Ashton Keller has spent the last four years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. He returns to Gilt Hollow to reclaim his good name and Willow, the girl he left behind. But you know that they say, you can never go home again….This tale of murder, mystery and betrayal in a small town will keep you on the edge of your seat.
From the book flap:
Willow Lamott’s best friend is a convicted killer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. Over four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow Lamott stepped back into his life. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton wonders if his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves.
Overall: Gilt Hollow is a well crafted revenge thriller. It’s dark, gritty, slightly Gothic at times and definitely suspenseful. The premise isn’t a few one: boy is wrongly accused of a crime, boy is locked away from family and friends, boy gets out to seek revenge and clear his name. However, in Landgon’s version, the boy is complex, the crime is murky and the life he seeks to return to might not have been all that great to begin with.
Gilt Hollow is a thriller, so no spoilers. But trust me when I say that as you read this book, your alliances will shift as you try to figure out who’s the hero and who’s the villain.
Judge a Book by its Cover: Although the story centers around Ashton’s return to Gilt Hollow, this is just as much the story of Willow, the best friend he left behind. Ashton comes home to find his awkward tomboy bestie is now one very attractive senior. The cover of Gilt Hollow shows Willow and a mysterious figure in the background. But is the man looming a friend or a foe?
Body Count: Gilt Hollow begins with a body count of 1, the victim of the crime that lands Ashton behind bars. But that number may increase as Ashton digs deeper into what really happened the night Daniel Turano died.
The Chosen One: This isn’t a fantasy, so Ashton Keller isn’t “the chosen one”. He is however the Golden Boy- or rather he was until he ruined the Keller family name with a murder scandal. Ashton goes from being the richest, most popular boy in town to being an outcast. If you survive a fall from grace that far, the climb back up can kill you.
He Said/She Said:
Bizarre Love Triangle: There is definitely a love triangle thing happening here. Willow has just started to date the very cute and like-able Brayden when Ashton unexpectedly returns to town. Obviously Willow also has some unresolved feelings for her old bestie. But the really interesting love triangle isn’t between Willow, Brayden and Ashton. It’s between Willow, the Ashton she remembers from their care-free days as kids and the adult Ashont who has returned from four years behind bars. Willow isn’t sure if she can reconcile the two versions of Ashton or if she should let them both go in favor of a fresh start with someone new. Watching Willow and Ashton try to find their way back to friendship (and maybe onto something more) is just as thrilling as figuring out what happened the night of Daniel’s murder.
Don’t Believe the Hype: I love a good suspense and Gil Hollow did not disappoint. Langdon really gives the residents of Gilt Hollow backstories that create conflict, motive and intrigue. You won’t want to put this book down until you’ve unraveled all it’s mysteries.
Open tab/Last call: I felt no guilt about staying up way past my bedtime to read Gilt Hollow! The bar tab stay open for you, Lori Langdon. May I suggest we start with an Irish Coffee from Gino’s Cappuccinos? I need the caffeine!
Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon releases September 27, 2016. Published by Blink, 341 pages.
Bonus: Want to know how Gilt Hollow came to be? Let Lorie Langdon tell you all about it.