In this explosive new thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson delves into the deep bond between two sisters and their shared dream that becomes a harrowing nightmare of madness, hatred and jealousy…
Cassie Kramer and her younger sister, Allie, learned the hazards of fame long ago. Together, they’d survived the horror of a crazed fan who nearly killed their mother, former Hollywood actress Jenna Hughes. Still, Cassie moved to L.A., urging Allie to follow. As a team, they’d take the town by storm. But Allie, finally free of small-town Oregon, and just that little bit more beautiful, also proved to be more talented—and driven. Where Cassie got bit parts, Allie rose to stardom. But now her body double has been shot on the set of her latest movie—and Allie is missing.
Police discover that the last call to Allie’s phone came from Cassie, though she has no recollection of making it. Instead of looking like a concerned relative, Cassie is starting to look like a suspect—the jealous sister who finally grew sick of playing a supporting role. As the tabloids go into a frenzy, Cassie ends up on a Portland psych ward. Is she just imagining the sinister figure who comes to her bedside, whispering about Allie—a visitor of whom there is no record? Is someone trying to help—or drive her mad?
Convinced she’s the only one who can find Allie, Cassie checks herself out of the hospital. But a sudden slew of macabre murders— each victim masked with a likeness of a member of Cassie’s family—makes Cassie fear for her safety and her sanity. The only way to end the nightmare is to find out what really happened to Allie. And with each discovery, Cassie realizes that no one can be trusted to keep her safe—least of all herself…
Lisa Jackson is the number-one New York Times bestselling author of over ninety-five novels, including the Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya Series, the Pescoli and Alvarez Series, the Savannah series, and numerous stand alone novels. She also is the co-author of One Last Breath, Last Girl Standing, and the Colony Series, written with her sister and bestselling author Nancy Bush, as well as the collaborative novels Sinister and Ominous, written with Nancy Bush and Rosalind Noonan. There are over thirty million copies of her novels in print and her writing has been translated into twenty languages.
Before she became a nationally bestselling author, she was a mother struggling to keep food on the table by writing novels, hoping against hope that someone would pay her for them. Today, neck deep in murder, her books appear on The New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly national bestseller lists.
With dozens of bestsellers to her name, Lisa Jackson is a master of taking readers to the edge of sanity—and back—in novels that buzz with dangerous secrets and deadly passions. She continues to be fascinated by the minds and motives of both her killers and their pursuers—the personal, the professional, and the downright twisted. As she builds the puzzle of relationships, actions, clues, lies, and personal histories that haunt her protagonists, she must also confront the fear and terror faced by her victims and the harsh and enduring truth that, in the real world, terror and madness touch far too many lives and families.
Thank you Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
While it wasn't bad, it wasn't as "fast paced" and "thrilling" as I'd expected. I wasn't really keen on Cassie's character but overall not a bad little read. If you like her other books I think you'd enjoy this, but if you're new to Jackson I'd recommend starting with something else.
After She’s Gone by Lisa Jackson was a bit of a disappointment for me.
The story starts off really well but one third of the way I was completely “bamboozled” by what was going on. There were so many characters and a lot of different POV’s that I lost track of who was who and what was what. And all those flashbacks and inner monologues just added to my confusion.
The main character, Cassie – I couldn’t get this woman. Her behavior was beyond bizarre and she kept doing the most unbelievable things…..so much so that I kept thinking that there was something off about her….like she was someone else and that I was being led along with all those may red herrings and when all was going to be revealed…it would be a shocker!!! But no……….the revelation in the end was not a huge surprise because I had an idea who the baddies were very early in the story.
I couldn’t engage with any of the characters in this book.
The writing style didn’t feel like the other books written by this author. I skimmed over a lot of the pages….the story dragged and I felt it a bit too long for me.
The plot was so interesting but got bogged down by some of the things I mentioned above and too much repetition of same phrases over and over……
I have read most of this author’s books and she has remained one of my favorite romance/suspense authors but this latest offering was a letdown for me.
Between the awesome cover, the 5 star reviews and the plot description, I was really excited to read this book. About 60 pages into the book my excitement had waned to the point I was questioning if this was the same book that everyone was describing.
The pace is very slow as there is a lot of minutia between plot points. I skimmed through some areas where the story was dragging so bad it was either skim or dnf. I was not expecting this to be so slow as I had read so many reviews that said fast paced, thrilling, suspenseful - I didn't think any of these adjectives applied.
