An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
By: Wendy Walker
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 7/12/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Nice cover!
Wendy Walker delivers one of the most intriguing and innovative dark twisty "Grip-lit" psychological suspense thrillers, ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN with a mysterious delicious unpredictable creepy first person narrator (not identified until chapter seven). —Complex, non-linear narrative, and a brutal crime, crossing fascinating ethical and moral boundaries.
Intricately plotted the devastating impact on a family and their small, suburban Connecticut town of Fairview. When a teenage girl is brutally attacked, and then given a controversial medical drug to erase her memory of the violent assault.
Who is responsible? The monster behind the carving. Remember or forget?
We meet a cast of characters. Each with their own issues, connecting in ways which will blow your mind. Can you ever forget? How are the pieces of the puzzle connected? Get ready for a roller-coaster ride!
Meet the Kramer family:
Tom and Charlotte are parents of teen, daughter Jenny Kramer, and son Lucas (age ten). At a party, Jenny is upset over a boy and storms outside for a good cry, to be alone. The party she had looked so forward to.
Someone is lurking in the dark woods behind the house, watching and waiting (for another victim) and decides to make Jenny his next. Wrong place, wrong time. No one heard her until it was over. A monster. The community was eager to believe it was an outsider, not a resident of their safe small town. The Blue Honda Civic.
"In the wake of every battle, there were left conqueror and conquered. Victor and victim, and that she had come to accept the truth—that she had been totally, irrevocably defeated. Her spirit broken. Her virtue stolen. From fear, terror, agony, acceptance, and indifference, as she shut down. Each piece taken and devoured by this monster."
A brutal rape, the small community is outraged and shocked over this horrendous crime.
The mother, Charlotte is all about appearance and social status at the country club, and does not want this tragedy to overshadow their lives. How would this tarnish their reputation? What is she secretly hiding?
The father, Tom wants revenge, obsessed with finding the rapist, and feels guilt, he did not protect his daughter. Vengeance.
From Detective Parsons, reconstructing the events, forensic evidence, witness accounts, criminal psychologist profiles, and the disjointed fragmented scraps of memory Jenny was left with after the treatment—to have the most horrible trauma erased from her mind.
They say it is a miracle treatment –to have the most horrible trauma erased from your mind. However, it was not a miracle. What was removed from her mind lived on in her body and her soul. Justice was no longer on the table--without a memory. Memories are not static. They change each time we pull them from storage.
Dr. Alan Forrester, a psychiatrist begins to treat the entire family, individually and jointly. The ability to understand suffering. Everyone has plenty of issues and problems. Secrets. Underlying problems in the marriage, and further back to their childhoods, where all martial problems begin.
Childhoods, choices, emotional scars, abuse, fears and their drug of choice—addicts, whether people, obsessions, or need to fill gaps and insecurities in their own lives.
Multi-layered with controversial issues, gray areas, and the pasts of the characters; and a detailed look at the discussions of memory therapy. We also meet Sean Logan who became a patient of Alan’s, seventeen months before he began working with the Kramer family.
Sean Logan was a Navy SEAL. He’d grown up in nearby New London, the same town as Charlotte. His father had been in the Nary and his grandfather had died a decorated marine. Outward appearance he was handsome, witty and his love was deep and pure. His pain was intoxicating.
Anxiety, depression, anger, suicidal thoughts. The drug was meant to reduce PTSD. He had been given a drug previously, that was new and unpredictable. Memories had been stolen. Now lost to his own mind. He had suffered for nine months before being sent to Alan. Jenny Kramer was given the treatment and he was not employed to observe her in the months that followed. Two people in the same town. Escape the pain inflicted by their own minds.
To further drive the novel, Alan works with the correctional facility in Somers. Prison men. Autism. Crimes. Disturbed. Victims before they were criminals. Victims of trauma. Insanity. Violent offenders. From depression to severe psychosis. Abusive parents, or relationships. He provides therapy. (this is all quite fascinating, adding to the intensity).
Then there is Bob Sullivan and Glenn Shelby.
From emerging theories in memory science and the treatment of PTSD with drugs than can lessen the emotional impact of a trauma memory, Walker dives in full force, with detailed research and controversial insights with cases from crime and trauma and how it erases memories.
There is so much here! So glad I did not read the other reviews before reading the book. I liked the mystery behind the narrator. I was like, WTH, who is this person who seems to know everything (all the details) Can you believe him? Creepy. I enjoyed the suspense and mystery. I cannot even imagine how difficult this was to write in this style.
As the author mentions in an online interview, her take was about telling, not showing. She does not get bogged down with elaborate settings. She achieves her goal brilliantly, by getting into the minds of each of her characters. You are in their heads, their intimate thoughts. You understand and relate to each and every character, while becoming completely invested in their outcome.
Your opinions will change from the beginning of the book to the end—how you view each character. Readers will discover the secrets, lies, hidden truths, motives, infidelities, abuse, anger, and rage behind each of their actions, in this well plotted unique grip-lit. Lots of juicy twists!
Either the therapist will be telling, explaining, or direct quotes in the form of italics speaking. The injustices of the world. So keep up. Pay attention, readers. Set aside the time. There is a lot of mystery behind the Doc. He is solving the pieces of the puzzle. The vault of secrets. Charlotte will be one to surprise you by the last page (two personalities)—good and evil. Charlotte and the Dr. are the most complex.
While reading was trying to put a finger on other authors which are similar. I usually like to reference other authors. Even though different in some ways, am strongly reminded of Linwood Barclay and Michael Robotham (Joe O’Loughlin Series) —two of my favorite authors, always landing on my top books of the year.
In addition, fans of Jodi Picout will enjoy the dark controversial well researched topics. The talented author is an attorney and former investment banker --I think she has a hidden psychology degree.
Emotional, Fascinating, and Darkly Compelling! A thriller you will not soon forget
A lover of research, I found this study of memories so intriguing! Memory consolidation. The file cabinet. Chemicals in the brain. Metaphors. I have always wondered about blackouts (drinking), and Rohypnol –enables a person to function normally but not remember anything that happened while the drug was in the system. The brain’s filing staff is on a break. Nothing gets filed, and the events are presumably lost, as if they never happened. Short-term memory phase.
It is no surprise Reese Witherspoon's production company has snagged this one! Reese will make a sensational Charlotte, the protagonist's mother. ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN needs to be moved to the top of your list. I have also pre-ordered the audiobook narrated by Dylan Baker.It should be very entertaining.
Can’t wait for Walker’s next psychological thriller. Check Out the latest from Hollywood ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN.