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Trashed    by Alison Gaylin order for
by Alison Gaylin
Order:  USA  Can
New American Library, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Meet Simone Glass. She is a 'young and cute' graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism. Now she has landed in Los Angeles, and Simone - desperate for a job as a reporter - finds herself working for Asteroid, one of the more notorious tabloids whose reporters will stop at nothing for the sake of a story; in fact, the Asteroid's mantra is simple: 'Anything is possible.'

So, with obsessive curiosity and hard-headed ambition, Simone is determined to do whatever it takes to succeed (even as an Asteroid reporter), even if it involves digging through people's trash - both literally and figuratively.

When Nia Lawson, a famous soap star, dies of a suspicious suicide, and when Simone discovers one of the dead woman's expensive shoes (a Jimmy Choo stiletto) in another Hollywood star's garbage, Simone begins to realize she has the preliminary pieces of what might become a sizzling story for Asteroid.

While digging deeper into the curious appearance of the dead woman's silver stiletto in another woman's trash, Simone is stunned to find out that the second Hollywood vixen and owner of the trash (with the shoe), Emerald Deegan, has suddenly turned up dead (in what appears to be another more-than-suspicious suicide). Well, quicker than you can say 'follow the yellow brick road,' Simone realizes that she is on the trail of a full-blown mystery - one that seems more like two murders rather than coincidental suicides.

Determined to get the story, Simone digs her way into a complicated and duplicitous world of Hollywood gossip, artificial personalities, sordid secrets, shady indiscretions, and - most dangerous of all - murderous passions. Simone winds up embroiled head-over-heels in a fast-paced, ten-day-adventure that will change her entire life. In fact, as the not-so-coincidental body-count in Hollywood begins to escalate out of control, Simone will find that knowing who to trust is a very big problem, and even her life is very much in danger.

Trashed is a top-notch mystery that is full of surprises and excitement. Written by EdgarŽ Award finalist Alison Gaylin, a wonderfully talented author who knows how to keep readers fully enmeshed in her quirky but well-designed plots, Trashed follows on the heels of Gaylin's excellent Hide Your Eyes and You Kill Me. Pure entertainment with a delightful protagonist, Trashed is most highly recommended.

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