The blurb said a woman arrived to a village via the train with her bag stolen and total retrograde amnesia, including not knowing her name. Then she knocked on Laura and Tony’s home claiming it to be hers, as the address was all that she remembered. They took her in, and Tony named her Jemma. And the twists started rolling…
J. S. Monroe has written a brilliant book with so many twists that at times I felt almost like a pretzel. Memory and hippocampus were brilliantly used in the entire plot. I loved the way Monroe has plotted the amnesic main character. I had to go back to my knowledge bank to remember if such an amnesia is possible. Well, the brain can be tricky!!
The book had a darker overtone, without it being too macabre, but it went with the entire flow. Tony, as the man obsessed with sea horses and memory, was as unlikable as villain ought to be. There was something off each time he helped Jemma.
The author then went ahead admixed in the plot, the character of a psychotic woman who had murdered her best friend and who looked just like our protagonist. In all this confusion, the cops and an ex-reporter Luke had to search for the lone thread which would unknot the entire plot.
My niggles came and went as I read the book, some parts were too descriptive (I learned to skim read), a few unanswered questions (I let go of them), slightly clearer prose (I had to re-read some bits)
The book held me captive till I reached the last page and then made me write this review. What a book!!
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher, Head of Zeus, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
J.S. Monroe read English at Cambridge, worked as a freelance journalist in London and was a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4. Monroe, the author of five other novels, was also a foreign correspondent in Delhi for the Daily Telegraph and was on its staff in London as Weekend editor.
She arrived at the train station after a difficult week at work. Her bag had been stolen, and with it, her identity. Her whole life was in there – passport, wallet, house key. When she tried to report the theft, she couldn’t remember her own name. All she knew was her own address.
Now she’s outside Tony and Laura’s front door. She says she lives in their home. They say they have never met her before.
One of them is lying.
Publication date : 4th October, 2018
Publisher : Head of Zeus