The plot is all over the place and jumping around undeveloped characters. In fact almost all the characters seemed undeveloped; you don't get to know anyone but Cassie. Unfortunately Cassie is a head case that is hard to get vested in. There was a section of the book where it seemed like all I read about was Cassie packing and traveling , visiting different apartments where nothing happens, attempting to talk to people who don't return her call and the only time she seems to talk to people are when she's set up to be a suspect which then makes the plot feel contrived.
I'm not sure why but I was always feeling like the time frames/drive times were off. It might be because it took so long to do trivial items and then there would be a jump in time.
There were times when it's supposed to be tense, you're supposed to be pulled in and riveted to the story and instead I was so frustrated by Cassie's bizarre behaviors and OTT reactions that I actually had to stop reading and do something else (Pinterest, dishes, e-mail...anything but Cassie).
I was almost to the end of the book and I had to walk away not once, not twice but three times. This isn't suspense, it's a silent prayer from your reader saying "DONT WRITE THIS GRADE B MOVIE HORROR STUPIDITY 101". It's like everyone knows better, but let's keep the stupidity going. People are being murdered, should you be stupid or smart, OK let's be stupid. What shouldn't you do, OK do that. The Grade B movie stupidity has totally ruined this plot for me.
For me the line that really defined the book: "Oh, Jesus. Would she have come out here after she heard the report of the gun? Would she have been that stupid?"
You betcha...of course in a Grade B movie; stupidity rules.
And I have to ask; just how big is that damn barn. Pretty damn big because she's already gone quite a distance and still it's "onward she raced." And it is truly amazing how much can be thought during a few minutes - pages of the "twists" thinking her thoughts; skip, skip, skip...
A truly messed up family, it was hard to care for any of them. I think if Cassie and her mother had been developed differently, you may have been able to care for them. Jenna, the mother, was underdeveloped to the point she could have been someone already passed on.
If you feel like my review rambled; it may be because it mirrored the book.
I decided to read this novel after it was spoke about highly by a couple of my Goodread friends. Once I started reading it I had a feeling wasn't going to like it but soldiered on nevertheless not been a quitter. The book got better and better the more I read and by the end I felt it was a decent read. Not great but decent.
The novel features actress Cassie Krammer who is a major suspect when her more famous sister goes missing and her body double in her latest film is shot on set. Lots of action and intrigue but it is not really up to the standard of book I normally enjoy
I would like to thank Net Galley and Kensington books for supplying a copy of 'After She's Gone' by Lisa Jackson in exchange for a honest review.
Ich freue mich immer, wenn ich ein Thriller lesen kann, wo die Charaktere nachvollziehbar menschlich handeln, es genug Überraschungen gibt und auch etwas brutaler/blutiger wird. Dieses Buch erfüllt genau all diese Punkte und ich hatte sehr viel Spaß diese Geschichte zu lesen. Die Geschichte um zwei Schwestern, Allie und Cassie, und ihrer Beziehung zueinander auch in Bezug zu Hollywood fand ich spannend. Die komplizierten Gefühle zwischen Schwestern wurde gut dargestellt und auch sonst fand ich es spannend herauszufinden wer nun der Mörder war. Auch die Nebencharaktere wie Trent und Rinko fand ich super! Auch wenn ich den Twist der Geschichte (bzw. Auflösung des Mörders) etwas zu weit hergeholt fand, war ich trotzdem mit der Geschichte zufrieden. Sie ist spannend, unterhaltsam und genau perfekt gewesen um an einem Wochenende abzuschalten. (Übrigens finde ich das Cover super hübsch und passend zur Story!)
** Dieses Buch wurde mir über NetGalley als E-Book zur Verfügung gestellt **
I received an ARC of this novel via the publishers at netgalley. Thank you!
:: 3.5-4 “Where is Allie” Stars ::
I am a huge fan of Lisa Jackson so when I was approved for this novel via netgalley I was very excited. Overall, this is a decent read but definitely not Jackson’s best. I had a hard time sympathizing with the characters; mainly Cassie- the lead, because she wasn’t very likeable. On the other hand, the plot was fast-faced, interesting, thrilling, and suspenseful- something that is always guaranteed when you read anything by Lisa Jackson. If you are a fan of Lisa Jackson’s work than I think this is a good fit for you. However, she does have a TON of other books out there that are definitely better.
