Author: Jean Levy
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Paperback 449 pages
Release Date: 13 September 2018
Publisher: The Dome Press
My Rating: ****
I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the ARC they provided me for review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
How would you live if you had no memories? And what if you were suspected of a terrible crime?
Something terrible has happened to successful children’s writer Sarah, but she doesn’t know what it is. All she knows is that it was enough to wipe her mind of memories.
Without her past she is lost, drifting, friendless, her life reduced to the protected one of a child.
Specialists tell her that she must retrieve her memory of what bought her to be found, unconscious, bloodied and frozen, on a beach miles from her London home. And the police are interested too.
But perhaps some things are best left forgotten….
You can pre-order your copy of ‘What Was Lost’ on Amazon at:
The tagline for this book was what drew me in initially. ‘Some things are best left forgotten’. Well straight away i’m thinking what things? What’s best left forgotten? What’s happened? I had to read on as before I had even read the first page I already had burning questions which needed answers!
The story is told as a narrative from Sarah’s point of view and due to the fact that she lost her memory, to begin with, we are not given much information at all as to why Sarah is in the predicament she is. As every character in the book is a new person to Sarah we are not given much background on how she knows these people. However, this lack of information is actually what made this book such an interesting read.
In the opening chapters Sarah is faced with conducting a food shop in the supermarket. Whilst this might seem like an easy ordinary task for most of us, one which we probably even do on auto-pilot, for someone like Sarah, who has no memory of which foods she actually likes, this is a rather daunting task! Sarah finds herself in the cereal aisle, and the authors writing of Sarah’s thought process as she struggles to comprehend from the vast array of choice available to her made me so sympathetic towards Sarah’s situation.
I really felt for Sarah, can you imagine what it must be like not to remember anything about yourself? Not to remember what food you like, what books you like to read or what songs you like to listen to? Her memories all seem to have disappeared after an event that happened in her past, sometimes referred to as the ‘December event’ but it’s not clear what this event was or even if it is the actual cause of Sarah’s amnesia. She hears the laughter of a young girl and it seems to evoke a memory for her, but a memory of what is not clear.
As the story progresses we are given glimpses into Sarah’s past which help to round out the story and provide the reader with an an idea of some of the answers we are so desperately craving. However, consistently throughout the book there are unanswered questions which just kept me turning pages desperate to find out the answers.
My favourite character in this book has to be Matthew. Sarah meets Matthew in the supermarket and they keep bumping into each other until eventually she agrees to go for coffee with him. Matthew’s quick wit and humour towards Sarah when they speak is so cute and funny it felt like being on the sidelines watching two people awkwardly flirt in a completely endearing way.
There is a brilliant twist at the end which although I had a sneaky suspicion about part way through the book I literally had to read until the last page to find out for sure. I loved how this book got me thinking and how it took me out of my comfort zone. If anything, I was quite uncomfortable, but in a good way, as that’s what you come to expect from a good psychological thriller.
This was a very good debut by the author and I will be interested to see what she does next. Definitely recommend for anyone who is a fan of psychological thrillers.
About the Author
Jean Levy has worked in genetics research, the pharmaceutical industry and in academic publishing. She is currently completing a doctorate in Linguistics. She studied creative writing at the University of Sussex and lives with her husband in the South Downs. This is her first novel.
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