Fallen Star

Fallen Star

by Allison Morse
4.2 25

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Overview

Fallen Star by Allison Morse

Who killed 1940s screen goddess Gloria Reardon? Her unsolved murder hypnotized the public with its scandalous details and shocked two generations.

Avid feminist and aspiring filmmaker, Kate Bloom discovers long lost footage that holds the key to who murdered her grandmother. Legendary movie star, Gloria Reardon, may be dead, but friends and lovers from the Golden Age of Hollywood's heyday are still very much on the scene, and it seems everyone has something to gain or lose from Kate's discovery. Enlisting the youthful and brash film restorer Dylan Nichols as her closest ally, Kate becomes haunted by Gloria's glittering past. Caught between glamorous Old Hollywood and the gritty, exciting New Hollywood of the 1970s, Kate is determined to find out what really happened to her grandmother and in the process becomes the killer's new target.?

Product Details

BN ID: 2940156919055
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: 09/21/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 396
Sales rank: 337,384
File size: 340 KB

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Fallen Star 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite What would you do if you suddenly found a key to the mystery surrounding your famous grandmother's death? Fallen Star by Allison Morse is a breathtaking murder mystery set in the 1970s. Kate Bloom has been living in the stunning Gloria Reardon's shadow her whole life. As a young teen, Kate found herself in danger because she looked nearly identical to the beautiful 1940s starlet. For Kate, looking like her grandmother is more of a curse than a blessing. Especially since Kate only knows her from the Silver Screen; Gloria was murdered in 1941. Although Gloria's murder happened over thirty years ago, it has tainted Kate's entire life, leaving Kate abandoned and neglected. When her mother dies, Kate's life takes an unexpectedly new and terrifying direction. As answers to a case buried decades ago start to come to light, Kate is determined to find peace for Gloria finally. But at what price? As Kate uncovers the circumstances surrounding Gloria's horrific death, she feels like she is losing a little more of her identity. Will Kate be able to remove the dark cloud that has haunted her family for so long? Or will the past repeat itself? Will she be the next victim? Fallen Star by Allison Morse is a brilliantly spun murder mystery with intense psychological thriller undertones and a hint of the paranormal. This book is masterfully written from page one to the exciting conclusion. The characters are well-defined and the red herrings cleverly executed. Having grown up reading Phyllis A. Whitney's novels, I am no stranger to stories with psychological twists. This book had me on the edge of my seat! I love how the characters grow as the story progresses, and the ending was a surprise! Written in form with Phyllis Whitney and Emilie Loring, this book was so enthralling. I was completely immersed in the story's world of extremes: the Silver Screen and beatniks. The main character's ability to move past traumatic event years later was inspiring, and the author did a fantastic job portraying the characteristics of such a victim. I would highly recommend this book to those over eighteen as there were a few adult elements (drug usage and a near-rape) that may not be suitable for younger readers.
BenjisMom More than 1 year ago
Brilliantly crafted and written, “Fallen Star” by author Allison Morse is a gothic-style suspense/ mystery that takes place in the early 1970’s and among other things involves the beautiful, young protagonist Kate Bloom inadvertently being swept up in her famous grandmother’s murder many years before. This world is wholly conceived, and I was pleased with the level of character development. The plots are complex and intelligent, yet quirky enough to keep you guessing. There are several big reveals that continue to shift the dynamic of the storyline in unexpected ways, something that even a jaded reader like myself can fully appreciate and still be shocked by. This is great because nothing I hate more than predictable clichés. I appreciated the message of female empowerment and that the author went to lengths to show how women were treated/victimized more openly, and have the courage to call it out. The ending is heartwarming and wraps up well. Looking forward to more great stories from Allison Morse and will be recommending to my friends.
