HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE by Kellye Garrett
A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release date: August 8th 2017
Dayna Anderson doesn’t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn’t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash.
But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim’s life, she wants more than just reward money. She’s determined to find the poor woman’s killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious Hollywood crime spree, Dayna chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second—until someone tries to kill her.
And there are no second takes in real life.
Hollywood Homicide was a really fun, quick read and is the perfect cure for a book slump. I read about half of this in one sitting before bed and the other half the following morning. The writing is addictive, the plot is engaging, the setting is great and the characters are loveable.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book upon starting. None of my friends had read it and so I wasn’t entirely sure I’d end up liking it. I saw this on Netgalley a few months ago and thought I’d request it- I wasn’t expecting to be approved for it. As I mentioned above, Hollywood Homicide was a really fun and quick read. I wouldn’t say it has the best writing I’ve ever read, but the writing is certainly addictive and just what I needed. The main character in this book is 27, if I remember correctly, though this book very much reads like a YA. Before getting to the part that said Dayna was 27, I honestly thought the book was a YA book. It’s easy to follow along and the dialogue was realistic, however I’m not sure I’ve ever met anybody who actually speaks in acronyms (e.g. saying “IDK” instead of “I don’t know”).
Another flaw in the writing was the use of fatphobic and gender binary language. There were a few fatphobic lines that I feel really weren’t necessary to the story or the scene, and the amount of cisnormative lines were also really annoying and unnecessary. There as also a line that said “Behold boys, girls and boy-girls,” which honestly seems offensive. (EDIT: I’ve been informed by the author that this particular line has been remoced from the final copies). Furthermore, there was plenty of ableist language, and one line in particular that stuck out to me: “It took me five minutes before I found an anorexic spot.” This was talking about a car space, and I think it would’ve been entirely possible to say the spot was a tight spot rater than using anorexic as a descriptor.
Apart from the writing, I didn’t really have many other problems with the book. The plot kept me guessing, mostly because the main character didn’t really know what was happening half the time either. We went through so many different suspects, but each of them did make sense. I do admit that the ending felt a tiny bit rushed, but overall I think the plot was good. Seeing as this is the first in a series, I’m excited to watch the plot develop throughout the sequels.
I wasn’t sure how much I’d like Dayna as a character upon starting, but I found myself really liking her at the end. Dayna’s character was smart and determined, and I admired her courage in confronting numerous murder suspects. One thing I find in a lot of mystery novels, however, is I can’t help getting annoyed at certain points in a story. There was on particular scene where Dayna thought someone was breaking into a house, and when the owner of the house got home, the police were called. But, the police were taking too long for Dayna and so she decided to run up to the house and try to warn the owner. I feel like Dayna was putting herself in reckless positions sometimes and that even though she was investigating the crime, she had no formal training and could have been seriously hurt. That was one of the things I liked about her friends- they were open to helping her, but they were reminding her of the dangers of what she was doing. I hope to see some more of Emme in the sequels!
Overall, I recommend this book if you’re looking for a quick, fun mystery novel. Although I had some problems with the writing and decisions characters made, I thought the plot was good and it was an overall addictive read. I’ll probably be reading future books in this series to see how they improve!
Thanks for reading!