“Fast-paced, racy, and a brilliantly crafted psychological thriller, which will leave you guessing till the end.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
I’d like to thank Net Galley for offering me a free advanced reader’s copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
The psychological thriller genre is one of my favorites, something that I like to cozy up with a cup of coffee on a cold or a rainy day. The blurb of Jane Holland’s Forget My Name seemed very interesting and hence, I decided to read it over the year end holidays.
The story started off on a promising note.
Catherine is busy preparing for her marriage to her sweetheart, Dominic. However, as the day approaches closer, a chain of sinister incidents remind Catherine of her older sister, Rachel. Rachel died at 13 but she made Catherine and their parents’ lives miserable for as long as she was alive. She displayed psychopathic tendencies and wouldn’t flinch at harming anyone in order to get her way. And now, it seems to Catherine that Rachel is back from her grave. Or, did she really die? Her parents had informed her of Rachel’s death when they’d gone skiing in Switzerland but she’d never seen her dead body. Catherine feels like Rachel is back to once again wreak havoc in her life.
The first one-third of the book kept me on the edge of my seat. As Catherine receives a gruesome gift or sees things precious to her getting ruined, she is more and more desperate to know the truth. However, as the novel progresses beyond that, things take a set pattern. Something sinister happens, her parents act secretive around her and her husband tries to placate her but doesn’t trust her words completely. I felt that the story keeps happening at the same pace ever since and hence, after a while my interest as well as my sympathies towards the protagonist began to ebb.
However, I still wanted to persist and see what happens in the end and so I carried on. Slowly, the story line turned predictable and I could see what might happen in the end. Though there were a few twists here and there, overall, the ending neither excited me nor left me satisfied.
The writing style is okay but most of the characters seemed quite one dimensional. Sometimes, their actions or reactions to events in the story looked forced or stilted. Also, the author seemed to have repeated a lot of adjectives to show the trauma that Catherine is going through. I think instead of those, if there were more incidents shown to prove what she is experiencing, that might have made the reader more sympathetic towards her.
Overall, I’d say that it is averagely written and would make for an easy read. You could pick it up if you enjoy psychological thrillers that deal with mental health issues. The subject had the potential to be a really good read, however, the treatment of it towards the second half left me quite disappointed.
Added 16th January 2018
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
What a book this is!
Catherine (aka Cat) loses her older sister Rachel, at the tender age of 12, in a skiing accident.
Growing up, Cat has spent years trying to forget her dead sister and her cruel tricks – because Rachel was evil; she was vicious and highly disturbed, and she made everyone’s life miserable. As much as Cat loved her, she was also secretly pleased that Rachel was dead.
Cat volunteers in a food bank. She is preparing for her wedding to Dominic, a nurse in the NHS. She has never been happier or more excited about her future. But then she receives an anonymous package, addressed to her, at the food bank. It contains a snow globe, one which is very familiar – because it belongs to Rachel!
This is the first in a series of ominous messages, which all point to Rachel’s presence.
While Cat wants to enjoy and focus on her new life with Dominic, someone out there seems intent on ensuring her mental peace is totally disturbed.
But who? And why?
Cat slowly starts to believe that Rachel is still alive and her parents have hidden this fact from her.
People around her don’t believe what she says.
Those who have survived a traumatic event where others died, even when they don’t remember it properly, can experience an overwhelming sense of guilt.
Could Cat be imagining these things?
Is she suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, which is making her subconsciously do all these things, with no recollection?
Or is it someone else, who clearly doesn’t want her to have a happy marriage with Dominic?
Worse still, are her parents hiding something from her, and is Rachel really alive?
Fast-paced, racy, and a brilliantly crafted psychological thriller, which will leave you guessing till the end.
You will suspect everybody – but the twist in the end is mind-boggling!
A must read for all fans of this genre!
5/5 for me.
Added 13th January 2018