BrendaMax More than 1 year ago
I’d already read another book by Allison Morse called “The Sweetheart Deal” so I knew that she could write and tell a great, captivating story. But I was in no way prepared for how totally addicting this novel would be, and the impressive magnitude of the world, the characters, the multi plots, the mystery and the ‘mystical’… I was really impressed. Kate is a strong, intelligent young woman, and I liked meeting the other players and seeing how they were related to/involved in Gloria’s mysterious death, one way or another. The way Morse writes is captivating from the beginning and you just want to keep reading and reading and not stop. It is both highly descriptive and has great world building (important for authenticity/believability) but also is fast-moving so that you aren’t bored. I was reading as fast as I could, even though I was disappointed when it was over. But the ending is amazing as is the rest of the book. Really enjoyed it, was an easy, polished read that delivers on the suspense and emotional payoff at the end.
SDecker More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars "Fallen Star” is the second novel I’ve read from this author, Allison Morse and it’s safe to say I’m officially a fan! Oh my, where to begin…seriously, this is a super hard book to just sum up in a few sentences. Well, I read it in one week if that’s any indicator, and I have extremely limited reading time. But who needs sleep? This author writes in such a way that we just get pulled in and lost in the story right away, and see everything unfold around us in an organic and authentic way. Love the detailing from the characters to the scenery, putting us in another time and place (1970’s Los Angeles) . It’s a slow building explosion of unpredictable events and unique personalities that are totally amazing and literally out of this world at times ;). Appreciated that this wasn’t just a ‘murder mystery’ but actually does a great commentary and message on women’s roles and rights of the time, and I liked how Kate was so strong and finds her power in more ways than one. If I only have one gripe seemed weirdly anticlimactic to me for some reason, like the emotion was sucked out of the ending even though it was the most dramatic. And it felt so “summed up” at the end. But the narrative is tight and focused, and thankfully error free! Great plot development and twists, and a strong message that also entertains.
ElizaBEB More than 1 year ago
having read another of Allison Morse’s books recently – “The Sweetheart Deal” and really enjoying it, I was curious to see how she would deliver in this one “Fallen Star”. Ms. Morse is unarguably a very talented writer, but more than that she genuinely impressed me with her thorough world-building for the time period and locale, character development, and sheer creativeness on many levels even when telling a type of story that contained well used literary themes and tropes such as this. To make it stand out from the crowd you need interesting characters, unique backstories, and unpredictable motivations – all which are on display nicely here. All too often I read works in this genre that lack any sort of ‘risk taking’ or ‘unusual events’, so when something this original comes along it is a refreshing change of pace! Some of the writing was downright lyrical in the simple elegance of the prose, and other times I was nearly breathless from the intensity and violent passion. I went through so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster. I was expecting a different ending for most of the book but was wrong…, but it was bittersweet (and more powerful this way). A great read for fans of mystery and suspense with a gothic twist.
NicolaF More than 1 year ago
When I review books, I usually try to point out the weaknesses as well as the strengths. As far as weaknesses goes, in my opinion the only one was that it was over too soon for my liking! And I have to say that this is such a minor complaint, but the book is supposedly set in the 70’s yet for some reason it kept reading as being ‘present day’ to me. No big deal, just something I felt. It was a bit overwritten at times, but nothing criminal. For the strengths, well, the list is long. It is a smartly written, creative take on a familiar theme, making solving a cold case murder interesting and fresh with the connection of the past and the present and of course the seedy underbelly of the Hollywood elite. I thoroughly enjoyed Kate, Lil, Dylan, and all the other characters who came into the mix (alive and dead). I think the author Allison Morse has a great “voice” for writing in this genre, and respect that she had the courage to tackle some social issues as well. I’d love to read her other book soon! Recommend for mature readers of gothic suspense and women’s lit.
DarleneCupp More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Allison Morse’s style of writing pulled me in from the opening pages and I was quickly hooked on this who-done-it mystery novel. It is excellently crafted with twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end. It was unpredictable and filled with such an interesting atmosphere of unique details, and I was really impressed with how knowledgeable this author is on such a wide variety of subjects in the movie industry, the players, and the era. Formulaic enough to feel comfortable, but original enough to keep is entertained and guessing. Professional presentation from the cover to the formatting and the editing. Highly recommend.