I am a big fan of Lisa Jackson. Unfortunately, I found this book to be disappointing. I usually can not put her books down until I finish it. I found this book to have too many characters introduced at the beginning and a lot of pages I call "filler." There were so many "wild goose chases" that led to the length of the book but did not enhance the story. It was confusing. Near the end, it picked up speed and then it was hard to put down. I am still a fan, but this one is not my favorite.
Cassie Kramer and her younger sister, Allie are the daughters of former Hollywood actress, Jenna Hughes. Both had followed in their mother’s footsteps, however, Cassie really has no acting talent, while Allie is a star.
They both have parts of a new movie, and in trying her hand at screenwriting has changed the very last scene. Cassie takes a smaller part in order to give her sister a bigger part. Unfortunately, the day it was filmed, Allie is a no-show and her body double is shot and nearly killed.
The rest of the book follows Cassie’s adventures in looking for her sister. The plot gets a little convoluted, a little confusing.
More murders are committed and they are all related to the movie in one way or another. They are found with grotesque masks mimicking the Kramer sisters.
There are so many suspects, it is only when Jenna Hughes admits to a secret she’s carried for more than 20 years does the light start to shine.
The ending is tense and suspenseful …. And not everyone makes it out alive.
The plot was extremely complex and difficult to follow. I didn’t care for most of the characters, it even took a while for me to warm up to Cassie.
I’ve read many of this author’s books and been very satisfied. Not so much this one.
Many thanks to the author / Kensington Books – Zebra / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
3.5 stars. I really liked the premise of this story... a young starlets body double is shot during the filming of a movie and the star goes missing. Cassie, the older sister, tries to find her and gets stonewalled a lot. I liked how the author shows us the growth of Cassie and how she is trying to rebuild herself and her life.
What bothered me is, the storyline seemed to get bogged down a bit with repetitiveness. You know, the cops telling us what they're thinking (same shit, different day). And there was a backstory about an incident from ten years ago that kept being repeated. Slowed the story, so what should have and could have been a more taut thriller, wasn't quite.
As I said, I did like how Cassie became more empowered after a rocky start, and there were some pretty good moments that keep this story from falling apart. I just think some editing needs to be done to keep the story moving along more quickly. Overall, a pretty good story about one seriously fucked up family.
**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
Well, I think that After She's Gone will be receiving the "Biggest Disappointment of the Year" award from me. This didn't read as one of the amazing books from the talented Lisa Jackson, whom I fell in love with years ago. I picked this book up just knowing that I was in for a good read; Lisa Jackson was an author that I could go to if I just wanted to get wrapped up in a heart-stopping mystery. That is most definitely NOT how it played out this time. Actually, it was almost the furthest thing from that.
I'll just start at the beginning, it's as good of a place as any at this point. The beginning was gripping and interesting and everything that I had hoped it would be. But then I got about 12% into the book, figured out how the book would play out and it was downhill from there. I was right about how the book would play out, by the way. Add that to the disappointing list.
The passage of time in this book is not stated (at least where I read, I could have totally missed it) and you're left wondering how much time has passed. I was a bit confused for a while because there were flashbacks and inner thoughts and POV changes that were not seamless in the least. I found myself having to go back and reread because I wasn't completely for sure who in the hell was talking/thinking/doing-whatever. Speaking of characters ... there are 7 bazillion of them in this book. Thank goodness I was reading this on my Kindle and I could use the search option to go back and either find the character in previous chapters or figure out that this was yet another new character that I was going to not remember and have to look up later. I think that part of the problem was that these little secondary characters weren't made to seem significant enough to remember but then they were brought up every 37th page in the 2nd paragraph. Talk about irritating. I probably spent 1/3 of my reading time trying to figure out who the damn character was and how they were important to the story.
The story does pick up in the ending (and I'm talking the last 10 pages) but it's just not enough to redeem the other 400+ pages that you dragged your ass through just to get to "the good stuff". The story just felt unnecessarily long and bogged down. It felt heavy and (from the reader's perspective), I think that if 100 pages of dead weight was cut out, the story would pick up and it would be another jaw-dropping, heart-stopping, memorable creation by the great Lisa Jackson. Honestly, I may have lost a favorite author today. That's just too bad.
* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
** I received an advanced readers copy from Kensington via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**
This book just wasn't for me. I struggled and struggled to get through it and ended up giving up at the 50% mark. It was just a little too slow for my liking and it couldn't seem to catch my interest. There was too much inner dialogue and not enough action or movement on the pages to make me want to know more. I hate to give up on a book but I just couldn't do it. This was not the first book by this author for me and I did enjoy some of her other work so I won't let this stop me from reading some of her other work.
Oh dear...as a regular reader of Lisa Jackson I'm so disappointed to give this book just 3 stars. The plot sounds great, really interesting with a famous family of strong, gorgeous women set within the film industry. The first chapter was a little bit confusing and overly drawn out but ended up pretty exciting with a body double being shot with a supposedly fake gun. But after that things just didn't go as well as I would have hoped and expected from a classy writer like this. The plot was confusing, repetitive and I didn't really take to Cassie like I was supposed to. I read this in one sitting and was glad to get to the ending. I hate it when I don't enjoy a favourite authors book as writing a novel is such a huge achievement but felt this could have done with a stricter editing to tidy up the edges. A great idea but didn't really come to fruition in a positive way. I will still seek out future books by Lisa and hope that next time I won't be so disappointed. I received a copy of the book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.
On a movie set in Portland, Oregon, Director Dean Arnette is closing in on the final moments, the final scenes. Then the unexpected happens. A gun is fired. The body double is shot, and all hell breaks loose.
Two months later, Cassie Kramer has checked herself into the psychiatric wing of Mercy Hospital, where she struggles with what seem like hallucinations and blackouts. And to deal with the disappearance of her sister Allie, who was the star of the movie Dead Heat, and whose failure to appear on the day of the last filming had led to her double being shot.
Had someone targeted Allie? Was the shooting an accident, or had someone purposely changed the blanks for real bullets?
Police are all over the situation, beginning with the shooting of Lucinda Rinaldi, who survived, and focusing also on Allie’s disappearance. Had someone abducted her, or was she missing as some kind of publicity stunt?
After She’s Gone delves into the lives of a Hollywood family: Jenna Hughes, mother, and her two daughters, Cassie and Allie. Since Allie has become the star, the rivalry between the two of them has caused some to think Cassie may have done something to her sister. The family had also suffered terrifying events in the past when a stalker targeted them…so now Jenna and her husband Shane have relocated to Falls Crossing, Oregon.
Determined to find her sister and clear her own name, Cassie has checked into Mercy Hospital’s psychiatric unit, worried that her occasional blackouts might mean that she knows more than she realizes.
After leaving the hospital, Cassie flies back and forth between LA and Portland, trying to find answers, and knowing that there is something suspicious about almost everyone who knew her sister. Her behavior, while understandable, seemed frenetic and illogical at times.
Then there are the secrets that surfaced as the story came to a close. Secrets that finally revealed who has targeted the family...and why. The novel was a page turner that moved at a fast pace, although there were so many red herrings and characters to wonder about that sometimes it was hard to keep everything straight. As the final denouement approached, there were some last minute misdirections that kept me guessing until the last pages. 4 stars.
After She's Gone by Lisa Jackson is a highly recommended mystery/thriller.
After Cassie Kramer's younger sister Allie followed her to Hollywood, Allie proved to be more talented and driven than Cassie and her fame quickly took hold. Now Allie has disappeared right after her body double is nearly killed on the set of her latest film, Deep Heat, and Cassie, unable to handle the stress, has committed herself to a psychiatric hospital. Cassie was the last known person to talk to Allie and their sibling rivalry is well known. Cassie is a suspect in her sister's disappearance. Both sisters were in the movie; Cassie had a bit part while Allie was the star. Cassie checks herself out of the hospital after a couple days and makes it her mission to find Allie.
The family is no stranger to the problems that can arise with fame and the media coverage that can follow. Their mother is Jenna Hughes, a well-known, beloved former Hollywood actress. Ten years earlier a crazed fan nearly killed Jenna and Cassie. The event scarred Cassie. (Deep Freeze; 2005) Cassie does suffer from periods where she blacks out and loses track of time but is she capable of killing her own sister? Even though Allie can exasperate her and was seemingly after Cassie's husband, Trent, Cassie doesn't believe she could harm her.
