Monday 18 July 2016

All Is Not Forgotten - Wendy Walker

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.

What did I think?

Oh my word, this was a very unique read.  We are plunged straight into the moments following the rape of Jenny Kramer and the pace of the book does not relent until the final page has been turned.  It's an absolutely magnetic read that I'm sure people will have no problem reading in one or two sittings.  I was so completely engrossed from start to finish that I felt like a new born bunny at the end, blinking furiously to take in my surroundings as if I couldn't quite believe that I was sitting in Gateshead, UK and not in Connecticut, USA.

It's not an easy read by any means; there are some very dark moments as the details of Jenny's rape are revealed.  Wendy Walker has been very clever in examining what would happen if we could erase from our memory the very worst thing that has ever happened to us.  It sounds great, not being able to remember such a devastating event but the event itself can't be erased from history.  It still happened even though you can't remember it and that is a form of mental torture in itself.

The book is written as if narrated by Jenny's psychiatrist, Dr. Alan Forrester.  After Jenny has treatment to erase her memory of the rape, she struggles with the physical scars that remained.  Dr. Forrester agrees to help her with memory recovery to see if she can remember what happened that night.  It is only through remembering what happened that Jenny can deal with it and move on, but Dr. Forrester has to ensure that it is real memories that Jenny remembers and not suggested memories.  Although sometimes suggested memories may have their advantages for someone who wants to pervert the course of justice...

It really does make you think about the power of the human mind.  How open we are to suggestions and how the brain protects us from harmful events.  It actually became secondary to me, finding out who actually raped Jenny, as I was so intrigued by the memory recovery process and the sessions that Dr. Forrester had with Jenny's family.  

All Is Not Forgotten is a gripping, addictive, compulsive, highly intelligent and simply brilliant psychological thriller.  I can't praise it highly enough!  I really felt as if my brain had been given an intense workout and I can't stop thinking or talking about this book since I finished it; I'll certainly be recommending it for many years to come.

I received this e-book from the publisher, Harlequin, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

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