What Remains Of Me (A.L Gaylin)

29741927People 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?

Out of all the books I’ve recently read, I’d say What Remains of Me is the most “typical Annie”. It’s not only because it revolved around actors and Hollywood, but because it featured a great mystery in the past, a new crime in the present and dual narratives that were incredibly gripping.

This is the story of Kelly Lund. In 1980, Kelly, who lost her twin when they were fifteen years old, made friends with free-spirited Bellamy and ended up shooting and killing famous film director John McFadden. 30 years later and five after she got out of prison, Sterling Marshall, Kelly’s father-in-law and John McFadden’s best friend, ends up dead at his home. But who killed him and why? Is it possible that Kelly did it again? Or maybe she didn’t kill either of them…

Kelly wasn’t a particularly likable main character, so in a way, this did remind me of Gillian Flynn’s novels: dark, gritty and addictive. The flashbacks were super intriguing -I’m always a fan of wild teen years- and the murder mystery was fantastic. While the reasons weren’t shocking (after all, this is Hollywood), there were plenty of twists and a little surprise I loved and didn’t expect at all.

What Remains of Me is the classic book I feel I could recommend to most of my fellow blogger friends, especially those who love a good mystery/psychological thriller. I’m pretty sure it’s one you could all enjoy and it was definitely one of my favorite books this month.

What I liked the most
There were so many great twists in this book! The last few chapters were simply unputdownable and I finished the novel feeling completely satisfied and wanting to let everyone know how much I enjoyed it. I also love how every detail got its closure.

What I didn’t like that much
My only “complaint” is that I didn’t like any of the characters (except for a minor one). I don’t think they were likable at all, but they weren’t evil in a fascinating way either, like in, for example, Gone Girl. I just didn’t like them. And while that doesn’t bother me much, you’re more likely to remember a great book if the characters stay with you.

What Remains Of Me is an enjoyable mystery and psychological thriller that offers all the ingredients to make it a compelling and clever read.

Other reviews:
A Novel Glimpse
Raven Crime Reads

Similar recommendations:
That Night (Chevy Stevens)
These Things Hidden (Heather Gudenkauf)
Daisy In Chains (Sharon Bolton)

Arrow, 2016 – Netgalley

Buy Here

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Annie

In a past life, I was probably a tortured police detective with a dark and traumatic past. Right now, however, I'm just a twenty-something bookworm who loves listening to old songs and watching 90s movies. I enjoy mystery and crime, southern coming of age stories and historical fiction set in the last century.

45 thoughts on “What Remains Of Me (A.L Gaylin)

  1. I love the idea of the twists but I’m wondering if I’d like a book with no likable characters. I’m seeing this book around so much though I’ll keep it on my radar:)

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  2. So the characters were kind of meh, but the book was still good! That must be some great writing and those unexpected twists had to be truly unexpected. I always struggle if I cannot connect with the characters. Sounds like the ending was solid though, and that always gets huge brownie points from me 🙂

    Now I am truly curious. Fabulous review!

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  3. Okay,I definitely have to get this one.It does sound great and I like that you reccomrnd it to fans of the genre so its definitely my kind of book.Wonderful review.

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  4. I like reading books with unlikeable characters because I am challenged to see why someone would behave in an unlikeable way. Note, if the author makes a person horrid with zero motive or influence for being difficult, then that’s just lazy writing.

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    1. The MC here has been accused of two crimes, but I just found her a bit bland and rude hahaha I didn’t connect with her, I thought she was a bit dull, but the story was so amazing that it didn’t matter that much. For example, I loved reading Amy in Gone Girl.

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  5. I only started visiting your blog recently, so it’s nice to know what a typical “Annie” book is like. You’re a mystery/thriller fan, I see! I don’t often read these kinds of stories , but I do enjoy them of course. Especially in movies! I loved Gone Girl and the few thriller’s I’ve read I have enjoyed. I just don’t naturally gravitate toward them.

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    1. Hahaha Yes, I’m a total mystery fan. I started following yours because I also enjoy reading books set in different places around the world and I love the diversity idea, so I’ll keel your recommendations in mind 😀 Gone Girl was amazing, I also love them in films!

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  6. Yes this sounds like a book I would enjoy too – I do like the past crimes angle and in many ways the unlikeable characters – I find it easier to read if I’m not feeling overly sympathetic to anyone haha

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  7. Another awesome review, Annie! 🙂 This definitely sounds like a typical Annie book for sure. All the references to Gillian Flynn has me wanting to read this book. I love her books, and I love unlikabke characters like those in her novels. She does that do well that I’m intrigued. Adding this to my TBR. 🙂

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  8. Fab review, as always 🙂 I feel I always need to like at least one character to truly enjoy a story. I realized it when reading The Gift and A Suitable Lie. If I don’t feel any connection, I’m less likely to get engrossed in the story. Well, exceptions happen so why not!

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    1. I’ll read The Gift soon! I love the husband in A Suitable Lie 😀 I totally get what you mean, but sometimes I love the story so much I’m able to forget that

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