Blacklist by Alyson Noel
Summary from Goodreads:
Layla Harrison has finally found herself in the middle of a celebrity story worth reporting. Aster Amirpour’s name is in every tabloid—even if it isn’t the good kind of publicity she hoped for. Tommy Phillips is inches away from getting the girl of his dreams, which may be harder than scoring a VIP ticket to an Unrivaled nightclub.
But Layla, Aster and Tommy never imagined it would be because they’re entangled in the disappearance of Madison Brooks—a story that’s blinded the world like a starlet blinded by the flash of a paparazzi camera.
Now, Layla is receiving mysterious messages from an anonymous source, Aster’s looming murder trial is so huge even her parents’ lawyer can’t save her, Tommy is retracing his steps as the last person Madison saw alive, and Layla’s ex Mateo finds himself lured into the fold.
You can dig up dirt about celebrities that the tabloids miss if you search long enough. But when Layla, Aster, and Tommy team up with an unsuspecting insider to unearth the truth, they’ll find that some secrets are best kept in the grave.
I still don’t like this cover, but fortunately I didn’t let that interfere with my enjoyment of the book. It is unusual for a mystery to go farther than one book, at least in my experience. They are usually stand alone stories, even the ones where the detective is the same, the mystery is solved by the end of the book. The detective’s life may continue on in the series, but usually they can be read as a single story. This series is different in that the mystery of what happened to Madison continues in this book, although it sometimes takes a back seat the main character’s own lives.
I still really enjoyed reading about each of the characters from the first book. I especially liked seeing Tommy accomplish some of his goals. Aster is still annoying, but I can’t help but feel sorry for her. She has been set up to take the fall for Madison’s disappearance, but we still don’t know who or why her. I still like Layla as well, although I have issues with the way she treats Tommy. We also have a few new voices being added in the story. Although we met Mateo in the last book he is a fresh voice in this one, and he gets involved in the LA scene for the right reasons. I just hope that he can maintain his sweetness and doesn’t get destroyed by it. We also get to see more and hear more from Trena Moretti, an older reporter who is out to advance her career on the tragedy of others. She was also in the last book, but I don’t think we heard from her perspective as much as we do here.
The setting of LA is still great, although we don’t see as much of the glittery nightclub scene this time around. The mystery of what happened to Madison is still the main story, and we get glimpses of what happened to her from her point of view, but the who and why part is still a mystery. Layla, Tommy, Aster and Ryan, all try to figure it out, but only get themselves in deeper and into more trouble.
A solid second part to this three part series. It was hard to put down, and I still like the chapter titles which are really song titles. They are a nice touch. I also like that I have not yet figured out the conspiracy behind Madison’s abduction, and so I will be itching to see how it all works out in the next book. Here is a video by Epic Reads for the second book.