What Remains of Me – A.L. Gaylin

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?

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say I was a little disappointed with What Remains of Me. I know it isn’t reasonable to expect to like everything I read, but this sounded like it had a decent amount of potential. A tasty little whodunit murder mystery sounded like just the sort of book I needed. And there were certainly a number of twists and turns throughout the story. But there were also a number of cliches that just couldn’t lift the book to higher levels.
Thirty years after her imprisonment, Kelly Lund is trying to put her life back together in her home in the desert of California, with her husband. The story is a double header in that it details the events leading up to and including the murder of John McFadden, while also telling the story of the murder of her father-in law. Both murders are eerily similar – two shots to the chest and one between the eyes. So unsurprisingly, Kelly is suspect number one.
whatremainsofme And this is where some issues arose with the book. Two crimes, two victims, thirty years apart. And there was a possible suspect that had links to both victims, and as the story tells, a possible motive. What circumstantial evidence the police do have against her doesn’t fully tie Kelly to the new crime. Having a few celebrity friends publicly claiming she is innocent, not only of the murder of her father-in-law but also of the killing of John McFadden begins to cast doubt on her guilt.

In an almost Poirot-esque style What Remains of Me trots out a line of possible suspects, and shifts between them all, trying to paint each one as a possible killer. The story also does this for the earlier murder. Between the jumping around between suspects, and trying to tell the two stories side by side, the book felt a little muddled. It is by no means a bad book, but I just felt that the story tried too hard at times with trying to make you believe in the guilt of one suspect, before moving on to the next possible suspect. This is a good book, with some interesting twists and turns, and a good pace to it. I just felt it was let down by the slightly forced manner used in jumping from one suspect to the next.

My rating:

5 thoughts on “What Remains of Me – A.L. Gaylin

    1. Thanks Alisha! Strangely-I have just yesterday read an extract of a book with a similar idea-telling the story of past and present in turns. But it just felt like it flowed much more naturally.


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