Sunday, 24 February 2019

Past Life - Dominic Nolan


THE ONLY THING DETECTIVE ABIGAIL BOONE REMEMBERS...IS THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HER.
Waking up beside the dead girl, she couldn't remember anything.
Who she was. Who had taken her. How to escape.
Detective Abigail Boone has been missing for four days when she is finally found, confused and broken. Suffering retrograde amnesia, she is a stranger to her despairing husband and bewildered son.
Hopelessly lost in her own life, with no leads on her abduction, Boone's only instinct is to revisit the case she was investigating when she vanished: the baffling disappearance of a young woman, Sarah Still.
Defying her family and the police, Boone obsessively follows a deadly trail to the darkest edges of human cruelty. But even if she finds Sarah, will Boone ever be the same again?

What did I think?

This book starts off racing at 100mph and doesn't let up for a second, so you'd better buckle up for this high-octane thrill ride.  Walk away now if you're squeamish, as the level of detail is often chilling and skin crawling but it just adds to the gritty atmosphere of the whole book.

I struggled with whether I liked Abigail Boone or not at first but she definitely grew on me.  When she wakes up with amnesia, surrounded by a family she doesn't know, she seems very indifferent to them and doesn't even care to get to know them.  I get that they are strangers to her but I couldn't understand how she doesn't even try.  Reading on, Abigail's character evolved at such a pace that I could clearly see her one track mind and dogged determination to solve the case of missing person, Sarah Still.  For Abigail, past and present, this is the one that got away and she won't rest until she finds out what happened to Sarah.

There are some very colourful characters in Past Life; I loved Boone's well named prickly colleague Barb, her friend Tess, who she knows from arresting her father and, last but definitely not least, her fellow captive Roo.  Such an array of strong female characters, who each made a lasting impression on me in their own right, just shows what a multi-layered story Dominic Nolan has written.

The whole Sarah Still investigation really intrigued me and I loved how this thread linked Boone's past and present lives.  Boone reminded me a bit of Jack Bauer in her single-mindedness and lack of fear for her own safety.  I had every confidence that she would get to the bottom of Sarah Still's disappearance, even if it killed her.  It certainly made my heart race and my palms sweat as I hitched a ride on Boone's highly dangerous rollercoaster of a journey.

Past Life is gripping and completely intense; once it grabs a hold of you, it refuses to let go.  I suspect (and hope) that this isn't the last we've heard of Abigail Boone.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


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