Ever since I read Dare Me last year I have been eagerly working my way through Megan Abbott's backlist. This time it was Bury Me Deep. Inspired by a true crime involving a grisly discovery inside a steamer trunk, Bury Me Deep tells the story of a young woman abandoned by her husband in Phoenix. The woman is Marion Seeley and her doctor husband has gone to Mexico to kick his drug habit. He promises to come back some day. In the meantime Marion finds a job at a medical clinic and makes friends with one of her fellow nurses, Louise and Louise's roommate Ginny. Louise and Ginny are known around town for their scandalous house parties at which many of the city's prominent men are often guests. Lonely and demure, Marion finds herself drawn in by the charms of Joe Lanigan, a frequent guest of Louise and Ginny. Of course, everything goes horribly wrong in the end.
This is the third book I've read by Megan Abbott, after Dare Me and Die a Little. What I like most about Abbott's books are the characters, especially the female characters. Abbott writes women who are smart, mentally strong, and complicated. Everyone is complicated. Her characters are mix of sex, violence, ambition, love, lust, selfishness, and selflessness. Few of her characters, like actual people, are ever pure good, pure evil, or pure anything else.
Of the three books by Abbott I've read so far, I have to confess Bury Me Deep comes in last. It was good, but I liked Dare Me and Die a Little a little more. The first half of the book dragged a little and I kept waiting for Marion to wise up. Once the crime happens and Marion is forced to come to terms with her life and the people in it, the story got good. I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in strong female characters or 1930s pulp or noir. (I'm not quite sure what the difference between the two is, if there is one.) For those new to Megan Abbott's modern noir novels, I would recommend starting with Dare Me then moving on to Die a Little or Bury Me Deep. Whatever you start with, you're in for a ride.