I’ve had this book on my list for months, since I spotted it possibly in The Bookseller when it was first sold. It just sounded like something I’d probably enjoy. So when it came up on NetGalley, I was first in line. It’s one of two books published this month which are likely to be in my Top 10 of the year. Compulsive, ingenious, original and incredibly clever, this is one of the best books I have ever read.
“You can erase the memory. But you cannot erase the crime.
Jenny’s wounds have healed.
An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack.
She is moving on with her life.
That was the plan. Except it’s not working out.
Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can’t stop touching.
And she’s getting worse.
Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial.
It may be that the only way to uncover what’s wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack.”
This will be so hard to review without spoiling but I’m going to give it a go. The brilliance of this book is down to many things, mostly for me: the plot and the narrator. We’re reading from the eyes of Jenny’s psychologist, offering an insight into her life as well as his own. It’s this relationship which really creates the ingenuity and cleverness of this book as we slowly feel his voice change, becoming more unreliable and more manipulative. It’s this slow decline which Wendy Walker has carried out spectacularly well. On top of that you have the mystery of Jenny, the girl who wants to remember being raped. But with the memory come secrets which create even more tension, suspicion and mystery. Page-turner isn’t strong enough. Gripping isn’t strong enough. I wanted to inhale this book, it makes you want to keep reading that much.
I found myself telling other people about this book whilst reading, it’s the kind where you grab your friend or family member to tell them about it which for me is rare. I’m always reading something. For me to mention it, it must be good. I devoured it on holiday, reading it at the dinner table instead of focusing on the beautiful views, it was that good. The twists are unforeseeable, the pace gripping and compelling and the story perfect in all senses of the word when it comes to a thriller.
For the first time since Gone Girl, I finished a thriller and thought oh my bloody God, that was good. It was so smart, so brilliantly crafted I wanted to read it again instantly to watch for every moment the breadcrumbs were laid out for you. The effect one character, one person can have is amazing, especially someone in a position of trust, influence and respect. We have the passive narrator who may not be wholly passive, a rapist whose identity needs to be found, secrets which need to be protected. We are the narrator watching every moment with him and seeing Jenny and her family’s life from an outsider position. IT’S JUST SO CLEVER. I can’t forget this book. I can’t forget such an incredible narrator who creeps up on you in a way that makes your heart pound. Yet he’s understandable, he’s not the enemy and you can’t blame him for his actions as he silently goes along his way without anyone noticing. The narrator who can have such an influence without anyone realising and who can get away with it too. Don’t be misled – you might be more interested in the revelation of Jenny’s attacker, yet another incredible thread and twist in this astonishing book. It offers everything you could want in a psychological thriller.
This may not make any sense to someone who hasn’t read it. It’s so hard to explain without ruining the journey for you because that’s really what this book is: a journey with the narrator as you unfold the truth of Jenny’s attack and feel the suffocating pressure of secrets which envelopes the characters.
Just read it. You won’t be disappointed. It’s out today and God bless you Wendy Walker, I can’t wait for the next book.
I’m even going to leave this here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/All-Not-Forgotten-Wendy-Walker/dp/0008173613/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468443892&sr=8-1&keywords=all+is+not+forgotten