Tuesday 5 January 2016

#BookReview What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin

What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nobody’s perfect. Everybody’s got a drawer somewhere with something hidden in it.

On June 28, 1980—the hottest night of the year—Kelly Michelle Lund shoots and kills Oscar-nominated director John McFadden at a party in his home. . . . And instantly becomes a media sensation, her chilling smile fodder for national nightmares. For years, speculation swirls over the enigmatic seventeen-year-old’s motives, information she’s refused to share. Convicted of the murder, she loses her youth and her freedom—but keeps her secrets to herself.

Thirty years later—and five years after her release from prison—the past has come back to haunt Kelly. Her father-in-law, movie legend Sterling Marshall, is found in a pool of blood in his home in the Hollywood Hills—dead from a shot to the head, just like his old friend John McFadden.

Once again, Kelly is suspected of the high profile murder. But this time, she’s got some unexpected allies who believe she’s innocent—of both killings—and want to help her clear her name. But is she?
Written with masterful precision and control, What Remains of Me brilliantly moves forward and back in time, playing out the murders side by side—interweaving subtle connections and peeling away layers of events to reveal the shocking truth.


I was instantly captivated by the story when I started to read the book. I liked that as we follow Kelly in present time we also get flashbacks to the past, to 1980 when she was just a young girl who had lost a sister and felt outside in school. As the story progress in the present time, it also progresses in the past as we slowly learn what really happened 30 years ago when John McFadden was killed. Nothing is as it appears. Everyone seems to have dark secrets. I was surprised to find out who killed Sterling Marshall. I had my thoughts set on another person, to be honest. But the ending was really good.

There are a lot of twists in the story, some easier to figure out than others. To be honest, there weren't really any big surprises in the story, but that didn't make the book less interesting to read. On the contrary, it was satisfying to be able to figure things out before it happened, to have once suspicious proven right. It's like a jigsaw and all the pieces are falling into place. I loved the fact that the story took place in Hollywood among actors and directors. A privileged world, but among all the glitter and fame are there people with dark secrets...

This is the first book I have read written by Alison Gaylin, but I will keep an eye out for other books by her. I enjoyed reading this book very much and if you like thrillers is this a book for you.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review.

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