Read And She Was by Alison Gaylin Online


On a summer afternoon in 1998, six-year-old Iris Neff walked away from a barbecue in her small suburban town . . . and vanished.Missing persons investigator Brenna Spector has a rare neurological disorder that enables her to recall every detail of every day of her life. A blessing and a curse, it began in childhood, when her older sister stepped into a strange car never toOn a summer afternoon in 1998, six-year-old Iris Neff walked away from a barbecue in her small suburban town . . . and vanished.Missing persons investigator Brenna Spector has a rare neurological disorder that enables her to recall every detail of every day of her life. A blessing and a curse, it began in childhood, when her older sister stepped into a strange car never to be seen again, and it’s proven invaluable in her work. But it hasn’t helped her solve the mystery that haunts her above all others—and it didn’t lead her to little Iris. When a local woman, Carol Wentz, disappears eleven years later, Brenna uncovers bizarre connections between the missing woman, the long-gone little girl . . . and herself....

Title : And She Was
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061878206
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 355 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

And She Was Reviews

  • Li'l Owl
    2019-02-04 09:50

    Wow! Alison Gaylin is brilliant!This is the first book in the Brenna Spector series and I'm so glad I already have the next two, Into the Dark and Stay With Me in my library. Hyperthymestic Syndrome is an exceedingly rare condition in which a person has the ability to recall any date and remember everything about that day. Not just the contents of the memory but the memory including all five senses, as well. Now take this real life, very rare condition and apply it to a private investigator who looks for missing persons and you have Brenna Spector. Brenna is an intelligent, feisty, and very likable character whom I adored immediately. The plot was believable, fast paced, and most enjoyable, and I had a hard time putting it down. I loved everything about this book. It's a fresh and exciting new concept of the common detectives/police procedural mystery genre. I highly recommend all of Alison Gaylin's books!

  • Rick
    2019-02-09 12:11

    My first read by this author and definitely not the last. Absolutely riveting! Gaylin knows how to ratchet up the suspense. Using as her main character a woman who has the ability to remember everything photographically was fascinating and a real stroke of characterization brilliance. It makes this thriller, interesting enough on its own, stand out in a truly unique way. Solid mystery/thriller and highly recommended.

  • Christine
    2019-02-19 11:57

    A little too much back and forth in the timeline...

  • James Thane
    2019-02-14 14:11

    Brenna Spector was inspired to become an investigator who searches for missing persons largely because her own sister disappeared mysteriously years earlier and was never seen again. Divorced, Brenna shares custody of her young daughter and must juggle her professional and parental responsibilities. The thing that sets her most apart, though, is that she suffers from Hyperthymestic Syndrome, a very rare disease whose victims have perfect autobiographical memory. Brenna can recall in perfect detail every moment of her life from the time she was first afflicted with the condition. This condition is at least as much a blessing as a curse and it both helps and hinders Brenna in her investigations and in her daily life.When a woman named Carol Wentz disappears, her husband retains Brenna to find her. Brenna soon discovers that the missing woman had become obsessed with the case of a small girl who had disappeared eleven years earlier. The investigation leads Brenna into a murky conspiracy involving some very dangerous and ruthless characters, and not surprisingly, she may become a target herself of the forces who would rather that a lot of old secrets remain safely buried.This is a good read with a unique and interesting protagonist. All of the characters are well-drawn; the plot is clever and moves along at a brisk pace. Readers who like intriguing suspense novels should certainly enjoy it.

  • Kelly
    2019-02-04 12:47

    I don't know if it's fair to rate this book because I didn't finish it. I was halfway through the book when I just couldn't read any more. The main character, Brenna, is so dull and boring. The story was dragging on and on without anything exciting happening.

  • Cheryl Karkoff
    2019-02-02 10:50

    After 50 pages just didn't interest me.

  • Terri
    2019-02-15 08:52

    Brenna Spector has an unusual neurological syndrome which makes her remember everything. One of the interesting things about this book, is we get to see a bit of how this works in her internal dialogue. A disappearing child in the past and woman in the present make a complex investigation for her and Detective Morasco who is working with her.Her disorder makes it challenging for her in her work and personal life but also makes for an interesting story.