It appears that this is going to be a fast paced mystery at the beginning, but even with the frantic maneuverings of the characters, the hectic speed is not coupled with a lot of progress. The plot is complex and the unraveling of the mystery is satisfying, but sometimes the pacing seemed a bit too slow. The character of Cassie is well developed and while you may sympathize with Cassie, you aren't necessarily going to like her for most of the book. (It does get better in the last half.) Allie is totally unsympathetic.
is one of those books that I enjoyed for the most part. It certainly would qualify for an airplane book. You should stay engaged in the story and hold your attention to the end. If I were giving stars it would be a 3.5.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Kensington via Netgalley for review purposes.
Complex. That is how I would describe this book. The plot in After She's Gone revolves around one huge mystery - Where is Allie Kramer? The author then layers that problem with the chaotic lives of several characters, including one crazy, evil and unknown person.
Cassie Kramer is in the center of all the drama because she and her sister were overly competitive with one another. The consensus is that Cassie was not as smart or talented as her sister, Allie and that Cassie probably had something to do with her disappearance. The trouble is Cassie suffers from these intense blackouts - so she has no clue what she is missing out on and if she did in fact harm her sister.
You quickly discover out that nothing about Cassie's life is easy. Her relationships are complicated because of her past and the blackouts. It leaves her feeling like she needs to avoids her mom and dad. Her friendships are superficial at best. And most importantly, her marriage to Trent is hanging on by a thread and she isn't sure that she wants to hold on any more.
So when she starts taking control of her life, you feel her empowerment. It's awesome. Her determination to figure out what happened to her sister propels the story forward at a fast face. You feel almost desperate to figure out who is behind the murders before anyone else is hurt. It is pretty thrilling.
After She's Gone was a bit dark (which I liked) and at times confusing (which was frustrating). The beginning was kind of jumbled and it was almost too much but I think that's because there was a combination of new character introduction plus the complicated plot. I struggled a couple of times sticking with it because I couldn't figure out exactly what was going on.
But here's the deal - I'm really glad that I did. Once I got into the story's flow and figured out who was who, I got sucked into the drama. It's suspenseful and entertaining. Overall, I would recommend After She's Gone, definitely check this romantic suspense novel out.
I'm not sure why, but I always forget about Lisa Jackson. I've read a couple of her books and I've always liked them. I am going to have to remember to put her on my list in the future. This book was crazy good!!! I was falling asleep, looked down and only had an hour and half to finish and still, I did not want to put it down. It was like 4:00 in the morning, but I had to know who the killer was.
As the morning drew closer and I kept looking down at how many more minutes I had left and my eyes kept dropping, I had to keep changing sitting positions. I was so mega tired, but I was determined. It definitely wasn't the story that was making me sleepy, it was the daggone turkey!!! Anyways, there were so many suspects! And the killer would come into the story and talk and I would try and figure out who it was. I just knew who it was, but of course, wrong again.
I would absolutely recommend this book. You've got a crazy sister, a missing sister, people are being murdered from their latest film and the creepiest were the set decorations from the wrap party. They were creepy, (yes, again), gaudy, distasteful and I did not even want to be there at that party even in my mind. A great and scary story with great characters that I thoroughly enjoyed reading!
I want to sincerely thank Kensington Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. I most absolutely enjoyed and recommend this title!!
I am late to the Lisa Jackson fan club but once I started reading her she has fast become one of my favorite authors. This is about sibling rivalry and two sisters both in the film industry. One sister has made in big and the other is always struggling to measure up. One of the sisters, Allie, does not show up for her filming and her body double is almost killed. Was Allie the intended target? Now she has disappeared and Cassie has to find her before she is blamed for her sister’s disappearance. As she tries to find her sister the murders that keep happening seem to be related to the attempt on the stand-in’s life and was it all tied into Allie. Great read. I would like to thank the publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this ARC.
