As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Sphere, 28 December 2017. ISBN 978-0-7515-5733-6 (PBO)
the last few years there have been a large number of books published with
amnesiacs as the main character. However, I enjoyed this stand-alone
psychological mystery thriller. I think mainly because the main character
(although not particularly likeable) is well drawn. Jane Norton is suffering
the mental, emotional, and psychological effects of
losing her memory. Her identity, as a developing teenager, has been
eradicated and self-discovery is at the heart of the story. Jane has regressed
back to the sulky difficult early teen years. Her outlook is sarcastic and
scathing but about everything, including herself, as she struggles to make
sense of things.
Jane Norton is a lost girl, hiding away in a friend’s dorm-room
on the university campus, living a marginal existence. Although she has a home
at her mother’s house the relationship has soured and she has been living on
the streets - rather than stay there and become more fodder for her mother’s
Jane is a misfit and leads an almost nomadic lifestyle, no
longer comfortable anywhere. Two years previously she was involved in a car
crash, which killed her friend David and left her with amnesia. At first,
everyone was sympathetic, then they found Jane's note saying that
she wished they were dead together’. As Jane was driving, everyone assumed
it was a suicide attempt. From that day, the small
privileged community she grew up inshunned her, she was ostracised by friends, and dropped out of
Jane is riddled with guilt and questions. She doesn’t understand
why she was with David or why they were on that isolated road. When she receives
an anonymous message on the anniversary of the accident, saying ‘I know what
really happened. I know what you don't remember…’ she sets about trying to
uncover the truth so that she can move on with her life.
With characters that are gritty and real, the reader is taken on
a tense journey of discovery. Jane is angry and volatile, and the reader
wonders how reliable she is, and what secrets she has buried from herself. As
the cast of characters increases and Jane gets closer to the truth, all manner
of ideas about what happened are hinted at but the motivations to the mystery
are quite unexpected.
Reviewed by Christine
Jeff Abbott graduated
from Rice University with a degree in History and English. H is the New
York Times bestselling, award-winning author of many mystery and
suspense novels. He has been called “one of the best thriller writers in the
Christine Hammacott lives near
Southampton and runs her own design consultancy. She started her career working
in publishing as a book designer and now creates covers for indie-authors. She
writes page-turning fiction that deals with the psychological effects of crime.
To read a review of her debut novel The Taste of Ashclick
on the title.