What Remains of Me

What Remains of Me

by Alison Gaylin

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Overview

What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin

2017 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062369864
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/27/2016
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 217,018
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed and Heartless; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York.

Customer Reviews

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What Remains of Me: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
lipplounge More than 1 year ago
This book was good but was not among my favorites. It started slow giving me serious doubts I wanted to finish; at approximately chapter 19 the story began to "pick up" and become interesting. However, as the story became interesting it also became predictable. I do consider it a good depiction of how those considered "wallflowers" desperately want acceptance from peers.
SmithFamilyinEngland2 More than 1 year ago
"People don't need to know you're a murderer. They just need to think you could be....." Not until you finish this highly captivating and atmospheric book that you realise the true meaning to that blurb sentence. "What Remains Of Me" by Alison Gaylin is a highly entertaining and absorbing thriller that keeps you on your toes to the very last page! I thoroughly enjoyed this and once started could not put it down. There are two timelines running through the story, flashbacks to Kelly in 1980 and the more recent 2010, 5 years after her release from prison for the murder of a famous movie director. I love dual timelines and I was addicted to the 1980 timeline reading about Kelly's younger years and the build up to the murder she is accused of. It's not until the very end of the book that we learn all the true facts relating to the murder but on the way - oh my! - the twists and turns are unbelievable, first sending you one way then sending you the other! I'm the same age as Kelly is in 2010 and personally loved all the references to the music in 1980 bringing back memories from that time. I also enjoyed the newspaper articles and interviews interspersed throughout, very much reminiscent of Minette Walters books that I so enjoy. It is a complex storyline that does require the readers attention and although the characters aren't really likeable you still have empathy for them, and I was particularly moved by one of the characters at the end. There is a slight dip in pace in the middle of the book but maybe it was just the calm before the stormy twists! I would happily read more by this author, I like her style of writing, and if you like good solid thrillers with plenty of twists then you will certainly enjoy and appreciate "What Remains Of Me"
Samantha1020 8 months ago
Summary from Goodreads: "On June 28, 1980, Kelly Michelle Lund shoots and kills Oscar-nominated director John McFadden at a party in his home . . . and instantly becomes a media sensation. For years, speculation swirls over the 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—and want to help clear her name. But is she?" My Thoughts: What Remains of Me was one of those mysteries that slowly swept me away as I tried to figure out exactly what had happened so many years ago. It was a book that had layers to it - each layer needed to be peeled back so that we could see the full truth behind what happened so long ago and in the present. I enjoyed the fact that there were two mysteries within this book: the first being the mystery of what really happened thirty some years ago and the second being if Kelly is involved in the murder of her father in law now. The two questions are tied together so closely that I constantly felt that the answer to one should also end with the answer to the other. It gave this book such a unique layer of tension and atmosphere as the reader doesn't know if they can fully trust Kelly or not. Is she innocent of this new murder? Did she actually murder John McFadden so many years ago and why? There were just so many questions swirling around in my head while I read and it really added to my enjoyment of this book! The only thing that that took away from my reading experience with this book is hard to put into words. I enjoyed this book the entire time that I was reading it but I was never "wowed" by it. I've heard such good things about this author and I obviously agree as I mostly enjoyed this book but it just didn't stand out for me like I had hoped that it would. This book has such a unique and compelling premise but I'm not 100% that it lived up to it. It was really good - don't get me wrong but I just wouldn't classify it as great. I think it would be fair to rate it as a four star read overall so take my feelings with a grain of salt as that is still a really good rating! Overall, I did enjoy my time with this book and am looking forward to reading more by this author. I've actually got the first book in a series she has written on my own shelves so I'm really looking forward to giving that a try next. I liked the way it was set up and also how the author tied everything together in the end. Yes, I was able to predict parts of it but there were also some surprises thrown in there too. I'm thinking that this may have slightly been a case of my expectations being a bit too high because when I think about the book as a whole and my reading experience with it....well I did have a lot more positives rather than negatives. I'm going to recommend this book to fans of both suspense and mysteries. Bottom Line: A suspenseful mystery! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss. I actually purchased a copy of this book though from my local used booksto