It is very hard for me to give a bad review. I appreciate how hard it must be to write a novel, knowing that I would not be able to do it myself. Since I received a free copy from NetGalley/Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review, here are my thoughts. The plot of After She's Gone is great. Movie star Allie Kramer goes missing after her double gets shot at the set of her latest movie and her sister Cassie tries to find her. A whodunnit set in the film industry sounds great. Allie and Cassie have a complicated relationship plagued by sibling rivalry. Cassie did not make it in Hollywood and Allie is a superstar. Eventually, there are also gruesome murders tied to the sisters and their mother, former Hollywood star Jenna Kramer. Jenna and her girls were also abducted by a crazy fan ten years before. So the problem here is not the plot, but the execution. The book is repetitive to the extreme. At first, I liked the conversations that Cassie has with herself in her head. But after many, many pages, "I have to find Allie," "I am paranoid," "Stop it," it got a little tiresome. The same with most dialogs. She spends countless pages thinking that she needs to know what happened with her estranged husband and, when he finally tries to clear the air, several pages of "Let me explain"; "I don't want to hear it"; "Let me explain"; "I don't want to hear it"; I just wanted to yell at her husband: Just blurt it out and explain already! There are also many allusions to past events that eventually don't have any bearing on the present case, including the private life of the policewoman investigating the disappearance and the murders. Cassie spends many, many pages trying to interview people related to the investigation without learning anything at all. Yes, I know that's how whodunits work, but the conversations must provide clues. In this case, they are all buried amongst inane details such as the cars that the suspects are driving, how and where they park and how other drivers want their parking space. This could be a great thriller, it just needs a ruthless editor.
A special thank you to Kensington and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Nice Cover.
Lisa Jackson delivers a complex and dark mystery, AFTER SHE’S GONE, of two sisters. Where is Allie Kramer? Two sisters shared a dream which leads to madness.
Cassie is the oldest and Allie the younger into a world of Hollywood. One sister is murdered and the other becomes a suspect.
A crazed fan who nearly killed their mother, former Hollywood actress years earlier. Deep Freeze (2005). Even after this history, Cassie moves to LA and Allie followed. When they leave Oregon, Allie rises faster to the limelight. Then her body double gets shot on set and Allie goes missing.
Cassie appears to be a suspect and commits herself to a psychiatric hospital. Questioning her own sanity. Later she decides to leave, determined to find her sister.
A long- time fan of Jackson’s, this one was not my favorite. At times the pacing was slow; even though it has its thrilling and suspenseful moments, especially with the nightmares and the madness, at times it felt a little frustrating. If you can hang in there, the last part heats up some; however, never sizzled for me.
Recently I've gotten more into the whole Thriller/Mystery genre and the synopsis of this book looked good. I don't remember reading anything from Lisa Jackson before either, so it was also a good place to start I felt trying out this authors work.
After She's Gone starts off with a great opening chapter, I literally was sucked in. However it seemed to fizzle a bit and then gradually build up again. At times I didn't feel like this book was for me, I can't pin my finger on why. Usually I can put this down to me not liking a character, the detail or maybe just the writing style its self if its someone I've not read before. However, I was expecting a bit more from this story.
Cassie was an interesting character, not someone I loved but she's not wrote in such a manor that you will love her I felt.
There is some really great scenes in this book, but at times it felt things were repeated and I wanted to scream a little in frustration. Still a good amount of action and just the right amount of suspense.
I'll definitely look at other books by Lisa as I feel she may be a right fit for me, however After She's Gone wasn't a complete fit for me - if that makes sense? 3.5 stars.
This book was disappointing, to say the least, in several ways. First of all, shame on the publisher for poor editing eg. a television gets turned off twice on the same page! Plus, as other reviewers have mentioned, repetitiveness in both POV and wording. Is this done just to reach the number of required words?? Secondly, the story just spins in place for most of the book and the main character, Cassie, is not all that interesting. There isn't much new or thrilling here so don't bother and try other titles by Jackson. I am puzzled by the rather high ratings given this book as they just don't correspond with the disappointment reflected in the written reviews - just my opinion.
