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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

4/5 Review: After She's Gone by Lisa Jackson





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…


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This was truly a strong suspense novel. I realize that it's billed as a "romantic suspense" but trust me there is hardly any romance to be found in these pages so those of you that are scared off by the idea of romance will be safe in picking up this title. There were a lot of character's but I don't think there were so many that one could not keep track of what was going on. Really I feel that each character did play it's part in the telling of the story. The story line was excellent and the characters carried with them enough baggage to help you understand their actions. The suspense was awesome and kept me guessing until the very end.

This novel is everything I enjoy about reading: characters who act their age, romance that seems natural and realistic, a mystery that makes you change you mind about "whodunnit" a dozen times before it is revealed, high stakes, I could go on and on.

I like that the characters had a past. It sounds complicated, but it helps the reader follow the story, rather than complicate everything by throwing in flash backs. I have read plenty of novels by this author, and she has a definite style. Even the novels she writes with her equally talented sister, Nancy Bush, there is a definite difference, although it does not distract from the story. I think I only notice because I have read novels by both sisters. On a related note, HUSH by Nancy Bush is awesome. The genre is the same, and it's a great novel.

Lisa Jackson writes lengthy books, so you get a lot for the price. The only drawback is that some of her books can drag in places, but never for long, and it always goes somewhere. She had a few series that I recommend, although my all time favorite books of hers are the ones set in Oregon.

The twists and turns in this book are hard to predict and keep things very unsettling. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, you’re wrong. I was on the edge of my seat until the very end. It’s been awhile since I have read a suspense novel this good. The characters are very well written and I was truly invested in what happens to them. Leah portrays a strong woman that fights very hard to regain her footing after spending the past 4 years still looking over her shoulder. Cassie Kramer is our heroine, who is the daughter of former well known Hollywood actress. Cassie and her sister, Allie tried to follow in their mother’s footsteps, with Allie becoming a star. Cassie  decides that she is the only one able to find her sister. I just may have to go back and read the other books in the series to get to know them better.