Book Review: The Rise
When we bury our secrets, they always come back to haunt us...
Their rise was meteoric.
Only a few years before, they had been three friends from Glasgow, trying to survive in a world of danger and dysfunction.
Suddenly they were thrust on to the world’s biggest stage, accepting an Oscar in front of the watching world.
That night was the beginning of their careers. But it was the end of their friendships.
Over the next twenty years, Mirren McLean would become one of the most powerful writers in the industry.
Zander Leith would break box-office records as cinema’s most in-demand action hero.
And Davie Johnson would break the bank, raking in millions as producer of some of the biggest shows on TV.
For two decades they didn’t speak, driven apart by a horrific secret.
Their past is coming back to bite them, and they have to decide whether to run, hide, or fight.
Because when you rise to the top, there’s always someone who wants to see you fall… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)
Reading The Rise felt like watching an exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary detailing the dark side of Hollywood, and I was 100% invested! I appreciated that each main character had their own tale to tell, giving us a viewpoint into the lives that Davie, Mirren and Zander lead two decades after their friendship disbanded. It was also helpful to have past flashbacks, providing a lot more background into the circumstances surrounding the reasons behind the three of them going their own separate ways. I would read a chapter and tell myself I needed to take a break to tend to other things, but then I’d plow through one more chapter…and then another…it really was that riveting!
I’m not always a big fan of celebrity name-dropping unless it’s done right, and it worked so well here. It felt like Zander fit right in with other A-listers, and that Davie is a household name, and Mirren is a bestselling author. The pages dripped with Tinseltown and the type of drama one can only expect from Hollywood, all of it believable. Yet everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s within the humble roots in Glasgow that the foundation is set for what that will eventually mean for the three of them. As painful as it could be at times to read about the experiences suffered, I was drawn into that 80s world, rooting for the successes I knew were on the horizon. Mourning the loss of innocence.
The writing style flowed so easily, with an acerbic quality that really matched the eras and the characters. It was also a unique touch to add song titles to the start of every chapter, setting the tone for what was to come. No one broke character–Davie is the loveable everyman whose survival tactics involve being exactly who each and every person expects him to be, molding and bending to fit society’s needs, while Zander knows just how to stand and cock his head on the red carpet, hand in pocket, the perfect grin meant to capture hearts. Mirren has proven herself as one of the top writers in her field, fully aware of what it means to live in Tinseltown, but she thinks she’s so far above it, even though she’s not. When they are thrust into having to relive their past and the buried secrets that none of them want brought to light, the newfound layers of their youth is then added on to their current personas, changing them but never changing the core of who they are.
I had no choice but to be sucked into The Rise, and I’m glad for it. What a crazy, wild five-star ride!
Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.
Shari Low and Ross King MBE is a writing partnership forged in a friendship of over thirty years. Scottish author Shari is the bestselling writer of over thirty novels including bestsellers My One Month Marriage, One Summer Sunrise, and The Story of our Secrets. Los-Angeles-based Ross King is a four times news Emmy award-winning TV and radio host, actor, producer, writer and performer, and is currently the Los Angeles correspondent for ITV’s Lorraine and Good Morning Britain. They are publishing their Hollywood thriller trilogy with Boldwood, starting with The Rise.
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