now, armed with money and information collected by Teddy, Lila begins to investigate the 12 people, and those closest to them. It is actually all going rather well, until… a romance happens.

An unneeded, distracting, slowing-down-every-damn-interesting plot point in the narrative sort of romance. It’s befuddling why this character needed to be a romantic interest for Lila – she was already invested in the outcome of the case for herself, and yes, the guy is involved to an extent, but I don’t understand why Lila needed to have this sort of emotional connection to it. It didn’t help the guy was one-note and boring until the end, and the least interesting character. Her investigation, her needing to play a part to get close to the 12 people who were murdered? So much more interesting. SIGHS.

By the end, the wind had gone out of my sails a whole lot for this book. That said, I am considering the second book in the series only because that case involves her sister – which we find out in this book, has been on the run, accused of a crime. So THAT sort of family story interests me. And I am praying there’s no romance for Lila forced into the story. It’s not that I wouldn’t have minded a romance, but it dragged down the entire book and more importantly Lila, that I couldn’t get behind it.

Why couldn’t she have just investigated? Have you ever read a story, thoroughly engrossed in the plot, and then romance happens?


  • Silvia says:

    What do you know, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the title! 🙂 I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a non forced romance in the second book!

    • Verushka says:

      It’s definitely a perfect title, isn’t it? There really is an immense amount of goodness in this, but the romance just read as very obviously forced to me. I am totally hoping for better in the second one!

  • Lily B says:

    i’ve never heard of this one, the time travel is different in this kind of genre, i am sorry the romance did not work for you.

  • Kelly says:

    All. The. Damn. Time.
    Especially in YA, authors often use romance to further the character development and it ends up being more about the romance and less about the actual plot. It sounded like a wonderful read if not for that dreaded romance, I hope book two is a much more rounded read. Wonderful review Verushka, really enjoyed it <3

    • Verushka says:

      It is an excellent time travel plot aside from the romance, which made it all the more frustrating! It’s so easy/lazy to use romance like this isn’t it? Blah.

  • Bummer that the romance interfered with the suspense plot.

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