MarcellaGonz More than 1 year ago
ahhh, this book was like the most delicious candy!! I just wanted to keep eating, errr, reading and reading and couldn’t stop even if I wanted to! I love it when a book does that for me, and it’s so rare when it does. I loved all the characters (even the jerks *ahem you know who you are*) and was totally sucked into this engrossing story of murder, family secrets, danger, hidden shocks, beautiful people and unscrupulous villains. There was never a dull moment, and I actually feel like I was experiencing life in these times. Allison Morse is a really good author who knows her stuff, and “Fallen Star” is not to be missed by mystery and suspense fans alike!
ClaireBear74 More than 1 year ago
"Fallen Star” is the second book I’ve read from this talented author Allison Morse (the first being “The Sweetheart Deal”, which I enjoyed). While this latest is a departure in terms of the genre, I found it to be just as riveting and engaging and ultimately entertaining as the previous book. I thought the storyline and the plot development to be very well done and thought out. I feel like this level of complexity with the various time frames of the events and overlapping characters’ plotlines could have easily ended up badly, but instead I darn near gobbled the whole book down in one evening. There were some minor editing and punctuation things, nothing too major, and I really liked the ending. A perfect story for the Halloween season! Recommend.(
essieh More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Who killed Hollywood movie star Gloria Reardon and can her murder be solved thirty years later? I was happy that the author Allison Morse really took chances with her characters and stepped outside the standard norms in creating her ‘stars’, her heroes, villains and victims, and setting it against a fascinating backdrop with an alluring cast and enchanted imagery of Hollywood glamour and rot. These characters are fleshed out and real (even for not being ‘real’). The unexpected twists kept me on my toes and reading way later than I intended to during a work week. But who needs (or can) sleep when you’ve got a great mystery/thriller story on your hands? Although it felt a bit abrupt and weirdly anticlimactic for some reason, the ending was satisfying and surprising—A definite plus in my opinion. All in all a very good read that will appeal to fans of mystery, drama, and gothic-style thrillers.
Coreeez More than 1 year ago
Although not my normal cup of tea, “Fallen Star” from Allison Morse delivers well on all the things I look for and need in a great book – solid writing, vivid, atmospheric scenery that transports me to another time and place, characters I can connect to on some level and who take me out of my comfort zone, and plots that are complex enough to challenge me and make me think, but not so convoluted so that I grow frustrated. I was constantly trying to figure out the clues/hints as we went along, trying to be one step ahead, but even though I had my suspicions I was surprised time and time again. I’ve always had a fascination with the Hollywood-Insider life (as do many people, I suspect) and while of course I have no way of actually knowing how accurate Morse’s portrayal of these shenanigans and scandals are, they feel pretty dead-on, as do the characters she brings to the pages. Like that even though Gloria has passed on, her presence is felt and I liked the social messages the author brings to the foreground as well regarding women’s rights and treatment of females in the industry and the time. But there are many layers to this story, as it is also about finding one’s truth, relationships, secrets, vindication and exoneration, justice for guilty, and new beginnings. A wonderful character-driven novel that is a great break from the norm. Recommend!
SamRyan More than 1 year ago
I really liked “Fallen Star” by Allison Morse, and read it from beginning to end in two nights! It was well-written and easy to read. I liked the characters of Kate, Lillian, Dylan, Winston and was easily caught up in their bizarre drama trying to solve the mysterious decades-old murder of Kate’s aunt, Gloria. The narrative flowed well and it kept me guessing right up until the end. I’m happy that it wasn’t predictable and cliché like so many mystery/thrillers are these days. The editing was pretty clean and the pacing solid throughout. A few unnecessary scenes/conversation, but nothing terrible. Better than most! I was happy with the ending but wished there was more. Was sad to finish! A must read for fans of the genre.
