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What Remains of Me: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – September 27, 2016
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“An exceptional book by and exceptional writer. Gaylin is an expert at acute emotional observation combined with seamless plotting. I adored this book.” (Alex Marwood, Edgar Award-winning author of The Killer Next Door)
“An era in which privacy is becoming a myth and people’s lives often are played out in the media, scrutinized for every telling detail, makes a provocative foundation for Alison Gaylin’s absorbing What Remains of Me.” (Associated Press)
“Prepare to be blown away by this powerfully suspenseful and richly atmospheric novel.” (Jennifer McMahon, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Sister on WHAT REMAINS OF ME)
“What Remains of Me is a riveting, emotionally complex thriller, filled with characters who jump from the page and grab your heart until you reach the final, stunning twist. This is Alison Gaylin in top form.” (Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Ex)
“A perennial standout among psychological suspense authors, Alison Gaylin is on top of her game in this clever and stylish page-turner. Gaylin skillfully catapults an intricate suspense plot with beautifully constructed prose. An ambitious thriller-meets-character study, What Remains of Me is a breath of fresh air!” (New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub on WHAT REMAINS OF ME)
“WHAT REMAINS OF ME gives us Alison Gaylin at the top of her game... Just when you think she’s wrapping things up, Gaylin throws in still more mind-bending - yet oh-so-perfect - plot twists. Prepare to be blown away by this powerfully suspenseful and richly atmospheric novel.” (Jennifer McMahon, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Sister on WHAT REMAINS OF ME)
“Alison Gaylin’s What Remains of Me is a riveting, intricate thriller that snares you from its first pages... it’s a tale full of crackling energy and heartache, with a resolution so thrilling and audacious, you’ll be left gasping for air.” (Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of Dare Me and The Fever on WHAT REMAINS OF ME)
“What Remains of Me is an elegantly constructed thriller that earns every you-never-saw-it-coming twist. You’ll stay up late to read it, then hound your friends to follow suit so you can stay up late to talk about it.” (Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author on WHAT REMAINS OF ME)
“A rich read.” (Kirkus Reviews on WHAT REMAINS OF ME)
“Just when you think you know what happened, think again, and then again. It’s a mix of unreliable narrators and people hiding secrets, but with more sympathetic characters than something like ‘Gone Girl.’ (MK Graff on WHAT REMAINS OF ME)
From the Back Cover
On June 28, 1980, Kelly Michelle Lund shoots and kills Oscar-nominated director John McFadden at a party in his home. For years, speculation swirls over the enigmatic seventeen-year-old’s motives. 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. But is she? --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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paced story revolving around murders committed thirty years apart.
We¹re taken behind the scenes to see the seamier side of Hollywood royalty.
is fun, absorbing and intricate. Each of Alyson's characters seem to carry
more secrets than Edward Snowdon's thumb drive.
Kelly, the flawed heroine, is the best. She kept me riveted and pulling for her the entire ride.
I highly recommend it.
Thirty years later, and 5 years after her release from prison, her name is once again in the headlines. Her father-in-law, a Hollywood Actor, has been shot and killed in his home..in exactly the same way that McFadden was killed. And worse, she was seen running from his house in the middle of the night.
There is not a lot of action in this book ... no shoot em ups, no wild midnight rides, no graphic violence. It's more like a smooth alcoholic beverage, warming you in various stages.
The story is told in side by side chapters ... one going back to when Kelly was a young teenage and then to the present, running seamlessly to the breathtaking end.
Secrets and lies .... childhood friends and enemies ..... a time of love and hate ..... a time of experimentation with drugs and alcohol .... some things we call all relate to in one way or another.
Absolute brilliant psychological suspense. One of the best books I have read this year.
“The world’s a stage, Little Miss, but very few of us get to write our own roles.”
This is one of those books where you have to have your wits about you. There is a lot to comprehend and digest, a lot of clues and information disguised cleverly in contrived sentences where the author knows exactly what she is doing, but that is the beauty of a thriller and this author definitely delivered.
Hollywood is notoriously full of influential people, holed up in their multi-million dollar houses, cavorting around with god knows who and who knows where. Where fame and fortune is paramount to social acceptance and it is definitely not what you know but who you know. Alison Gaylin portrays this perfectly as the children of the Hollywood glitterati get caught up in the parties, booze and drugs that leads to questionable decisions and actions.
This book is told through the voice of Kelly Michelle Lund, a convicted murderer that has since been released from prison. The time line flits back from past to present as the past details the events leading up to the then seventeen-year-old girl that committed the most heinous crime, the murder of famous movie director, John McFadden. One where she showed no remorse and where the paps caught a smirk for which she will forever be known… “The Mona Lisa Death Smile” was forever immortalised in picture and print.
“It isn’t what you do that makes you lose people…it’s what they think you’ve done.”
The present is Kelly stuck in a seemingly loveless marriage, holed up permanently as she battles to shed the stigma that surrounds her even after all this time. When her father in law, Sterling Marshall turns up dead in similar circumstances to his best friend, John McFadden all eyes once again turn to the “Mona Lisa” murderer and Kelly once again finds herself thrust into the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The media have already tried her and found her guilty, the police are hot on their tails trying to prove it.
For me Kelly was totally misunderstood and for once I actually found myself rooting for the murderer. With the flashbacks to the past I found myself constantly contradicting myself and reading in between the lines as my common sense constantly picked at what I was reading. I found myself consciously picking apart things and found myself questioning the validity of her first conviction. This book is full of red herrings, ones that I am now rather fond of, because it was this that made this unputdownable.
Hollywood is born and raised on secrets, everyone has them, everyone uses them to their advantage but some are born from love and are taken to the grave. Kelly was a young girl striving for acceptance, for a sense of belonging to someone. To be someone’s friend, confidante and lover. This pushed her into circles her mother warned her about and ones that had ultimately taken the life of her sister, but Kelly pushed on for that one thing she had always wanted, yet ultimately cost her…her freedom.
Alison Gaylin cleverly creates one hell of a tangled web and she is the spider surreptitiously awaiting you to fall victim to her trap. With twists and turns aplenty this story will give you whiplash and will definitely have your grey matter working at the rate of knots. For me, I couldn’t put this down, I was frantic to know not only who had killed her father in law but also how she came to be convicted of murder the first time. Nothing is ever as it seems. I loved this book and I cannot wait to read more from this author. My current drive in the crime thriller genre shows no sign of abating.