Review: She Died Famous by Kyle Rutkin

Published by Greater Path LLC


A gripping psychological thriller about iconic superstar, Kelly Trozzo, and her suspected killer, the author she commissioned to pen her shocking Hollywood memoir.

A Star is Born meets Gone Girl, in this dark and twisted love story with an unforgettable conclusion.

The headline read: “Hollywood Superstar Kelly Trozzo Found Dead.”

With no suspect in custody, authorities turn their attention to best-selling author Kaleb Reed, whose obsessive relationship with the star has been followed by social media and tabloids alike.

In his online confession, Reed claims that his relationship with Trozzo began with a tweet, an unexpected endorsement from the pop star herself. Almost overnight, Reed’s novel garners national attention, and the reclusive writer is thrust into the spotlight. But according to Reed, the endorsement came with a price.

In the days that follow, Reed is invited to Trozzo’s Los Angeles mansion, where he is solicited to write her memoir. Lured by her physical appeal and charisma, Reed delves further and further into Trozzo’s fantasy world, ensnared by a twisted story of betrayal and vengeance.

On the night of Trozzo’s death, Reed finally discovers his true role in this story, as well as the pop star’s alternative ending to his famous novel—one that leads to his arrest.

Set in Hollywood, She Died Famous is an innovative thriller that exposes the dark side of fame and obsession in today’s digital landscape. The story’s shocking twists and unreliable narrator will have every reader asking: Who killed Kelly Trozzo?

My lingering impression of this book is that all of the characters are a bunch of bastards.

They’re all selfish, obsessive and destructive – they burn too bright as they race towards whatever it is they want, regardless of who it hurts. They’re masters at rationalising their actions to make them seem less self serving and awful but really, they are just a bunch of bastards.

So many vices, selfish behaviours and untreated mental illnesses that they inflict on each other and thrive on.

I love the format of this book, with the chapters bouncing between time frames, narrators and styles – each one is as unreliable as the last and it’s only at the end that you get a taste of the truth.

Kelly Trosso is a celebrity who inspires her fans and demands their complete loyalty – the book opens shortly after her death and we learn that her lover is on the run. We have to wade through all of these accounts to get to the truth of what happened to her and what led to her death.

Though I did find the pacing a little slow, it was a good representation of the self indulgent attitude of the characters. This is by no means a feel-good book, it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth but at the same time – you can’t stop yourself from turning the pages and seeing how the other half lives.

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