Book Review: All is not Forgotten – Wendy Walker ****

Funnily enough the last two books I’ve read have had memory loss as a central feature to the plot. In this story Jenny Kramer, a young high school student, is at a party with some friends. When the guy she is enamoured with hooks up with another student she is distraught and drowns her sorrows with vodka. Blundering outside into the woodland behind the house she is attacked by an unknown man and subjected to a brutal hour long rape. When she is treated at the hospital her mother approves the use of a drug therapy that will suppress the details of the attack. Drugs that will effectively make her forget, it was being developed for combat soldiers to try and prevent post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Over the course of the next year Jenny copes by self-medicating with stolen pills, her father searches endlessly for clues to her attacker and her mother has an affair seeking solace in the arms of another man. It would make quite a good book for a Reading Group or Book Club as there are big questions posed about the way that rape is dealt with both by the family and by the local community. The small town of Fairview, Connecticut finds itself desperately searching for an outsider to blame. It can’t possibly be one of the local young men. The blue Honda Civic with New York plates becomes a focus for the investigation. Despite the subject matter there are few truly graphic scenes but it could be distressing to some readers.

It is at times quite an odd book with a first person narrator relaying all of the facts of the case in a documentary style, complete with excerpts from police testimony and interviews with the people affected. It is only about sixty pages in that you learn the identity of the narrator and at that point the particular style of the narration makes perfect sense. It could be quite tempting to give up on the story in the early stages as it is quite an unusual style for a book in this genre. Keep persevering though and you will be gripped with the details of the case as little snippets start to emerge and begin to paint a picture of the rapist. Like all good psychological thrillers there are a few twists and turns before the shocking denouement at the end.

UK Publication Date: 14 July 2016. 384 pages.

Supplied by Net Galley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

All Is Not Forgotten

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