Monday, January 13, 2020

Book Review: What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin

What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin book cover and review
I read about the big, surprising twists in What Remains of Me, so I was all in. I love to be surprised. I enjoyed the book but was a bit underwhelmed.

Kelly Lund was convicted of murdering her friend's father, John McFadden. Hew was a famous Hollywood director. She spent 25 years in jail and is now free. When Kelly was young, her twin sister, Catherine, committed suicide by jumping off a cliff. Catherine was running with the "in" crowd of teens around Hollywood.

Kelly's father worked in films directed by McFadden. Kelly begins to hang around people her sister associated with, in particular, Bellamy, who introduces her to McFadden's son, Vee. Vee was in love with Catherine.  Catherine's father, Sterling Marshall, is a famous actor who starred in McFadden's films.

As you read What Remains of Me, you find out that some of the above facts aren't really true. The perspective changes from 1980, when McFadden was murdered, to the present (2010.) We see what Kelly is going through since her release, and also begin to figure out the lead-up to McFadden's murder and what really happened.

So there were the promised twists, but maybe I've become too jaded about these thrillers because I just wasn't that surprised. Not that I predicted what had happened, but more like I knew it was a possibility.

What Remains of Me is well written and kept my interest. The characters are fully realized, but I still didn't feel much connection to them. While I was somewhat disappointed, I thought What Remains of Me was still a good book.

Published by William Morrow, 2016
eBook obtained from the library
384 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. I'm finding the same thing - I've read so many mystery/thrillers that I'm just not surprised by the twists much anymore. Bummer.

  2. I was typing my comment and it went away so I hope this isn't a repeat. I read so many thrillers last year that I feel I overdid it a bit. It's been nice to take a break from them (she says since she began one yesterday).


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