As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Arrow, 1 December 2016. ISBN: 978-1-78475618-7 (PB)
Once a convicted murderer, always a convicted murderer – and, it would
appear, top of the suspect list in other, broadly similar murder cases.
Kelly Lund has been out of
prison for five years after serving a long sentence for shooting a famous
Hollywood film director. Through a tangle of relationships brought about by a
close-knit film world, she is now married to the director’s best friend’s son.
And when her father-in-law is found dead, Kelly is the investigation team’s
first port of call. Naturally. She’s done it before, after all, albeit thirty
years ago when she was a drug-addled teenager.
Alison Gaylin’s previous
novels have shown her to be adept at juggling time frames, and it’s a talent
she makes good use of here. The action shifts between 1980 and 2010: the
build-up to the first murder and the aftermath of the second. Questions are
posed, seeds of doubt sown, secrets slowly revealed.
That tangle of relationships
is quickly resolved into a cast of characters who portray aHollywood which lies unseen behind the
brittle allure of celebrity magazines: a Hollywood where parties fuelled by
drugs and alcohol are a way of life, all tastes, however unsavoury, are catered
for, and big names wield unhealthy quantities of power. The two time frames
serve to illustrate the consequences which inevitably ensue, some negative,
some less so; and at the same time Gaylin paints a vivid picture of a world
remote from most people’s experience.
I found myself reluctant to
put the book down, and finished it in a couple of sittings. Characters put
flesh on the bones of a story, and it was these characters who made the
unfolding narrative grip my attention; Kelly herself is naive, stuck in a time
warp, robbed of her youth and young adulthood by decades in prison. The others
too: sharp, individual and real in both time frames, they made me want answers
to all those questions. How did Kelly’s twin sister die? Why did glamorous
Bellamy befriend the plainest girl in the school? What were Kelly’s and
Bellamy’s parents all hiding? What happened to stunningly handsome,
sweet-natured Vincent? And above all, is Kelly guilty?
In a world of highly competent
midlist crime writers, Alison Gaylin stands out. If she doesn’t get her break
into bestsellerdom soon, there’s no justice.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Alison Gaylin'sdebut book was nominated for an Edgar Award in the Best First Novel
category. A graduate of Northwestern University and Columbia University's
Graduate School of Journalism, Alison lives with her husband and daughter in
upstate New York.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.