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found my self not being able to put it down. Great page turner with some mystery and some good twist. I would recommend .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well-written book with great twists. Time shifts were slightly confusing at first, but a quick look at the chapter titles kept it straight. I loved the characters. I think the other reviewer who didnt care about them just didnt read far enough and definately missed out on the many twists that made them sympathetic. This story of Hollywood haves and have-nots will keep you interested wanting to know THE TRUTH!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In fairness I only got to page 60 before I gave up. I had a hard time following the time shifts ... but okay that's my deficiency. The real problem was that I just didn't give a rip what happened to any of the characters I met in the first 59 pages. That said, the quality of the writing was first rate.
SmithFamilyinEngland2 More than 1 year ago
"People don't need to know you're a murderer. They just need to think you could be....." Not until you finish this highly captivating and atmospheric book that you realise the true meaning to that blurb sentence. "What Remains Of Me" by Alison Gaylin is a highly entertaining and absorbing thriller that keeps you on your toes to the very last page! I thoroughly enjoyed this and once started could not put it down. There are two timelines running through the story, flashbacks to Kelly in 1980 and the more recent 2010, 5 years after her release from prison for the murder of a famous movie director. I love dual timelines and I was addicted to the 1980 timeline reading about Kelly's younger years and the build up to the murder she is accused of. It's not until the very end of the book that we learn all the true facts relating to the murder but on the way - oh my! - the twists and turns are unbelievable, first sending you one way then sending you the other! I'm the same age as Kelly is in 2010 and personally loved all the references to the music in 1980 bringing back memories from that time. I also enjoyed the newspaper articles and interviews interspersed throughout, very much reminiscent of Minette Walters books that I so enjoy. It is a complex storyline that does require the readers attention and although the characters aren't really likeable you still have empathy for them, and I was particularly moved by one of the characters at the end. There is a slight dip in pace in the middle of the book but maybe it was just the calm before the stormy twists! I would happily read more by this author, I like her style of writing, and if you like good solid thrillers with plenty of twists then you will certainly enjoy and appreciate "What Remains Of Me"
Carlo_D More than 1 year ago
Like Alison Gaylin's Brenna Spector series, I was not surprised to find solid writing and a story full of suspense in "What Remains of Me." She's a master at slowly unraveling the mysteries of a story. Though her Brenna Spector series moves at a somewhat faster pace than the first two acts of "Remains," the last act flies with lightning speed as we discover the truth behind each of the murders and suicide. And just when you think you've got it figured out, Gaylin surprises you with something that makes more sense and yet is even more shocking than what you imagined.
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
Original review @ 125Pages.com What Remains of Me made me think of what could have been for Marissa on the O.C. I loved me some twisty drama on that show and I could picture the characters at place in that world. A teen party girl on the fringes of Hollywood society, Kelly Lund enters a party and shoots a prominent director three times. Thirty years later she is free and another man, this time a famous actor, is shot in the same manner. Is Kelly up to her old tricks, or is someone setting her up? I enjoyed the world Alison Gaylin created in What Remains of Me, a glittering eighties Hollywood world of excess countered with a modern Hollywood full of TMZ and bloodthirsty reporters. The plot was unique and I enjoyed the guessing games created. Gaylin’s writing was crisp and each line made sense within the scope of the story. Descriptions were just enough to enable you to picture the scene but not bog down the action. The characters were well thought out and most fit extremely well in the world created. A few side characters seemed placed for no real reason, but they could mostly be overlooked. I enjoyed the ride Gaylin took me on in What Remains of Me. A nice twisty thriller that kept me guessing what was real and what was imagined till the end. A few things I guessed before the end, but most I did not and I really enjoyed the guessing game created. A dark version of a True Hollywood Story, What Remains of Me played out like one of my favorite soapy nighttime dramas. I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
EWOKWIL More than 1 year ago
Hollywood! Kelly! Did you murder anyone? That is the HUGE question! And you will find the answer. Totally wanted to sit and read this book with zero interruptions! Happy reading !! is correct! Thank you Alison Gaylin! I now have a new author to enjoy!