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)
Cassie Kramer and her younger sister, Allie, learned the hazards of fame long ago. Together, they’d survived the horror of a crazed fan who nearly killed their mother, former Hollywood actress Jenna Hughes. Still, Cassie moved to L.A., urging Allie to follow. As a team, they’d take the town by storm. But Allie, finally free of small-town Oregon, and just that little bit more beautiful, also proved to be more talented—and driven. Where Cassie got bit parts, Allie rose to stardom. But now her body double has been shot on the set of her latest movie—and Allie is missing. Police discover that the last call to Allie’s phone came from Cassie, though she has no recollection of making it. Instead of looking like a concerned relative, Cassie is starting to look like a suspect—the jealous sister who finally grew sick of playing a supporting role. As the tabloids go into a frenzy, Cassie ends up on a Portland psych ward. Is she just imagining the sinister figure who comes to her bedside, whispering about Allie—a visitor of whom there is no record? Is someone trying to help—or drive her mad? Convinced she’s the only one who can find Allie, Cassie checks herself out of the hospital. But a sudden slew of macabre murders— each victim masked with a likeness of a member of Cassie’s family—makes Cassie fear for her safety and her sanity. The only way to end the nightmare is to find out what really happened to Allie. And with each discovery, Cassie realizes that no one can be trusted to keep her safe—least of all herself…
I guess there comes a time in our reading lives where we just have to say "Enough already!" I really did enjoy Lisa Jackson's books for a long time but I think I am now at a point where I have read so many REALLY good crime novels that these sort of fare will be very rarely on the menu...
The main issues I had with this book were the pacing and the characters. The plot itself was fine and serviceable - certainly not a new idea, though - and did enough to make me finish it at least.
The story was so slow to do anything. It was loaded down with a lot of irrelevant information that did nothing for the story except drag it back. Just when you thought you were steering clear of the jumble, back it came in a hurry.
As for Cassie - well, she was just one of those characters you see them make fun of on TV: "Look behind you, LOOK BEHIND YOU!!!" Or, worse still, the type of character that does the most ridiculous things all the time and makes you scream at the book "What is wrong with you????" - but somehow, it all works out in the end...and that just isn't what I want from a lead character.
Overall, a decent enough idea but just filled with so much stuff that annoys me...
Although Cassie Kramer's character was a bit over the top I liked the book. After being kidnapped and almost killed 10 years before Cassie had blackouts. She became paranoid and wasn't able to distinguish fantasy from fact. The plot jumped from LA to Oregon and at times as a bit hard to follow. Overall though to me it had enough suspense to keep me interested and guessing until the last page.
I took a while to get into the books. There were too many characters and none were likeable. I’ve read the first book in this series a Long time ago and I liked it. Now I just can’t feel connected to Lisa’s writing style.
My mother-in-law got me into Lisa Jackson books and one of my all time favorites fall back reread books is one of hers, unfortunately this is not going to be one of those books. I enjoyed the mystery it's what keep me reading the book instead of just DNFing it. The first half of it is whiny and a mishmash of other Lisa Jackson books updated. Cassie is annoying, her heart is in the right place but the poor me attitude got old real quick. It did get better when Trent showed up and took control of Cassie. The detective wasn't any better, it alluded to a hard past but she was just to annoying for me to care about her past. Allie evidently suffers from affluenza, she thinks everyone owes her something and nothing his her fault; she's a narcissistic bitch who got off lightly in the end. Trent is the only main character I liked.
After She's Gone is the third book in Lisa Jackson's Northwest series, it is a direct sequel to her 2005 release Deep Freeze which centers on actress Jenna Hughes and Sheriff Shane Carter. Cassie and Allie survived the events of the previous book only for it to screw up their lives. Cassie tries to escape by moving to L.A. to become an actress only to suck at it. Allie fought for her mother's attention and was jealous of all the attention Cassie got after the attack and growing up the daughter of Jenna Hughes she felt she was in constant competition with both her mother and sister. But after she moved to L.A. at Cassie's insistence Allie became famous. Cassie jealous of her sister's easy ability to act, gave it up and found screenwriting was more her thing. Because of Allie's easy start to stardom Cassie felt jealous and became even more self conscience with anything pertaining to Allie, especially when it came to Cassie's own husband.
There is an accident on set, the actress who was shot was originally supposed to be Allie. But now Allie is missing and Cassie had a nervous breakdown and admitted herself into a psychiatric hospital. But the longer Allie is gone the more worried Cassie gets and an ominous visit from an old timie nurse gives Cassie the kick in the butt she needs to find out what's going on. The longer Allie is gone the more police think Cassie did it especially after she is seen with an actress the night before she was murdered. Two dead, one almost paralyzed and one still MIA and Cassie is at the top of the suspect list. Thankfully she has her mother, stepfather, and Trent to lend a hand and support her in her need to find Allie. But what they discover is even more shocking than anything they had to deal with before.
