Hall of Fame Review: Taking Hollywood by Shari King (5/5)

Thursday 14 August 2014


In front of a galaxy of stars, three young film makers accept their Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Davie Johnston, Zander Leith and Mirren McLean, childhood friends from a rough housing estate in Glasgow, have taken Hollywood by storm.

Only they know what they did to get there...


Twenty years later Davie Johnston is the top host and reality show producer in town. Mirren McLean is a respected writer and movie director and Zander Leith is box office gold. But they haven't spoken to each other in twenty years, their relationships devastated by one horrific secret.

Thousands of miles away, in a town where nothing is as it seems, a young ambitious journalist discovers a tantalizing story from the past. Tinsel Town beckons. She is determined to expose the kind of scandalous drama that usually only happens in the movies.

I've wanted to read this book ever since I saw the cover a few months ago so I was very excited to receive a review copy. My favourite author is Jackie Collins and if you removed the author's name from the front of this book you would instantly think it was a Collins novel from the fantastic cover. The book has also been endorsed by Jackie herself so I was even more excited to read it. I went into it with very high expectations and I'm glad to say it did not disappoint.

The book encompasses everything I look for in a book like this. Mystery: our three main characters Zander Leith, Mirren McLean and Davie Johnston each share a secret. A secret that at first bound them together but ultimately drew them apart. Scandal: each of our main characters experiences their own scandal which sees the start of their lives falling apart around them in dramatic fashion. Straightaway as a reader I was desperate to know what the secret was. We learn more about our three characters by going back in time to when they first met in Scotland until we eventually learn their secret. It's jaw dropping... Meanwhile in Scotland an ambitious young journalist is on the hunt for the story that will make her career. She arrives in LA determined to uncover the trios secret. I loved that we got to see LA through the eyes of somebody who wasn't a part of that world and wondered how long it would take before she got sucked in to it too.

Of course our three main characters have friends, family, children, managers, lovers, enemies and all are brought together to make one hell of an eventful story. Books like these are so action packed that it's impossible to discuss the plot, all I can say is that it's good. Really good. There's so many plot twists and shocking developments your brain may struggle to keep up but it's such an enjoyable read. Jackie Collins says she writes about real people and has to tone her stories down or they would just be too unbelievable. Is that the case here? Ross King must certainly have his fair share of secrets stored in his head. We know he doesn't dish the dirt on his friends but that's not to say he hasn't picked up a juicy tidbit or two along the way and you do have to wonder about certain characters and storylines...

Los Angeles is a city full of fake people looking out for themselves and nobody else and yet it has always been fascinating to outsiders. Some people will seemingly do anything to be a part of that world, but once you are in it is incredibly easy to fall in with the wrong crowd, get caught up in it all and ultimately have your life destroyed and not only that have it splashed all over the media for your so called friends and enemies to take some perverse pleasure out of as our three characters learn in this book. You can't trust anybody in LA and that's definitely the case here.

There's a whole lot of name dropping and place dropping but to be honest I read these books for the glamour, the bitchiness, the over the top storylines and the outrageous situations the characters find themselves in. We get all of those things here and then some. The best word to describe this book is addictive. Addictive and almost impossible to put down. The writing is fantastic, very bitchy in places with some fabulously cutting remarks and one liners. I have no hesitation in recommending this book. It will keep you guessing right the way up to the book's fantastic finale. It is the perfect Summer read featuring a story you will not want to end. I would love to see more from this writing duo in the future and given that Ross says this is the first in a trilogy I think we will!

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