  • Max Everhart
    2019-02-10 14:04

    I’ve been looking for a new series to obsess over, and well, the search is over. And She Was by Alison Gaylin stars Brenna Spector, a forty-something private detective who specializes in missing person cases. And here’s the intriguing bit about the protagonist: she is stricken (if that’s the right word) with Hyperthemesia. (It means she has an incredibly detailed autobiographical memory…yeah, I had to look it up, too.) Spector recalls, with breathtakingly stunning clarity, practically every single moment of her life.And She Was starts with the disappearance of Iris Neff, a little girl who suddenly walks off from a neighborhood barbecue, never to be heard from again. Cut to a decade later when one of those present at the barbecue–Carol Wentz, a mild-mannered wife with a seemingly boring husband–becomes obsessed with the case. After years of secret investigations, Carol manages to get a beat on Iris, but before she can reach out to her Carol ends up in the trunk of a car, murdered. That’s when Nelson Wentz, the prime suspect in the murder, hires Brenna Spector, not to track down Iris Neff, but to figure out who killed his wife. The tension mounts at every turn as Spector finds haunting parallels between the Iris Neff case and her own life. And, naturally, Spector comes to the conclusion that the Iris Neff case and Carol Wentz’s murder are related.Once again, I always return to the characters in a story, and Brenna Spector is downright fascinating. Because of her Hyperthemesia, she is constantly being dragged into the past, revisiting every single detail of her life. Now, on the surface, this might sound cool, but man, could it get annoying. The strain of this affliction coupled with the stress of working what amounts to two cases simultaneously really make Spector a dynamic character. The tension between Spector and Nelson Wentz, who is creepy in a vanilla kind of way, helps create an atmosphere of suspicion, and the love-hate dynamic between Spector and her metrosexual assistant Trent provides comic relief.Bottom line, I want to read more books featuring Spector, a tough yet vulnerable detective. I anxiously await the next installment in this series. In the meantime, read And She Was; you won’t be disappointed.