Overall, I kept reading because the mystery was good, I was only half right in my initial guess. The characters, except for Trent, Jenna and Shawn, were all so shallow you just didn't care what happened to them.
Ein neues Buch von Lisa Jackson heißt ein neues Buch für mich, besonders dann, wenn es auch noch in Hollywood an einem Filmset spielt:
Am Set des Hollywood-Blockbusters »Dead Heat« wird die finale Szene gedreht: Die Jagd auf die flüchtende Heldin endet laut Drehbuch mit einem tödlichen Schuss. Der Schuss fällt, die Heldin stürzt zu Boden – doch sie steht nicht mehr auf. Das Double, das in letzter Sekunde einspringen musste, scheint tot und die berühmte Hollywood-Schauspielerin Allie Kramer spurlos verschwunden. Weil ihr das von ihrer älteren Schwester Cassie umgeschriebene Ende nicht gefiel, oder weil sie ahnte, dass sie in eine tödliche Falle tappen würde? Cassie, die seit dem Übergriff eines Fans psychisch angeschlagen ist, setzt alles daran, Allie zu finden. Doch als bizarre Morde an weiteren Set-Mitarbeitenden verübt werden, gerät sie selbst unter Tatverdacht …
Wie Anfangs bereits erwähnt entführt uns Lisa Jackson in die glamouröse Welt von Hollywood, wo man schneller Sein Leben verlieren kann als man denkt. Die Prämisse des Thrillers hat mich eigentlich direkt angesprochen und der Anfang war auch wirklich interessant, danach wurde die Story für mich etwas zu konfus. Es gab extrem viele Charaktere und verschiedene Blickwinkel die beleuchtet wurden, sodass ich teilweise den Überblick darüber verloren habe, wer wer ist. Es gibt immer wieder Hinweise auf etwas, das vor 10 Jahren geschehen ist, das wird aber so oft wiederholt, dass es die Geschichte in die Länge gezogen hat.
Die Protagonistin Cassie fand ich eigentlich ganz interessant, auch wenn sie oftmals fragwürdige Entscheidungen trifft, die ich nicht nachvollziehen konnte. Aber im Laufe der Geschichte wird die Beziehung der beiden Schwestern näher beleuchtet und das Leben der Familie, wobei einige interessante Tatsachen ans Licht kommen. Gerade die komplizierte Beziehung der beiden hätte man noch intensiver ausleuchten können, da dieser Aspekt am interessantesten war, gerade auch in Bezug auf Hollywood. Abgesehen von Cassie ist mir aber niemand wirklich im Gedächtnis geblieben, was an der eingangs erwähnten Masse an Personen liegt.
Der Schreibstil ist gewohnt flüssig und spannend, dennoch verliert die Geschichte immer wieder an Schwung, da es zu viele Wiederholungen einiger Dinge gibt. Der Täter wird erst relativ spät entlarvt, was mir ja immer gut gefällt, auch wenn die Auflösung etwas weit hergeholt ist.
Insgesamt hatte ich mir etwas mehr von der Geschichte erwartet. Dabei ist die Idee wirklich gut, allerdings hatte man die Geschichte ruhig etwas mehr straffen können. Showdown ein solider Thriller nicht mehr und nicht weniger und landet damit im oberen Mittelfeld.
A mystery thriller that takes sister competition to a whole another level. Cassie Kramer and her younger sister, Allie have the average love/hate relationship. Their mother made her fame in the movies until a vicious attack on her and her youngest daughter sent her packing out of LA to the quiet of Washington state. Her daughters have followed in her footsteps in the movie business. Allie a popular actress making a un upcoming thriller and her oldest daughter a screenwriter. When the movie takes a tragedy and Allie goes missing, does it become a publicity stunt or something more sinister. Cassie has her own demons with a broken marriage and checking herself into "head" hospital, she becomes frantic for her missing sister. Checking herself out of the hospital, she does a little detective work on her own to find out what happened. In searching for her sister, several crew members of the movie become fatal victims of a vicious attack that link her sister and her mother to the murders.
The book starts in pretty intense but then the intensity kind of dies out until the very end. I felt like at times I was going in circles with the plot instead of forward. The intensity was the descriptive narrative of the perp and the frame of mind. Intensity was good; going in circles not so good.
A Special Thank You to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.