Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead by Jenny Hollander – Book Review

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead by Jenny Hollander – Book Review

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead by Jenny Hollander

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead

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Nine years ago, Charlie Colbert’s life changed for ever.

On Christmas Eve, as the snow fell, her elite graduate school was the site of a chilling attack. Several of her classmates died. Charlie survived.

Years later, Charlie has the life she always wanted at her fingertips: she’s editor-in-chief of a major magazine and engaged to the golden child of the publishing industry.

But when a film adaptation of that fateful night goes into production, Charlie’s dark past threatens to crash into her shiny present.

Charlie was named a ‘witness’ in the police reports. Yet she knows she was much more than that.

The truth about that night will shatter everything she’s worked for. Just how far will she go to protect it?

Review by Stacey

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead is the compelling debut thriller from author Jenny Hollander. The book is set in two time periods, Then and Now and the premise revolves around a tragic event known as the Scarlet Christmas, a chilling murder that transpired on Christmas Eve within the confines of a university campus.

At the heart of the story lies our protagonist, Charlotte (Charlie) Colbert, a survivor of that harrowing night. Now ten years on a film is in the process of being made based on the events that could shatter Charlie’s new life which she has managed to create for herself with the help of her partner, therapist, and perfect-looking job. However, she holds a secret about that night, one she doesn’t ever want to get out and she needs to stop this film being made.

The book is a thrilling read. I’m usually wary of timelines jumping back and forth as they can detract from the pace of the story, however, the author managed the dual timelines seamlessly. I had plenty of ideas floating around in my head wondering what Charlie could have done that made her feel so guilty, none were what actually happened and to be honest, my thoughts were far worse than the real reason.

I enjoyed the build-up and the need to know what happened which didn’t come until quite late into the plot. I also found Charlie’s therapy sessions fabulous to read about but I struggled with the characters as none came across as likeable, or a person you could root for, though, perhaps this is intentional.

Overall, Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead is an engaging read that was gripping in parts and weaved suspense and intrigue throughout.

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Jenny Hollander

Jenny Hollander

Hi! I’m Jenny, a writer and editor from London. My debut novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, was published by St. Martin’s Press (US) and Little, Brown (UK) on February 6, 2024.

My work has been featured in ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Bustle, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. I spent ten years in New York, where I worked as a senior editor for Bustle and the deputy editor at Marie Claire. Now the digital director for Marie Claire, I live in London with my husband and our rescue dog, Captain.

When I’m not knee-deep in Google Analytics, an edit, or a manuscript, I’m a fierce advocate for developmental coordination disorder, known in the U.K. as dyspraxia, which I was diagnosed with when I was nine.

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