  • Joop Liefaard
    2019-02-13 14:56

    Brenna Spector lijdt aan de uiterst zeldzame neurologische aandoening hyperthymesia. Hierdoor kan zij zich tot in detail alles wat zich in haar leven heeft afgespeeld, herinneren. De aandoening ontstond als gevolg van een trauma dat optrad toen haar oudere zusje Clea op een dag bij een vreemde in de auto stapte en verdween. Brenna is nu prive-detective en gespecialiseerd in het opsporen van vermiste personen waarbij de aandoening waaraan zij lijdt van grote waarde is.De zesjarige Iris Neff verdwijnt spoorloos tijdens een barbecue. Elf jaar later verdwijnt Carol Wentz, die ook op de barbecue aanwezig was. In het huis waarin Iris woonde wordt Carols portemonnee gevonden met daarin een velletje papier waarop het telefoonnummer van Brenna staat. Nelson, de echtgenoot van Carol huurt haar in om zijn verdwenen vrouw op te sporen. Brenna ontdekt dat Carol een obsessie had voor de verdwijning van Iris en een omvangrijk archief over haar zaak bijhield, dat ze goed verstopt in haar huis bewaarde. Het onderzoek naar de verdwijning van Carol wordt na een aantal dagen een moordonderzoek wanneer Carol vermoord wordt aangetroffen in de kofferbak van haar auto die al die tijd geparkeerd was in de garage van de echtelijke woning. De verdenking valt op Nelson maar Brenna vermoedt dat deze zaak veel groter is dan iedereen wil geloven. Zij gaat haar eigen weg in het onderzoek maar wisselt wel informatie uit met politierechercheur Nick Morasco. Als mensen van wie het vermoeden bestaat dat zij meer weten over de verdwijning van Iris en Carol, worden bedreigd of vermoord en ook Brenna het gevoel heeft dat ze goed op haar hoede moet zijn, begint het idee te groeien dat er veel meer aan de hand is. Iets groots dat een ontvoering en een moord overstijgt.Alison Gaylin is een Amerikaanse journaliste die in diverse kranten en tijdschriften vooral over kunst en entertainment heeft geschreven. In 2005 debuteerde ze met de thriller Hide your eyes en met dat boek werd ze meteen genomineerd voor de prestigieuze Edgar Award. Met het boek en ze was (And she was) won ze in 2013 een Shamus Award. Zij heeft een mooie en elegante schrijfstijl waarmee zij de lezer trakteert op een origineel en intrigerend plot dat intelligent is geconstrueerd. Brenna Spector is een fascinerende en interessante hoofdpersoon. Een sympathieke speurder, vrouw en moeder die op unieke wijze het mysterie rond de verdwijning van Iris Neff en de moord op Carol Wentz onderzoekt en daarbij de neurologische aandoening waaraan zij lijdt knap in haar voordeel gebruikt. Soms gaat dat ongewild want prikkels die een herinnering veroorzaken kunnen op ieder willekeurig moment geactiveerd worden. Zij ontdekt zaken en feiten die via het reguliere politieonderzoek geheel of gedeeltelijk verborgen zouden blijven. Een tweede personage is de geweldige en helemaal te gekke Trent, de assistent van Brenna. Een man met veel humor en gepiercete tepels, die altijd op vrouwenjacht is, te strakke spijkerbroeken en visnet T-shrits draagt maar als computernerd voor Brenna van onschatbare waarde is. Zo zijn er meerdere goed uitgewerkte en levensechte personages in het verhaal. Het verhaal heeft door de niet altijd even plezierige herinneringen van Brenna en de interactie met haar dochter Maya de nodige ontroerende momenten. In een paar zinnen en woorden slaagt Alison Gaylin erin een treffende sfeer te creëren. Het boek is op momenten on-Amerikaans en vrij van de stereotypen en clichés waar zoveel Amerikaanse thrillers mee zijn volgeschreven. De spanning is vanaf de eerste bladzijde aanwezig en de spanningsboog wordt evenwichtig opgebouwd. Alison Gaylins schrijfstijl is dermate boeiend dat het verhaal, wanneer je even een leespauze inlast, steeds door je hoofd blijft spelen. De ontrafeling van het mysterie is onverwacht, onvoorspelbaar, overtuigend en geloofwaardig. En ze was is een originele, solide en mooie thriller met een hartverwarmende Brenna Spector in de hoofdrol. Hoewel Alison Gaylin in Nederland nog geen grote schare fans heeft, geniet zij in de Verenigde Staten inmiddels grote bekendheid. Hopelijk brengt en ze was hierin verandering. Brenna Spector is een verademing.