CJ2277 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars An interesting and entertaining twist on a typical ‘murder mystery’, “Fallen Star” by Allison Morse grabbed me from the opening pages and held me hostage until the very end. I love it when a book can totally suck me in like that, and it was never predictable or boring. I won’t re-hash the plot (that is what the summary is for), but this is definitely an intelligent murder/mystery/gothic-paranormal with many layers that will satisfy almost any reader looking for an incredibly well-written book that takes you on a mind-bending and exciting journey with challenges, danger, seedy characters, and old fashioned Hollywood glitz. Great characters, prose, and dialogue. Can’t wait to get started on Ms. Morse’s other novel, “The Sweetheart Deal” next. If it’s half as good as this one I’m in for a treat.
SherriWarner More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars For me, I had a hard time getting into “Fallen Star”. Even the opening scene that was supposed to be dramatic left me feeling a bit detached. The when we fast forward and Kate gets involved in trying to solve her grandmother’s murder, I had a hard time feeling like I cared much – nothing really happens that makes us want to be all that emotionally invested, if that makes sense. So I worried that I wouldn’t like this book very much, but as the story progressed I found myself becoming more and more immersed in this creepy and downright troubling mystery. As the storylines started to mesh together, I realized just how well-constructed this story was, and done in a way that puts a new spin on a traditional ‘murder-mystery’ story. The characters were unique in their own right, and believable to a point. Overall I can say that despite the rocky start, I ended up enjoying this novel, loved the ending, and would certainly recommend to my friends.
NikkyH7117 More than 1 year ago
"Fallen Star” by Allison Morse is equal parts beautiful and intriguing. Unnerving and creative. I liked how Ms. Morse was able to so vividly describe the characters and scenery and time periods… felt very authentic and with great detailing and historical accuracy. I felt like I was really inside the story, and that there wasn’t a lull in the action. Great character development and I liked that there was definitely more to them than meets the eye – and how even though Gloria is dead… is she really gone? ;) Interesting game of cat and mouse and hidden secrets and a multitude of little mysteries throughout keep you guessing. I did SORT OF suspect the ending (towards the end), but still really enjoyed it. I’m a big fan of Mary Higgins Clark and this book reminded me of something she might write. I look forward to reading other books from Allison Morse soon.
LaylaM1 More than 1 year ago
"Fallen Star” is very different from the books I’ve been reading lately. This book will get inside your head and might creep you out a few times, and maybe even horrify you with how cruel people can be. There is no “being a bystander” in this novel…Morse pulls you into the mysterious plot and minds of the characters and won’t let you escape. This is a book that genuinely kept my interest, and after I put it down (once - to eat dinner) I was eager to resume where I’d left off. Love the cover and or the most part the editing was very clean. A must-read for fans of mystery, suspense, and gothic fiction.
JhonniP More than 1 year ago
with excellent writing, intriguing plot, vivid details, and charmingly original characters, “Fallen Star” by Allison Morse is a hauntingly literary delight that will sweep you into the story before you know it! I didn’t love the opening because it is a bit upsetting, but it makes sense with the character development for the rest of the book (so it’s not gratuitous as a ‘hook’) But once we reach the present (which is still the past – this is set in the 70’s) it was very easy to fall into, and my curiosity was piqued right away with the discovery of the lost film that recorded the day that screen legend Gloria Reardon (Kate’s look-alike grandmother) was murdered. Kate is a likable protagonist, and I appreciate the fact that her actions make sense…(I see this all too often where I’m shaking my head at the MC wondering what they are thinking… I call it “the too stupid to live syndrome”.) There was none of that here and it was intelligently constructed in a way that kept me guessing but also wanting to stay along for the ride as long as I could. Happy with the conclusion and that this is a standalone book (no cliffhanger or part of a series). Highly recommend for fans of women’s fiction/gothic fiction/mystery & suspense.
