Wednesday, April 30, 2008

TRASHED by Alison Gaylin

The Book: Alison Gaylin, TRASHED. Obsidian, 2007 (first edition). Inscribed by the author. Fine condition.
First read: 2007
Owned since: 2007

It's Alison's birthday, so she gets today's post. TRASHED is her third book, but her first to be published in hardcover.

Alison's an example of just how small my world is. I might have met her because she's a member of my friend Karen Olson's group blog, First Offenders; I might have met her because she was my cousin Kathleen's college roommate. Or I might just have met her because I really like her books.

TRASHED is the story of aspiring journalist Simone Glass, who arrives in Los Angeles with big dreams -- and winds up working for a supermarket tabloid. Digging through a starlet's garbage, she finds a blood-stained shoe that's evidence in a recent murder. Just because she's working for a trashy magazine doesn't mean she can't be a good reporter, though; Simone follows the clues to a psychopathic serial killer, and almost gets killed herself along the way.

It's damn hard to write a lighter mystery that doesn't minimize the horrors of murder or insult the reader's intelligence; Alison pulls this off by empathizing with each of her characters, and never letting anyone be just a cartoon. I finished this book with a new respect for the tabloids, or at least an excuse to buy the occasional copy of the Star.

Five Random Songs

"Love Will Tear Us Apart," Honeyroot. I keep adding covers of this song -- I'm up to six, and just found another I need to download. This one is piano-based and elegiac.

"Big House," Michael Penn. From his stellar debut, MARCH. This is great L.A. driving music.

"Now I'm Here," Queen. It's on Greatest Hits I & II, but I hadn't heard it until I picked up this collection. I still don't recognize it; I had to look at the display to see what this was.

"Win Your Love for Me," Sam Cooke. Everybody cha-cha!

"Something Funny," Lucky Stiff company. The opening number of the musical I produced last year.

1 comment:

Linda Brown said...

I still believe I got out of jury duty because I was sitting in the jury pool, reading this book, chortling, and emailing Alison from my Blackberry.

What a fun read (my connection to TMZ aside)!