  • Alisha Marie
    2019-01-27 09:00

    In the interest of full disclosure, I'm going to say this: I had absolutely no idea that And She Was was the start of a new mystery series. I honestly thought that it was a stand-alone novel. Had I known that it was written as the start of a series, I might have been more lenient towards it as it is only the first of what is (probably) many and therefore, it's going to (probably) get more detail-oriented (and better) as the series goes along. But again, I had no clue, so leniency was not given. And I do have to say that with And She Was...I was just not impressed.The Good: I liked most of the characters. And now realizing that this is going to be a series, I can totally get on board with numerous books featuring these characters. I liked Brenna. She was sassy and sarcastic and just how I like my female characters to be written. I adored her relationship/bromance with Trent. In fact, that was probably my favorite aspect of And She Was. I was interested in Brenna's background and wanted more of it. I wanted more of her relationship with her sister and her relationship (both past and current) with her mother. Her disorder (can't remember how to spell it) was intriguing enough that I want to read more about it.The Meh: Okay, I'm just going to get this out of the way, I don't like bratty teenagers...And despite my love for YA novels, I hate reading about them. Therefore, I could not stand Maya. Her general existence (as well as her overbundance of eye-rolling) really aggravated me. Another thing that really took me out of And She Was was the name-dropping that kept occurring. Great, the author knows who Death Cab for Cutie is. Awesome, she knows about Rachel Yamagata...but I really couldn't care less. Especially since the name dropping had nothing to do with the case. It seemed like the author was just trying to show how "cool" and "hip" she didn't work.The Bad: Brenna's disorder is interesting. I would love to read a non-fiction book about it. Her disorder is also really annoying to semi-experience from a reader standpoint. The constant flashbacks that would happen seemingly out of nowhere and had absolutely no order to them confused me. I understand that that was the whole point of the way And She Was was written; to somewhat showcase what this disorder does, but again, as a reader, I was turned off by the way it was executed. I'm someone who can generally follow along pretty well in a mystery novel. But the flashbacks serving as a semi-introduction to way too many characters meant that I spent the first half of the novel trying to figure out which current character was in which flashback and the second half of the novel finally not giving a crap. Too many characters that only showed up as a blip on the radar made it sort of hard to follow, at least for me. So by the time I reached the end of And She Was I just didn't care about the case or the whodunit...I just wanted it to be over with.So overall, I found And She Was a bit disappointing. It had all the elements of a good series: intriguing characters with intriguing backstories, but the case on this one was just not up to least for me. And as a standalone, it left a lot to be desired...As the first book of the series, I guess it was okay. I'm interested enough that I will definitely be taking a look at the next in this series.

  • Q. Kelly
    2019-01-31 09:02

    “And She Was” by Alison Gaylin is billed as a novel of suspense (on its cover, anyway), but it doesn’t quite fit that billing. Nevertheless, it’s a satisfactory enough read. Gaylin can write. That’s never in doubt. She turns many phrases beautifully but sometimes to the point where the language detracts from the story.A little background: the story is basically about PI Brenna Spector investigating a years-old disappearance of a child named Iris and a modern-day disappearance that may be connected. Add to that the fact Brenna’s sister disappeared when they were kids, Brenna was a witness and the trauma caused Brenna to have a condition in which she remembers everything perfectly. So, a lot of the book is filled with flashbacks triggered by a certain sight, smell or taste. Yeah, it’s annoying. It disrupts the flow. But that’s kinda the point, isn’t it? This is what Brenna has to live with, and it’s disruptive as all heck for her.So, anyway, a bit more on the bad: I didn’t particularly care about many, if not most, of Brenna’s flashbacks. Skim land there. This also happened for other swaths of the book (especially where there was some fancy language, the only point of which was to show Gaylin can write). The mysteries also get too convoluted about 3/4 through.The good stuff: Brenna has an awesome assistant named Trent. He’s like a kinda intellectual “Jersey Shore” person. He shines. He leaps off the page, more than anyone else. I wanted more Trent! The resolution of the Iris mystery (the whodunit) was also satisfactory. I was glad to see none of the convolutions came into play there.There’s a sequel planned in winter 2013. I’m not sure if I’ll read it. Maybe I will if I come across it, but it’ll be nothing I put on my advance reading lists. It promises to follow up on the disappearance of Brenna’s sister, but quite frankly, I never much cared about it in “And She Was.” I wanted more on the cases Brenna was investigating, and her sister’s disappearance, in my opinion, felt like filler.Three stars: decent mystery, decent protagonist with an unusual memory twist.