KayleeeKS More than 1 year ago
okay, wow, I loved this book! I was pulled in from the opening pages and couldn’t put it down until I’d reached the end! I loved that although this was a pretty common theme for a mystery/suspense (woman wants to solve the crime of a murdered family member that is unsolved) it was so original in the setting and the characters, it was a great treat! Also, I loved how many unpredictable developments there were, and that I wasn’t able to figure out how it was all connected until the end (which did surprise me!). It is written very beautifully, both stylistically and in tone (descriptive and atmospheric) than many other books I’ve read in this genre. Kate faces a slew of obstacles and it is great fun to get behind her as she battles danger and personal issues to solve a great mystery of her life. Rewarding and fun, I can’t wait to read more from Allison Morse!
BellaReadz More than 1 year ago
amazing. Disturbing. Haunting. This is a book that I won’t easily or soon forget. It and the author Alison Morse definitely touched my heart (and mind) with this story that pits a young woman against the mysteries of the past and how she can solve the cold case of her grandmother’s untimely demise (hence the title). I admit I’m fond of reading about characters who have unusual or extraordinary lives that are different from run-of-the mill existences (they are just so fun!) and Ms. Morse did a wonderful job of bringing the past to life in an authentic way that really works. We don’t feel like we are reading about the era, we really feel like we are there. It’s interesting to see just ow poorly women were treated and their lack of agency, and it’s empowering to watch Kate stand up and fight back. I liked that it wasn’t like every other ‘murder-mystery’ story out there, and at times had a more surreal, literary bent that goes deeper than your ordinary ‘paranormal’. This is the second book I’ve read from Allison Morse (the first being “The Sweetheart Deal” – check it out!) and I’d definitely be interested in reading more from this author to see what other tricks she has up her sleeve.
LauraClarke More than 1 year ago
"Fallen Star” was so much more than just a simple ‘mystery’ story to me. For the most part the writing is so good… great narrative and genuine dialogue, and I’m not easily impressed. I love how it is set in the past – gives such a unique feel that I don’t see in many books. I really like how we get into the story and drama right away… no slow buildup or ‘setting the plot up’ which I can’t stand. Just gets right into it. I admit it took me a bit to warm up to Kate for some reason, but she does make for a solid heroine and we do root for her, and do relate on some levels. While I did like the plot (even if not the most original concept ever – trying to solve an old murder) there were some times that it felt a bit too ‘overwritten’. Beautiful prose, yes, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing and it slowed the pace for me occasionally. But overall the plot had more depth and complexity than I anticipated, and the ending/guilty party truly shocked me (although I had suspected at first I then changed my mind). Certainly worth a read, and I’m interested in reading more from Allison Morse in the near future.
The-Broke-Book-Bank More than 1 year ago
The Good +The Ending +Romance conclusion is sweet +Climax was phenomenal +Enjoyable, easy read +Epilogue was cute +Liked the characters +Didn't see the important twists coming The Bad & The Other -Kate was annoying until late -Push and pull romance was meh until later -Didn't like the muddling paranormal -Slow to get into Fallen Star is a mish-mash of historical, mystery, family drama, and paranormal. Sounds great on paper and I've read other like this that made it work. Sadly, I would've preferred the paranormal being left out, to be honest. The ghost aspect muddied the waters and was meant to amp up Kate's personal stakes. Instead of "OMG what is happening?" it fell flat and bogged down the novel. I wish she could've found the clues herself instead of being handed to her via paranormal intervention. It made it hard to believe and connect. Plus it weakens Kate as protagonist. Eventually, Kate gets her act together and she's much more proactive. It was very enjoyable to finally see her grow as a person. At this point, the story solidified as a murder mystery with a side-romance, casting away the paranormal unreliable narrator until nothing was left except a spiritual-believing young woman in control. I was actively cheering for her and made it all worthwhile. If only it ended there and didn't cap it off with that epilogue... I wish I could say it was a good thing, but the way it happened, I just rolled my eyes. How was that pulled off? Why not just deliver it like a normal person? *sigh* Oh well. It was worth reading for Kate's progression and the twisty, satisfying climax. The epilogue was nice to catch up with them, but the mysterious appearance at the end was ridiculous. Morse's other novel The Sweetheart Deal sounds narrower and focused in scope and genre: cute with a 1950s feminist romance. If you're looking for Something straightforward, I think that's worth a shot. For something clean yet bloody and a great conclusion to a murder mystery, Fallen Star fits the bill. It'd probably also help to REMEMBER IT'S SET IN THE NINETEEN-SEVENTIES! However, if a scatter-shot novel that jumps around with a work in progress protagonist doesn't sound worth it, trust your gut.
