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What Remains of Me by A.L. Gaylin

November 30, 2016

People don’t need to know you’re a murderer.

They just have to think you could be…

June 1980: 17-year-old Kelly Lund is jailed for killing Hollywood film director, John McFadden

Thirty years later, Kelly is a free woman. Yet speculation still swirls over what really happened that night.

And when her father-in law, and close friend of McFadden is found dead – shot through the head at point-blank range – there can only be one suspect.

But this time Kelly has some high-profile friends who believe she’s innocent of both crimes.

But is she?

Sometimes there’s nothing as good as a decent tinsel-town book that sparkles with the lives of decadent Hollywood directors and actors, drugs and bad behaviour. The kind of book that made Jackie Collins a fortune, only this time, with murder thrown in. What Remains of Me is that book.

Kelly Lund served thirty years in prison for killing well known movie director, John McFadden. Now she is out and living with her husband Shane, the son of Sterling Marshall, himself a movie great.

The novel begins in 2010, when Kelly has been out of prison for a few months. The story alternates between the present day and 1980, when 17 year old Kelly makes friends at school with the daughter of a cool movie star, a few months before John McFadden is murdered. Kelly’s is the archetypal story of the poor young girl, once a twin but now an only child, daughter of the make-up artist to the movie stars who yearns to fit in amongst the glitz and seeming glamour of the movie world. So when she meets Bellamy Marshall, Sterling’s daughter, she is easily led into a world of parties, drugs and bad behaviour.

As we listen to Kelly describing her life and understand what led up to the shooting of John McFadden, Kelly’s life is rocked yet again by the killing of McFadden’s friend and her father-in-law, Sterling Marshall.

As the story reveals Kelly’s life and slowly uncovers the true story of what happened the night John McFadden was murdered, we see that the child who is Kelly has never really had the chance to understand who she is and what happened to her. She needs her own answers to questions about what happened that night – and those answers are connected not just to John McFadden’s death but also to Sterling Marshall’s.

What Remains of Me is a well told story with enough twists and false leads to keep the reader satisfied. The device of two murders thirty years apart works well and allows for the narrative to peel back the years slowly, unveiling the truth in layers.

An enjoyable read from an excellent storyteller.

What Remains of Me is published by Arrow on 1st December 2016


From → Crime

One Comment
  1. Nice review! I’m hoping to read this one soon


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