  • Trisha W.
    2019-01-27 15:13

    This was my first book by this author and for sure not my last. I have read a lot of books in my life and this one for sure has to be in my top 5! It was so unusual but exciting and entertaining all at the same time.In the beginning of the book you meet, Carol Wentz. The first 9 pages totally took me for a loop. I had no clue what was really going on. Carol was impersonating, Lydia who's daughter, Iris disappeared long ago in a chat room for missing persons. And then people start disappearing. I thought that maybe because of Breanna's ability to remember everything that happened in her life that maybe this book was taking a sort of paranormal turn and other's had abilities too. But that was not the case!As the next couple of chapters went by I was engrossed in this book and loved it at page 82. And it just got better from there. As I read the book I kept thinking of how I would like my life if I remembered everything that happened. If I had flashbacks on every event that ever happened in my life and I honestly don't think I would want that. But missing persons investigator Breanna Spector has to live with it every day.What I loved the most about this book was that I had no clue who was behind all the killing and people disappearing until the very end and even then it shocked me. I normally can guess about half way through in a suspense novel but in this one I had no idea.I read the book in a day and a half and finished it late last night. Loved the ending but I didn't know this was going to be a series and the next book doesn't come out until the winter of 2013! Stinks I have to wait that long to see what happened to Breanna's sister all those years ago and what her "relationship" with Morasco might be.If you like suspense novels this is a definite read!

  • Lynn Spencer
    2019-01-23 14:04

    3.5 stars Gaylin starts with an interesting premise, and gives readers a heroine that I found to be the strongest part of the book. So, if you read for good heroines, you might want to add this to your list.Brenna Spector has a rare neurological disorder that causes her to remember every detail of every day of her life. This isn't as helpful as it sounds; Brenna has equal memories of the cornflakes she ate one day for breakfast 15 years ago jockeying for equal importance with her memories of an important conversation from last week and so on. The author does a fantastic job of showing not only how Brenna's memory can come in handy, but also how it can make her feel trapped in a circus with no escape.Brenna works as a private investigator helping to locate missing persons. She feels personally invested in her job because as a child, she saw her own sister disappear and she has never learned what happened to her. When she gets hired to find a missing woman named Carol Wentz, that case ties right back to one from years ago that haunts her - the disappearance of a small girl named Iris. When I first started the book, I felt as if I wasn't quite sure what was happening. The author basically drops the reader into the middle of several plot strands at once, and added into that we get a view inside Brenna's unquiet head. I found it overwhelming at first, and wasn't sure I could handle staying inside Brenna's mind for an entire novel. However, as the action starts gearing up, things do start to flow better. I enjoyed following Brenna down the trails of her mysteries, even if some of the revelations ended up being a bit disappointing. Then again, more than a few real life mysteries have resolutions that feel a bit mundane.

  • Pam
    2019-01-23 12:47

    AUTHOR Gaylin, AlisonTITLE: And She Was DATE READ: 02/08/2016RATING 5/AGENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Suspense/ 2012 / Harper / 355 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: #1 Brenna SpectorCHARACTERS Brenna Spector /Private Investigator for Missing PersonsTIME/PLACE: 2009 / NYFIRST LINES Are you ready, Brenna? Dr. Lieberman says.COMMENTS: Loved it! Brenna Spector is a missing persons investigator, she has a rare neurological disorder -- hyperthymestic syndrome. This autobiographical memory allows her to recall everything perfectly w/ all 5 senses. Sometimes a great help … and sometimes a hindrance in allowing her to move forward w/ her life. She came to her profession due to a personal struggle -- her sister went missing when Clea was a teenager and has never been found. She is divorced w/ a teenage daughter that lives w/ her father and his new wife. Brenna's assistant, Trent, is basically the male version of a bimbo in looks but don't let that fool you … he's an ace researcher and has created a software that ages the missing person to get a fairly accurate representation of what they would look like now. Brenna is hired by a wimpy man, Nelson Wentz, when his wife suddenly disappears. To Nelson their life was fine and he is unaware of not only many of Carol's actions but also her feelings. Nelson and Carol a childless couple in their 50's live in suburban NY. Eleven years earlier, Iris, a young child of one of their neighbors vanishes. Brenna discovers Carol had an obsessive interest in Iris…

