Short Take – Suspense: What Remains of Me – Alison Gaylin

Gaylin’s first hardcover novel is preceded by several bestsellers in mass market. She’s won a Shamus Award and was an Edgar Award nominee. So she arrives with a fan base ready for more of her top-notch twisty psychological suspense.

This standalone is a tale of the secrets and betrayal behind lives of Hollywood glamour. It’s got a great set up: In 1980, seventeen year old Kelly Michelle Lund shoots and kills an Oscar-nominated director in his home making her an instant media sensation. But Kelly goes to prison keeping her secrets to herself. Flash forward 30 years to her release. Another Hollywood heavyweight is found dead, killed the same way as the director, and of course Kelly is the prime suspect.

Constructing the tale in both the past and present proves a tantalizing way to tease out the connection between these dead men and details of Kelly’s story. Per the requirements of this genre, there’s a great twist at the end.

Gaylin is excellent at reproducing the TMZ-style blog posts and news articles that surround sensational crimes. Also strong are the flashbacks in which former misfit Kelly starts hanging out with cool kids Vee and Bellamy, learning how to do drugs and cruising around in their fancy cars with a perfect 1980s soundtrack. A rich read.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Gaylin smoothly alternates between past and present in this melodramatic Hollywood whodunit.…The path to the truth—both about Sterling’s murder and McFadden’s—takes many surprising twists….”
— Publishers Weekly

What Remains of Me (9780062369857) by Alison Gaylin. $25.99 hardcover. 2/23/16 on sale.

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