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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Debut Novel in P.I. Series an Intriguing Beginning

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Twenty-eight years ago, Clea Spector got into a strange blue car and was never seen again.  Her sister, Brenna, has never gotten over the loss.  Ever since Clea disappeared, she has been both blessed and cursed with Hyperthymestic Syndrome.  With perfect clarity, Brenna can recall everything she has ever experienced since age 11.  While her neurological disorder is helpful in her work as a private investigator, it's not the easiest thing to cope with on a day-to-day basis.  Brenna has learned how to harness her flawless memory to help her find missing persons and yet, she still can't figure out what happened to Clea.  

In the meantime, Brenna is called in to help with the case of Carol Wentz, a 51-year-old woman, who has vanished.  Oddly enough, Carol once lived next door to Iris Neff, a 6-year-old who walked away from a family barbecue eleven years ago and disappeared.  She's been obsessed with the case ever since.  Brenna knows the feeling.  Like Clea's unsolved case, Iris' continues to haunt the P.I.  As Brenna tries to figure out what happened to Carol, she discovers strange connections between the neighbors' disappearances.  What do these new clues mean?  Can Brenna find the missing persons before it's too late?

And She Was—the first book in Alison Gaylin's mystery series starring Brenna Spector—offers an intriguing, twisty plot that kept me glued to its pages.  I also enjoyed the characters in this one; not all of them are likeable, but all of them are interesting.  Brenna is both.  She's a brave, funny, and real heroine whose unique disorder makes for interesting reading.  Gaylin's a skilled thriller writer, one I'm just discovering.  Since I've enjoyed both the books I've read by her so far, I'm definitely up for more.  I'll for sure be continuing with the Brenna Spector series as well as checking out Gaylin's standalone novels.

(Readalikes:  Um, no specific series or authors are coming to mind.  Help!)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, and blood/gore

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of And She Was from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. I'm so glad you talked about this book, Susan! I've noticed it and others in by this author for many years, but have yet to pick one up. I honestly love hearing about authors that have been around for a while. Definitely keeping this one in mind.

    1. I'm not sure where I heard about Alison Gaylin, but I'm really enjoying her books. I'll be interested -- as always -- to see what you think of them!

  2. I read a book very recently about someone with total recall. It was not a blessing to the person in the story. This series and author is new to me so thanks for the update.

    1. Really? Brenna's syndrome and how it affects her life is definitely the thing I found most intriguing about this book. I'm not sure I've read another novel about total recall. It's fascinating!

  3. Oh, yay. Another good series to try. I've never heard of Hyperthymestic Syndrome, but it sounds interesting. (P.S. Hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving, Susan!) :D

  4. I do enjoy a good PI story; it's a nice change from the regular thrillers.


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