  • Janie Johnson
    2019-02-09 14:51

    Alison Gaylin is a new author for me, and I love discovering new Authors. This one was a bit iffy for me. It started off with a bang and was very captivating then somewhere just around pg. 50 or so it seemed to slow way down. I am not sure if that was the book itself or the fact that I was reading multiple books at the time and did not find as much time for this one. Once I picked it back up and started again it really took off and was one heck of a ride.I don't think I have ever read this much mystery in a single book. I loved it, from one mystery to the next. One would be resolved and another would rear up. It had me turning the pages and I almost felt I could not turn them fast enough. I loved the Setting, the plot, and the characters.Our main character Brenna is a pretty amazing detective who struggles with many of her own problems, one of them being her neurological disorder that allows her to recall every memory, every detail of her life. It can both be a hindrance and a help to her. She must confront many obstacles to solve a mystery that surrounds a little girl named Iris Neff. I absolutely loved Brenna's character and the fact that she could still move forward, and do her job even with the issues she has to deal with herself.I have to say I am pleased with my first experience with this Author and I look forward to the sequel Into the Dark.

  • Helen
    2019-02-08 13:55

    I bought this book after a review on knowing nothing else about it except 'a child goes missing, 11 years later a woman goes missing and they find Brenna's phone number in her wallet'. That's all. I was told by Waterstones that the book wasn't available in the UK but a friend found it on Amazon for me. I'm glad she did.It's a 'normal' crime/thriller, nothing amazing about it except Brenna's memory which adds a very nice twist and the fact that I'm only 3/4 of the way through (I only started reading it yesterday) and we already know who the 'baddie' is, the rest of the book is going to be mesmerising as our main characters now have to keep themselves alive long enough to let everyone else know what happened!I'll let you know how I got on.Update: Well that didn't take long did it? Finished and passed on to a friend. Yes it's well worth reading this book, but don't read the beginning of the next book in the series at the end of this one, it's not going to be published for ages yet and I can't wait!!! It doesn't even seem to have a title yet!

  • Lauren
    2019-01-27 11:48

    This novel was good not great. I started reading this book almost three weeks ago and I read about 150 pages before I put it down for a couple weeks. It wasn't a real gripping read at that point and I only recently tried to get through it again. The second half of the book is really good! I read it in about two days. There were enough twists and turns to keep it interesting and to keep me turning those pages, and the mystery isn't solved until the very end. However, there were a few plots points that I found confusing and weren't quite cleared up in the novel, but maybe that is because I just read over them too quickly? Overall, Gaylin is a great writer, which was the redeeming quality for this book. And I might pick up the second book in the series if it's anywhere as good as the last half of this one.

  • Maggie61
    2019-01-23 16:58

    I couldn't decide for a lot of the book whether I liked it or not. The constant flipping back and forth from past to present I definitely didn't like. Many books can pull this off, I don't feel this one did. Sure, there were dates provided of when some of the events took place, but I don't have the same gift or affliction as the subject in the book. The storyline I liked. Two missing girls years apart. Are they connected? Some of the events I found a little improbable and I think the author could have done better with the story. I'd have given it a 2 1/2. I really wish we had halves. Wouldn't rush to read another book from this author.

  • Samantha Cheney
    2019-01-31 15:12

    This is the first book I've read by Alison Gaylin, and it definitely won't be the last! The only reason I gave this book a 4 star rating is because the beginning took like ten chapters before it finally started to spark my curiosity. It's a good thing that once I start a book I have to finish it or I probably wouldn't have finished. Although there was a lot to tell it just got monotonous after a bit, but then the fun really started. I couldn't put this book down! I can't wait to read the next book to this story "Into the Dark".

  • Shannon Seymour
    2019-02-16 12:11

    I really enjoyed this book. It was a suspenseful, quick paced thriller. I never guessed "who dunnit", which is rare for me. I will continue this series. Thanks Stephanie for the recommendation!

  • Ilse
    2019-01-27 09:07

    Sterke plot, vlot geschreven, ... Echt een boek voor mensen die houden van een goede thriller.