JennaBrewster More than 1 year ago
I’ve read a ton of mystery, and I’ve read a lot of suspense novels. But I’m hard pressed to remember one that was not only crazy intense and gripping, but so beautifully written, some parts almost bordered on poetic. This is a dark literary thriller/(slight) paranormal story that is both easy to read, yet deeply intense and engaging at the same time. Really felt taken back to the past and thrust into the ‘glamourous’ world of Hollywood. I thought the story to be extremely well-rounded and the characters fleshed out – I could picture them all perfectly… Kate, Dylan, Winston, Jarvis, Lillian… even Gloria from “beyond the grave”. Warning, this novel is deep and has its twisted moments. It can be downright disturbing (especially in the beginning). But it is a powerful read, one with an excellent payoff at the end and I was so pleased with how it all came together (even if at times I really doubted I would be!!) I would certainly recommend “Fallen Star” for fans of literary suspense and gothic mystery.
BookPrincessSF More than 1 year ago
wow, I really loved this book “Fallen Star” by Allison Morse. I thought it was just beautifully written and kept my attention the whole way through. There is some setting up the stage of action in the beginning, and at first it is a bit confusing when we go to the past, but then it all starts to make sense and we are caught up with the bizarre, surreal blend of the mystery of the past and the present (which for this book is actually in the 70’s). The characters are good – I loved how strong and resilient Kate is, especially overcoming her near-assault and becoming stronger for it, and later with her tenacity at uncovering her screen-goddess grandmother’s murder. There are some surprising turn of events I didn’t see coming, which is good because I’m usually a savvy reader that can predict most outcomes, but I was genuinely surprised at a few things that happened, and thought the tension and narrative was great. Happy with the ending as well. I will be looking forward to reading more books from Allison Morse in the future. Recommend reading for fans of women’s fiction/mystery/suspense with a darker twist.
KMatthews More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars "The Fallen Star” by Allison Morse is a really good book! Very interesting…maybe too interesting, as at times I almost felt a little lost as to what exactly was going on – ha! It was very complex and with interweaving plotlines with lots of twists and turns with various characters from the victim’s life in the 40’s, to the heroine (Kate)’s life in the 1970’s. All very good things for keeping me at the edge of my seat, but there were some places where I had to go back a re-read what had just happened because I felt confused. LOL but it might have been me. It was so good that I might have just been reading too fast! But it was unpredictable and different than anything else I’ve read in a long time, if ever. Yeah it’s a ‘mystery/suspense’ and you might think those are a dime a dozen, but it is the unique background and complex subplots, and interesting ‘supernatural’ experiences woven in that make this a remarkable and original treat. Recommend for fans of mystery and suspense.
TabithaP1 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars great writing, great action, great characters, great plot development…. Overall a terrific read that I feel really delivered in terms of the dark and secretive side of human nature and the evil and manipulation that can happen even with people you think you can trust. I admit this isn’t really my normal genre of reading, but the sample pulled me in and I love old Hollywood films, so to read a book about solving a murder of a woman who was star of one was enticing to me. I enjoyed the cast of characters and thought they were authentically created even if at times a few were bordering on being a bit over the top (almost felt like caricatures). I thought the prose was descriptive yet succinct enough to keep us engaged, and I was surprised by the slight supernatural tinge that made its way into the storyline but it worked well for this book and really helped bring the story to life in a way I didn’t expect. Liked the ending a lot. I can totally see this book as being a movie or TV show. Recommend for mature readers of drama/suspense.