The Rise - Shari Low & Ross King

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

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, just trying to survive tough lives of danger and dysfunction.
But on one Hollywood evening in 1993, they were on the world’s biggest stage, accepting their Oscar in front of the watching world.
That night was the beginning of their careers. But it was also the end of their friendship.
Over the next twenty years, Mirren McLean would become one of the most powerful writers in the movie industry.
Zander Leith would break box-office records as cinema’s most in-demand action hero.
And Davie Johnson would rake 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.
Until now…
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.

My Thoughts:

This was a different read from Shari Low’s other books; it was much darker and grittier but still had her fun writing style. I don’t know anything about the other author to be able to comment on his contribution.
I found the beginning very hard to get into, it was littered with celebrity name drops, and the dialogue was interspersed with mentions of big-name brands. It was hard to navigate the story through all the ad placements, and if you didn’t know your celebrities, it would be an even more challenging read as it would have just been a mass of random names coming at you through the pages. This did calm down a bit as the story started to develop. I assume it was in overload at the beginning to show how high up our three protagonists had climbed.
The story itself had moments of brilliance, and I was gripped. However, a few times, I found myself bored and wondered how the chapter I was reading was necessary and related to the story as a whole. We follow three ex-friends. Zander a handsome top of his game actor with a severe addiction problem. He is trying to overcome demons from his past by blotting out most of his present. There is Mirren, a successful screenwriter with what looks on the surface to be a perfect family; however, as her life starts to unravel, she realises what she has lost and what is more important to her in the world. Finally, there is Davie, a mogul in the showbiz world with a finger in most pies and on top of the world, until he isn’t and he realises he has nothing but himself and just material things to show for his success. Their chapters alternate, so we get to see everything from each perspective. The story is also interspersed with the point of view of a tabloid reporter, Sarah and events from the past. Everything is starting to close in on the three success stories.
The ending was really good; everything that had been building up throughout the book comes to a head. We get answers to all the questions and a perfectly lovely ending. It wasn’t the grittiest book I’ve ever read, but as I said, it was compared to other books by Shari Low. There wasn’t her usual wackiness, it was a lot more serious, but her writing style flows easily once we are established in the story.
Overall, a good read and certainly something different. A solid four-stars.

The Rise
by Shari Low & Ross King
Date Started
2nd September 2022
Date Finished
9th September 2022