  • Book-Lover Book Blog
    2019-01-20 12:49

    Another incredibly astonishing, mind gripping read from this author. I was so addicted to this book that I found it hard to put down... to say my house is a tip would be an understatement. I was overwhelmed with the amount of information provided and also I was astonished to find out about a disorder I've never heard of before. I mean, how amazing would it be to have a perfect memory? Brenna Spector is a woman who remembers everything from her past; from family time to something she's read, to memorising numbers after seeing them just once. She's freakin' awesome at her job and she doesn't take not BS. When the author finally dropped the bombshell about the whole story I was absolutely flabbergasted, I didn't suspect in the slightest!! This author's writing style will pull you in, making you feel as if you were in the story with the characters, fear chilled my bones as I read on and on about everything, I was scared for Brenna. An amazing read, another psychological thriller to add to my top ten! I can't wait to read more from this author!

  • Martha Lestenkof malavansky
    2019-02-12 16:12

    Photographic memoryI believe back in the day it used to be called photographic memory. With that said this is one of the better suspense books I have read in a long while. Let's be glad that painful memories are short and tend to fog with time and happier days are recalled as blessings.

  • Shana
    2019-01-31 16:57

    Where are all these missing people? Carol Wentz, Iris Neff, Iris's mother, Lydia, and Brenna's sister, Clea? They all are missing from the same town within years of each other. Iris was last seen getting into a possibly blue car, just like the car that Breena's sister Clea had gotten into years before she disappeared.In this story Breena has been hired to investigate the disappearance of Carol Wentz who was one of the last one's to speak to Iris before she disappeared.Breena, the main character is a private detective and she has a strange condition: its name is hyperthymestic syndrome. She forgets nothing at all; some would say "a memory like an elephant". Name a date, and she can tell you where she was, what she was doing, and she'll be seeing and hearing everything as it happened then. This is a real condition where the person has autobiographical memory and remembers everything detected by their senses for every moment of their past. Obviously, it makes Brenna having a normal life nearly impossible with the past memories always interfering with her daily life. If she happens to see a face or a number or an address once it's in her mind forever. Such a memory condition has several pluses for someone who is a detective, but the remembered images don't automatically add up to solving the crime.What I love about this book is the times that Brenna experiences a peculiar memory that reminds her about her own past, usually at the worst possible times. I could really identify with Breena's character through her thoughts and feelings about her own past. Don't we all at times think about things we would've done differently? Only Brenna cannot possibly forget things she'd like to!This novel also has a few other interesting characters. Including, Brenna's assistant Trent who is a big techno-geek who has so many piercings that some people think he's auditioning to be a fishing lure. Another character is Brenna's daughter, Maya, who constantly manipulates Brenna and her father (Brenna's ex-hubbie).And then there is Detective Nick Morasco. He's a cop, but he and Brenna are, she thinks, on the same wavelength. Detective Morasco is also working through his own guilt that he has from not listening to Breena when she called in a tip about Iris' disappearance.This is a good suspense story in which the pages rarely read slowly. I found myself drawn in from the first chapter. All the characters could very well be someone you know or work with, they are very realistic. There is a surprising, yet a logical conclusion awaiting you at the end.Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I would definitely read another novel from this author.

  • Barbara M
    2019-01-30 15:50

    The first in a possible series (there is a sequel). This tells the story of Brenna Spector who suffers from the same disorder as Carrie Wells (Poppy Montgomery) in the TV series Unforgettable. The condition is called Hyperthymestic Syndrome and it is real but rare. According to the author's note in the back of the book, it first appeared in medical journals in 2006.Brenna is a private investigator who searches for missing persons. This is very personal for her since her condition began with the disappearance of her older sister some years earlier. This is the trigger for Hyperthymestic Syndrome, a traumatic event. Brenna is asked to find a child who has been missing for about ten years making her a teenager now. Brenna is divorced with a daughter, Maya, and a quirky young male assistant. She works out of her apartment. The characters are well drawn and believable with the possible exception of the assistant who is quite odd but fun. These are characters I'd like to read more about. The mystery is a good one with just enough clues and twists to keep the reader interested. The memory syndrome is a very important part of the story of course; and is well represented in the story without totally overwhelming the mystery. I thought the writer handled the back-flashes into past experiences very well, the reader knows when Brenna is entering that phase. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel that just came out.

  • Pamela
    2019-01-28 15:58

    And She Was is a good mystery/thriller with an unusual hook that grabs the reader's interest almost immediately. The heroine, private investigator Brenda Spector, has Hyperthymestic Syndrome, a very rare memory disorder. She can remember every single thing about any day once she has experienced it. It comes back completely, including sound and smell as well as sight and emotion. In other words, a total sensory recall. We learn that it began when her sister disappeared many years ago, an event which has obsessed Brenda ever since.While searching for her sister, she gets involved in the disappearance of another girl but it leads nowhere. Now, eleven years later that missing girl's case has turned up again in another investigation and, gradually, everyone who was involved either disappears or is killed and Brenda feels it is all connected somehow and possibly even will lead to her sister's whereabouts.Alison Gaylin has created some very interesting characters in this thriller and packed the story full of side issues and backstories that finally yield to a solution, although not quite the one you expect. One added feature is Brenda's young , flamboyant, skirt chasing assistant, Trent. Good story and good fun.

  • Tricia
    2019-02-15 16:53

    And She Was By: Alison GaylinI absolutely relished And She Was by Alison Gaylin. The story was so engrossing that I didn't want to do much else but read this book. And She Was is a novel full of mystery and suspense till the very end, Brenna Spector, a private investigator, has Hyperthymestic Syndrome. It is a very rare disorder that allows for perfect autobiographical memory. This affords Brenna insight into her cases by allowing for total recall of things like documents, phone numbers people's faces, etc. In this story Brenna is called to find Carol Wentz. She eventually ties in with a missing child that Brenna remembers from eleven years ago. What ensues after is a web of mystery and suspense that is woven expertly by Alison Gaylin. I really enjoyed the author's writing style. Flowing and fast paced, the author 's descriptions add to the storyline. The character of Brenna is unique and I liked how the author talked about how she deals with her disorder and not just her using it to an advantage in solving cases. Trent, Brenna's assistant is also unique and enjoyable as he brings some humor to the story. Detective Nick Morasco is competent and overall good guy in the Tarry Ridge police department. I plan on reading the sequel coming out in the Fall of 2012.

  • Jodi
    2019-01-28 17:01

    4.25 Stars Brenna Spector has Hyperthymestic Syndrome, a rare disorder that enables her to remember every detail of every thing that has happened to her. Brenna's sister went missing when she was a child, and this haunts Brenna. She works as a PI, focusing on investigations to find missing persons. In this the first book in a series, Brenna is hired to find a missing wife whose disappearance appears to be connected to a missing child case from years before. At times especially in the beginning the book can be rather confusing, especially with Brenna's flashbacks to past times. However, the book, the writing, the story, the characters are so compelling, I found I didn't want to put the book down. It all becomes clear in the end! Gaylin does a great job at developing characters and relationships in this book. I highly recommend it!

  • Carolyn F.
    2019-01-21 10:55

    It took a little while for me to get into this book but when I finally did I was so glad. Brenna is able to recall everything since her sister went missing. She remembers everything she sees, hears, smells, tastes, feels. When another girl is abducted in a blue car, she thinks it might have a connection to her sister. But no, it doesn't and her looking for answers ends her marriage. Ten years later, her name is given to a missing woman who was a peripheral part of the missing little girl, she's back looking into it and having these flashbacks that make her zone out. Now she's trying to remember if she missed something. Really good book. I've heard there's a sequel but it won't be out until 2013! I'll make sure I look for it when it comes out.

  • Jan
    2019-01-23 14:55

    Brenna Spector is a missing persons investigator gifted with a rare psychological disorder (HYPERTHYMESTIC SYNDROME) that gives her the ability to call up any date and remember it in full, with all five senses. Never to forget a voice, a sound, a touch or inner fear is a blessing and a curse. When hired by Nelson Wentz when his wife disappears, Brenna also becomes entrenched in solving the mystery of a little girl's disappearance eleven years before, as well as recalling the details of her own sister's disappearance. An enjoyable read that isn't quite a "thriller" but is quite interesting.